The Thing Is with Steve Canavan - May 22, 2014

SUPER KEV My dad had a soft spot for Kevin Keegan, pictured here a few years before I was born
SUPER KEV My dad had a soft spot for Kevin Keegan, pictured here a few years before I was born
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All parents collect bits and pieces from their children when they’re young, little bits of history they can look back on at a later date and reminisce about days gone by.

For example, my mother has, in the second drawer

All parents collect bits and pieces from their children when they’re young, little bits of history they can look back on at a later date and reminisce about days gone by.

For example, my mother has, in the second drawer of the cupboard in the lounge (an unnecessary detail but I like to properly paint the picture), an envelope which contains a lock of my hair from when I was eight-months old.

She also has the wristband the nurses attached to my arm immediately after I arrived on this planet.

It gives my date of birth, weight, blood type and my name – Kevin Canavan.

This is a true story: I was called Kevin for the first two weeks of my life, on the rather flimsy grounds that my dad was a fan of Kevin Keegan. My mum dutifully went along with this before, a fortnight after my birth, quite rightly deciding the name Kev Canavan was horrific, told my dad to sod off, and opted for Steven instead, a decision which I will forever be grateful for.

My mum also has envelopes containing the hair of my sisters from when they were young too.

Now I find this slightly odd – I mean on what social occasion are you going to say ‘oh, you know what, let’s get out that envelope containing a bit of hair from 38 years ago’.

But it is understandable. We, as humans, are sentimental folk who like to remember the major events in life, and few things are as major as having children.

There is, however, a line and I fear the father who hit the news this week for taking a photograph of his daughter on every single day of her life (from being born to reaching the age of 18), doesn’t just cross the afore-mentioned line but hop, skip and jumps over it Jonathan Edwards style.

If you missed this story, a chap called Munish Bansal took a total of 6,575 pictures, then put them all together in a big collage, mirroring her current appearance, which he presented to her on her 18th birthday.

It’s undeniably a splendid piece of work and part of me thinks it is quite sweet. He really must be proud of his children.

But a larger part of me thinks this chap, though well-meaning, must be slightly bonkers.

There have been occasions when, on remembering he had forgotten to take a particular day’s photo, he’d wake his daughter in the middle of the night to get a snap.

Can you imagine when that poor girl yawned during geography the next day and her teacher asked for an explanation of why she was so tired? ‘Well, Sir, my dad switched the bedroom light on at 4am to take a photograph of me.’ I’m surprised the case wasn’t referred to social services.

But even this extreme example of parents collecting things involving their children can be beaten.

I have a friend who taught in a school where one of the mums was particularly protective and proud of her daughter.

As well as saving her first hair, tooth, nail clippings (I kid you not), this parent also – brace yourself – saved her child’s first snowball. She actually put the snowball in the freezer and still has it to this day.

The child is about 24 now and goodness only knows what she thinks of her mother.

But there you go. At least she’s loved, and each to their own – it’s what makes the world so interesting.

In Yaya land....

I’m thinking of quitting The Gazette.

Earlier this year, on my birthday, not a single person in the office stood to applaud and cheer loudly as I walked through the door.

No one bought me so much as lemon drizzle. So that’s it. I’m out of here.

Or at least that’s how I’d feel if my name was Yaya Toure and I had lost all touch with reality.

That’s right - the ultimate, breath-taking proof that football is now completely unrecognisable from the sport of the working class man arrived in hilarious form with ‘Cakegate’ this week.

Toure, Manchester City’s captain, who earns upwards of £250,000 a week is apparently threatening to leave the club because they didn’t properly celebrate his 31st birthday.

“He got a cake but when it was Roberto Carlos’s birthday, the president of Anzhi gave him a Bugatti,” said Yaya’s agent Dimitry Seluk, who described the Toure situation as ‘sick’.

Words fail me and surely even City fans can’t defend their man on this one. Great player he may be but this really couldn’t be any more pathetic. It seems that, if Toure is anything to go by, footballers are now not content with just earning a million quid a month - they want their birthday to be celebrated like VE Day.

On my birthday my mum phones in the morning and occasionally, if they remember, my sisters calls too.

If any of them forget I don’t threaten to leave the family.

In the wake of Peter Scudamore’s luddite-style faux pas, football had a poor enough reputation as it was - unbelievably Toure has managed to tarnish its name even further.