What’s that beeping sound?
Is it a reversing lorry? Nope. Is it the sound of me backtracking? It certainly is when it comes to my thoughts on King’s Lynn Town striker Gold Omotayo.
The frontman spent much of the early part of the season being derided as the worst No.9 in Linnets history across social media and fans’ forums. And while I didn’t go quite to those lengths, in print at least, I was far from championing his cause while standing among the Dob Army in the North Terrace.
He certainly wasn’t listed as one of the players I wanted to keep for next season when penning a ‘what next after relegation’ type piece back in February. But the truth is I’m more than happy to admit the rejuvenated striker has won me over in the last few months, so much so I’d be keen to keep him at The Walks, if budget allows.
Before Ian Culverhouse was sacked in late November, Omotayo had scored one, yes ONE, goal. Given some of the men who have gone before him; Adam Marriott, Lee Hudson, Michael Gash, Jack Defty, Keith Rudd and Malcolm Lindsay to name just six, is it any wonder supporters were lining up to throw pelters at the giant frontman?
However, much of that rage should have been tempered by the fact he was being used in a system and style that did not suit his strengths. You wouldn’t buy a Ferrari and only use it for the school run would you?
An always isolated Omotayo must have felt like he was an umpire at a tennis match the amount of times he turned his head from side to side to watch his team’s play unfold.
But since Tommy Widdrington has arrived and backed him publicly, the former goalkeeper’s confidence has flourished. His display at Notts County was befitting that of some of the aforementioned Lynn greats. His touch has improved, he’s getting service and the ball is now actually in the box when he’s in there too.
Even if he doesn’t take every chance, the man who has one of Spandau Ballet’s greatest hits reverberating from the stands, has scored nine more goals, including three in his last two games. With Lynn open to going direct, Omotayo has had an effect – none more so than when he’s formed something of a partnership with Josh Barrett or Malachi Linton. With bodies around him and Town higher up the pitch, it seems they’ve finally struck 6ft 4in of gold.
Omotayo will be even more of a force to be reckoned with following relegation too, especially if Widdrington fancies a little and large combination up top.
A day to remember in King’s Lynn
The very best of sport and community was on show when GEAR created a special buzz in and around town on Sunday.
The streets were lined with cheering spectators, while the competitiveness and camaraderie displayed between the 1,501 runners who tackled the 10k race in King’s Lynn was heartwarming and inspiring in equal measure.
As I lined up for the first time since 2017 and after an injury-hit 2021, I tried my best to enjoy the whole experience.
Like most who took part will know, that isn’t always possible – I’d questioned the meaning of life through South Lynn about 1,000 times – but I couldn’t have felt happier to be part of a day to remember.
A time of 37 minutes and 52 seconds was enough for me to finish 45th and has given me a solid platform to chase down my personal best time of 37:26 in the coming months.
Well done to every single person who took part and a special congratulations to last week’s Q&A guest Mitchell Bunn who finished third – all of us Renegade Runners couldn’t be more proud of you!
Rocket the best-ever cue ace
Don’t listen to Ronnie O’Sullivan playing down his latest remarkable achievement.
Ignore the fact that he’s equalled, for now, Stephen Hendry’s modern-era record of seven world titles. Put simply, Ronnie remains the greatest to ever pick up a cue.
A maverick and troubled soul like Alex Higgins, yes, but a man who has the silverware to match his God-given talent on the baize.
The fact he’s the great entertainer too only helps cement his legacy.
O’Sullivan has, at points, arguably been bigger than the sport, following the retirement of some of its greatest names. Yet here he is, aged 46, on top of the world again having beaten Judd Trump 18-13 at the Crucible to become world champion for a seventh time.
He almost retired in 2011 and has had a love-hate relationship with the sport, which has turned many against him.
However, how can you not marvel at his amazing ability to move the cue ball around and sink shots at a rapid pace?
The gifted snooker ace is now the oldest player to lift the prized crown in Sheffield – something he first did 21 years ago.
That longevity could be admired alone but to produce the goods time and time again, especially after it looked like his career was coming to an end on more than one occasion, shows the true greatness of a man who will surely go on to pass Hendry’s proud record.