A man’s worry seems to be hardwired – as if being fertile constitutes a meaningful measure of masculinity
I read that tomatoes might be good for a fella’s sperm count. Sperm’s always been a worry for me, ever since the day of the 1978 FA Cup final. I’ll spare you the goriest of the details, but the long and, er, short of it is that I fell off my bike going to my nan and grandad’s house to watch the match and sustained serious injuries to my pudenda. Fifteen stitches were required to sew my boyhood up, but I made it home in time for kick off, which is all I cared about. I was only 11, after all.
My parents had other worries. I don’t know whether some doctor at casualty at Corbett hospital in Stourbridge had said anything, but they were concerned about how my fertility might be affected. Mercifully, having begat two children 20 years later, all seemed to be in fair working order. And almost 20 years after that, I found myself doing a radio item about the National Sperm Bank. This involved having my own stuff analysed. Having breezily agreed to do this, I found myself in a small room in a fertility clinic in London trying to conjure up a sample, with a colleague called Steve standing outside holding a microphone.