OPINION - I've got Jude Bellingham fever: I'm obsessed and even tell my son to be "more Jude"


I’m now officially obsessed with Jude Bellingham. Yes, I know all of us football fans are obsessed with him, being that utter novelty for England players: a winner. Oh we’ve had plenty of geniuses down the years, but they usually come with a dose of good old British self-destruction; they’re not winners. As if geniuses are freaks and have to be wild and alcoholic on the side. Y’know, losers. Instead Jude is a genius who is also a winner. He seems to demand it, is born to it. Am I really the only England fan who feels relatively stable watching the team now? It’s not like having amateur dentistry any more. Like, even if things go wrong, Jude, right, will step up and sort it out. We are safe in his big hands.

It’s not a man crush as such (believe me, I have plenty of those), just deep, near-spiritual admiration for the guy.

I can’t stop thinking about him. I just love everything about him. The super-smooth way he plays, that two-footed balance to him where every direction is a dream. The way he has everything, the showy skills as well as the grit, the cool head as well as the cheeky playfulness, the grace and the robustness. The maturity of his interviews, his confidence that veers into swagger, and signifies someone willing to take responsibility in the most highly pressured moments.

I feel relatively stable watching the England team now — it’s not like having amateur dentistry any more

I was at the Champions League final watching Real Madrid, and honestly felt like I was a 13-year-old girl at a K-Pop concert. Jude didn’t even have a particularly good game, he kind of just sauntered around waiting for the trophy to be handed to him, which it duly was, but my eyes never left him.

I just love the way he stands. He’s got this chest-out stance which, even though I am one of the new species of hunched laptop Homo Half-Erectus, I don’t envy, simply admire. Much to the annoyance of my son. Home life for my 12-year-old now consists of trying to avoid his half/wholly drunk Euros-mad father, who follows him around telling him to stick out his chest “like Jude”, and walk tall “like Jude”, and also to “just watch Jude”. Poor kid. It’s boring and terrible, but I can’t help myself. I’m even half-rehearsing a speech in my head for this evening, four cans in, one that starts, “Listen, don’t make the same mistakes I made, son. Stand tall, chest out, be confident, believe in yourself. Don’t be like me, be more like Jude… waaaah.” Jesus, I can practically taste the abjection. Jude wouldn’t do that.

What would Jude do? That seems like a good approach to life now. In any given situation: what would Jude do? Would Jude snaffle all six chocolate biscuits before the children even knew they were there? No. Would Jude duck out of a meeting because he just can’t be arsed on a Friday? No. Would Jude stick his earbuds in at the first sign of a charity mugger? No. Would Jude lie on his tax return because the bastards have taken enough from him already? No. Would Jude forget birthdays, be rude to waiters, fail to satisfy his partner in bed? No, no and thrice no. He would stick out his chest, handle the situations with purpose, and leave the world a better place.

Jesus, is Jude the new Jesus? Can he actually be our moral guide to lead us out of this dark age? We are in the era of Saint Jude. He is the way, the truth and the light.

Until he scores an own goal against Denmark tonight, then we’ll rip him to shreds, obvs.

Glasto’s nearly here — and I’m praying for rain

Glastonbury is nearly upon us again! I’m not going again this year, which makes it three in a row I’ve missed. But that’s okay. It doesn’t mean I can’t get involved. As has become my custom when I’m about to be left behind in London, I can now get down to spending a good 20 per cent of my time on Glastonbury weather check hoping for rain. More like praying, actually. Praying for storms, flash-floods, tornados, hot hail sent down by Ming the Merciless.

I hate not going. It fills me with a horrible envy, a real nastiness. I start spitefully questioning the festival’s ethics, flagging how corporate it’s become, how gender biased its booking policy is, and how smug and white and middle class it is. And all because I can’t go when I desperately want to.

I remember one year, 2005, when we could see lightning hitting the site from the train heading there, and the rain was so bad scores of tents were entirely submerged, and the days were simply about survival. Really hope that happens again.

Martin Robinson is an Evening Standard columnist