In all my 57 years I’ve only ever attended two football matches. The old man may have been a footballer, but despite his best efforts I never followed in his studded boots, instead, since first smelling the burning methanol as I stood track side, speedway has been my sport.
So you can imagine my surprise, and that of everyone who knows me, to discover I’d been named a ‘EURO 2020 Hero’ thanks to a tweet posted ahead of the Scotland v Croatia match.
Like millions around the country who don’t normally follow football, it’s different when it comes to getting behind the national team, and like so many others I tweeted my support ahead of the match.
That tweet was picked up by a UEFA account, although the first I knew about it was when a tweet, in Italian, landed in my feed from an account called @Euro2020Hero, complete with a verified blue tick. Official then.
It read: ‘@LiamRudden, sei uno dei nostri #EURO2020Hero! Il tuo post ha conquistato gli schermi giganti della Fan Zone UEFA EURO 2020 di Roma. #EURO2020 #UEFAFestival’
A tap on the translate option reveled the UEFA account had made me a football hero - a complete surprise as what I know about the sport could be written on the back of a postage stamp.
The translation revealed: '@LiamRudden You're one of #EURO2020Hero ours! Your post has conquered the giant screens of the UEFA EURO 2020 Fan Zone in Rome. #EURO2020 #UEFAFestival'.
The tweet that triggered my impostor syndrome was a selfie in front of a St Andrew's flag, posted ahead of the Scotland Croatia match, which posed a question; 'Will this be the last time I need this picture? Hope not. We’re about to find out! C’mon Scotland! #SCOCRO #EURO2020 #EUROS #SCO #CRO'
It was one of those chosen by UEFA's @EURO2020Hero account to be featured on screen in the Fan Zones and apparently my Saltire backed effort made the giant screen in Rome. The irony wasn't lost on friends and family, one of whom summed it up perfectly with the simplest of messages, 'WTF?'