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Pursuits | By Jim White

Football Academy Longshots

When it comes to her son Kaif, Sobia Sarwar, a 41-year-old pharmacist from Manchester, has very specific ambitions. ‘I’ve told Kaif I want a nice big mansion and a Mercedes when he joins the Premier League,’ she told the Sun. ‘I want all the trappings of a luxury lifestyle. I tell him this every day so he doesn’t forget all I’ve done for him.’ In what was without doubt the most depressing article I have read all year, Mrs Sarwar told the newspaper how her boy was to be her way to a world she had only seen on television. Never mind the lottery; her lad was her winning ticket. When he became a professional, attached umbilically to the hosepipe of cash that is modern-day football, then she would be in clover, living the dream. Kaif, incidentally, is eight years old. And this most tigerish of mums was by no...

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