Sporting events can be a tough call when you have dual nationality. Kiwis are quick to tell me I should support the local team, some huffingly offended that I should consider doing otherwise.
But it’s impossible to switch off the fact that I was born in England and spent the first few decades of my life there, and the support of any individual or team in a friendly sporting contest is down to passion.
I can’t just suddenly start yelling for the Kiwi in the pack.
It doesn’t help that sport is sacrosanct in my adopted country. A bad result in a competition is usually down to anything other than poor performance: the ref was biased or the other team cheated.
Criticise a sporting legend at your peril, especially if they wore that hallowed black jersey and ran with an odd-shaped ball.
If New Zealand ever introduced a citizenship test it would certainly include a section demanding you name the current All Blacks squad and swear your un-dying allegiance to them.
Sometimes the choice is easy – I can shout for the Kiwi if there’s no Briton in an event.
If I have to choose, well, I can be torn, but my loyalties do tend to fall on the country of my birth rather than my adopted one.
Except in rugby. I confess: I’m an All Blacks fan. In my defence I attribute this to the fact my rugby life began in NZ.
My only rugby knowledge when I moved here was Mike Yarwood’s impression of Eddie Waring.
The first match I watched on TV was the 2003 World Cup Final – I did so in confusion and had no idea how England won it.
Still my loyalties are a little divided if the All Blacks play England, when I tend to do my supporting in a more subdued manner.
Otherwise I’m rarely quiet when watching sport, a fact anyone close to me can attest to.
I grew up in a household where we all yelled at the TV as though the person running/swimming/cycling in some distant country could hear us. During the Olympics my neighbours would have been in no doubt who I was supporting, especially when the track cycling was on.
I can’t help it. It’s the passion.