My teens were ruined by wearing terrible glasses. And now bad eyesight has crept up on me again
My Mum has got a blurred photograph of me crying. I’m 13 years old and wearing an England tracksuit of the Ron Greenwood at the 1982 World Cup in Spain vintage. I am crying because I have just been told that I am going to have to wear glasses. The photo was taken by my little brother, because he found my distress amusing and wanted to savour it for ever.
It had been a long road to this point. A couple of years earlier we had gone to see the World Table Tennis championships at the brand new National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. I was mesmerised by the sight of the young Chinese chaps slugging it out miles away from the table, stringing out incredibly long rallies. But when I looked at the score being flipped over next to the referee, I realised to my horror I couldn’t read it. I squinted until my eyeballs ached. I looked around to see if anyone else was squinting; they weren’t. With surprising resourcefulness I found that if I looked through a little pinhole I made by putting my thumbs and forefingers together, I could read the numbers quite nicely. “What on earth are you doing?” asked Dad.