Similarities between fifty-five year old Geoffrey Doleman and James Bond are hard to find.
Whereas one travels the world bedding Ringo Starr’s missus and Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman whilst outwitting evil masterminds, the other resides in a two-bed semi in Sutton Coldfield and gave up his window cleaning round two years ago due to a bad back.
Down his cluttered front path (‘excuse the car tyres. I’m doing up my Sierra’) we are greeted at the door by a rather obese gentleman in a faded AC/DC tour t-shirt and boxer shorts who is appearing to cough up a lung. Geoffrey has a greasy comb-over that barely disguises his bald pate and his handshake leaves ours slick from his sweat. Though it is way past noon he claims to have just woken up.
Inside his modest abode the Cutter is offered a beverage, either tea or a can of Tennents. He then admits to being out of tea.
We are here to interview this perfectly decent and ordinary Joe Slob because he claims to have been inspired by Birmingham goalkeeper Ben Foster into taking the momentous decision to quit something that he didn’t do anyway.
‘I saw it on the news yesterday,’ Geoffrey tells us. ‘Foster was gravely informing the press that he was retiring from international football for an indefinite period. I’m a Brum fan and he’s done okay for us this year but I thought, well if you’re an England class goalie then I’m an international playboy. So here I am today announcing that, even though I’ve never been abroad – I don’t even own a passport – I feel the time is now right to gracefully draw a close to my fulfilling career as a jet-setting stud-muffin’.
‘Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a blast. I once received a suggestive wink from an attractive lady on a street corner as I made my way back from the offy. And Miss Perkins at the job centre recently complimented me on my slip-on shoes. I’ve been very fortunate to experience such occasions. But I feel that I need to give my body a rest and turning my back on the high life will allow me to concentrate on other ventures, such as creosoting the back fence. Plus the flat racing season is fully underway now.’
Foster’s decision to quit the England set-up has prompted many others to do likewise, besides Geoffrey.
An accountant from Milton Keynes last night formally announced that he was retiring as a thrash-metal superstar whilst an elderly waitress from Pontypridd reluctantly ended her lucrative Ultimo underwear contract.
‘Doing a Foster’, as its becoming known, has even spread to celebrity circles, with Lenny Henry vowing to give up being a funny comedian.