Frank Kane: Now I’m 65, there are still plenty of role models

It’s true. It is my birthday. And not just any old birthday either. I was born on September 6, 1951, so that makes me officially … 65 years old. Old.

Cripes, my back was aching this morning. I’ve had a twinge for the past couple of weeks, but this morning it was awful.

My legs felt slower too. Leaden, heavy. What with them and the back, it was all I could do to get out of bed for the early morning school run. And as I was driving, I had trouble making out the road signs. They came across all blurry and unfocused. I nearly got lost, despite the fact that I know the route virtually by heart.

When I got home, I was just about to lie down and ponder what on Earth could have happened to me, when my wife solved the puzzle. “Happy birthday,” she squealed, handing me over some packages all nicely wrapped in prezzy paper.

It’s true. It is my birthday. And not just any old birthday either. I was born on September 6, 1951, so that makes me officially … 65 years old. Old.

In London, where I was born such a long, long time ago, it’s known as “bus pass day” because that’s when you are allowed – legally and officially – to travel free on public transport. You might as well call it “Zimmer frame day” or “put your feet up in cosy slippers with a cup of cocoa day”.

That was obviously the reason for my ailments. It’s a well-known fact that as soon as you hit the dreaded 65, it all starts to go downhill. Good for nothing except to be put out to grass. A burden on society, preventing all those dynamic millennials from moulding the world in their image.

Depressing really. I thought there must be other people in the same boat, so a quick Google search showed that quite a few “famous” people had been born on September 6 … but I knew hardly anyone of them. Rappers, movie starlets, “YouTube stars”, some pop singers and American football heroes.

The only people I recognised were Roger Walters, inspiration behind Pink Floyd, and Pippa Middleton, sister of the wife of the next-but-one king of the UK. So that’s my peer group now?

But then I thought: hold on. The next president of the United States, the most powerful person in the world, will be considerably older than me, whether Hillary or Donald.

Warren Buffett, regarded as one of the shrewdest and most powerful businessmen in the world, is an astonishing 86. Pope Francis was 76 when he was elected to the top job in Rome. I bet neither of them get achy and confused on the school run.

The average age of a chief executive in an S&P 500 company is a few months off 60, which means a lot of them are the same age as me, or older.

Sir Richard Branson is 66; Sir Alex Ferguson won his last English championship with Manchester United when he as 71. Heck, there’s only a few months between me and the despicable Philip Green. Does his back ache when he clambers down from the superyacht? His conscience certainly gives him no trouble.

So my late life targets are all sorted. There is no reason, on grounds of age, that I should not aim to become president of the United States, a multi-billionaire master of the universe, a championship-winning football manager, or head of the Catholic church. Even a foul-mouthed, business-destroying braggart.

I feel much better. So good in fact that I’m heading for a poolside glass of bubbly at a five-star beach resort. My back needs it.

fkane@thenational.ae

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Published: September 6, 2016 04:00 AM

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