Can you recall a day in your life that you wish you could take back?
Jason “Scotty” Scotland, a former trainee electrician from a poor neighbourhood in Morvant, Trinidad, does.
His mother, Ann, now lives in a comfortable and sizeable two-storey home in Barataria. He drives a Range Rover. This July, in his ninth consecutive season in Britain, he signed a new deal with English Championship Division club, Ipswich Town.
At 33, Scotland is living the dream of millions of males worldwide; he is a Europe-based professional footballer. And yet, it might have been so much more.
As former England star Paul Gascoigne once poignantly described his own career, Scotland, a World Cup 2006 squad member, fulfilled his dreams but not his potential. One moment is particularly hard to dislodge when he traces over his career.
His mind wanders back ever so often to the afternoon of 26 September 2009.
The then Trinidad and Tobago international striker was making his England Premier League debut for Wigan Athletic at home to Chelsea. The London outfit was the Premiership’s defending champ and, steered by Coach Carlo Ancelotti, had not been defeated in seven months.
But Scotland could have changed that.
The score was tied at 1-1 when Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech brought down Wigan attacker Hugo Rodellaga and was sent off. And, for what seemed an eternity, the ball lay unattended in the penalty area.
Then Rodellaga, a Colombian international, scooped it up and converted as Wigan went on to win 3-1 and stole back page headlines all over the country.
Scotland had been the regular penalty taker at Swansea under manager Roberto Martinez and Coach Graeme Jones who brought him along when they were promoted to the Wigan post.
In the midst of Wigan’s post-game celebrations, Jones called Scotland aside.
“Why didn’t you take it?” he asked. “You’re our man.”
Scotland smiled back sheepishly.
“Yeah, I know,” he replied.
Scotland silently vowed to take his next opportunity. Only that was it. It was another six months before he got his first and only Wigan goal and he never got a penalty for the Premiership team.