I am a football obsessive and general utility man in the Sunday Herald and Herald's sports coverage since 2001. A failed amateur player, my journalism apprenticeship was served at the Press Association, the Sunday Times and the Daily Mail. I am passionate about the role sport has to play in Scottish life. Other interests include tennis, cycling, NFL, cricket, golf, snooker, and sports politics.
He grew up dreaming of emulating childhood idols such as Alessandro Del Piero, Frank Lampard and most of all Zinedine Zidane, and by the age of 21 his talents were sufficient to see him play regularly for his country's Olympic side and twice for the full team, against China and Iraq.
But things are never simple when the country in question is Palestine, and on July 22, 2009 his story took a turn which the rest of the world would regard as extraordinary.