We are on the cusp of a new year and its time to get into training for what that new year will bring. If we judge John by his past achievements he will undoubtedly be fit and raring to go in the coming season. When I say John is sporting I mean it in the broadest sense of the word. There is not a mean bone in his body. He never cheats or fouls, or at least not when the referee is looking. Sorry John!
John can always see and understand the other side. His behaviour is always that of a sportsman and a gentleman. People like John are rare these days and that's why we are making a fuss of him tonight. The other reason is we like to party. John may play one position in his sport but in our lives he plays many parts. He is (as applicable) a team-mate, a husband, a father, a family member or a good neighbour. In the changing rooms he is always the one to make the rest of the team laugh. He often criticises his own play but never that of anyone else. When his team is beaten you can always rely on John to lift spirits. He is very positive and upbeat. More than anything else John has a wonderful sense of humour. He can laugh at himself too which is one of the reasons he is so popular. He likes people and it shows. He can keep a confidence better than anyone I know and he does good the way it should be done, silently and without fanfare. He has great leadership qualities. In his lifetime he has played many games. He lost some and won some and accepted each result in the same sporting spirit. He knows excellence doesn't come easily but he is prepared to work very hard at it.
He may never win an Olympic medal but he has won many hearts. Tonight he has won ours and we are very happy to share this special occasion with him. You can judge his fitness by the way he blows out the candles. I would like to point out, however John, that you are in training so please leave some of the birthday cake for the rest of us. Alcohol is, of course, strictly forbidden but you can have some orange juice.
Ladies and gentlemen or family and friends please join me in a toast to John. May he always be a winner. John! Here's to the sportsman amongst us Whose birthday it is today Someone who is very special Someone who joins in the fray. Who plays as hard as a good player ought Who gives his all in each match He keeps the rules while playing so hard Watch him kick, watch him run and catch. Today we're wishing him all the best Having him in our lives has made us blessed He's brought to our days both laughter and fun
And so when tonight and this party is done. We hope that the year that's coming is glorious that he'll be happy and, of course, victorious!