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Captain of Her Heart

Love as hot as a toasted sandwich

Becoming an England regular had made such a difference to Martin’s life. The security of a central contract had brought vastly improved pay and the time he’d once wasted playing domestic cricket could now by more fruitfully employed choosing a ghost writer for his memoirs. It was such a change from the days he’d struggled to supplement his meagre county wages with a hard winter’s graft flogging second-hand dental equipment on Doncaster market.

It was obvious from the start that Martin was made for the international stage. He’d quickly become the go-to man for his captain, Michael Vain, by voluntarily representing England at press conferences after a long unproductive day in the field. Once there, and with his West Riding dialect turned up to eleven, he could provide an indecipherable wall of aggressive answers to impertinent questions that left the southern based press corps feeling confused, overeducated and decidedly emasculated.

Management too were impressed with his attitude. He was always first to arrive for morning nets, although his eagerness was actually motivated by a desire to finish early and be glad-handing in the various corporate boxes whilst his team-mates were still in the ice bath. For Martin had quickly learnt the value of keeping sponsors happy, as well as having first crack at their free gift table.

By the end of that first international summer he’d returned home with his enthusiasm for life renewed, his career on the up and his arms weighed down with boxed Breville sandwich toasters , the top of the range ones you see in all the fancy Hollywood movies.

As they lay in bed that night she stroked his arm that was now covered in the tradition tattoo of the England international, Three Lions proudly sitting above the vital statistics of his favourite N-Power promotions girls. As she ran her fingers over a freshly inked 36-24-34 – far from convinced by his explanation that it was his squad number – he leaned across and whispered seductively into her ear, “Run a cloth over those sandwich makers when you get chance. I’ve already got a couple of bidders interested on eBay.”

Extract reproduced by kind permission of Ms Davina Masterson