Joe Lewis concedes he had a big choice to make as a teenager.
Would he pursue his passion for football or might he consider advancing his ambitions in cricket?
Obviously, the 30-year-old opted for the 90-minute game. And, ever since he arrived at Aberdeen FC, the English goalkeeper has been a pivotal Pittodrie figure and one of the reasons why the Dons have been so successful in recent seasons.
Yet Lewis was at Mannofield on Saturday, and has become a regular attendee at the home of Aberdeenshire CC. Whether practicing in the nets with his three-year-old son, Lenny, or picking the winning tickets at the club’s Christmas raffle, he has flung himself into the role of cricket ambassador.
As he told the Press and Journal: “I love the game. I started playing it when I was a youngster and I played for Norfolk at u-13 and u-15 level.
“After that, I had to make a decision about what I wanted to do, but although I chose football, I’ve always been fascinated by cricket.
“My brother, Will, plays at Bungay CC and he is very much into the game. But so am I.
“I knew, before I came to Scotland, that a lot of people liked cricket up here. I saw how the Scots did pretty well against the English counties and when you walk around the pavilion, you can see the history and heritage and you start to notice that famous players such as [Sir] Don Bradman starred here back in the 1940s.
“I always like it here at Mannofield. The atmosphere is brilliant and it is very family-orientated. You can spot all the people and their kids who are involved in the sport and I think it is terrific that so many youngsters are being encouraged to play.
“Lenny is only three, but he enjoys being here in Aberdeen and I have a blast from being in the nets with him.”
Lewis is widely acknowledged as being a talented performer in the summer game. And he confirmed Aberdeen FC have not blocked him from turning out in a match in the future.
But the man himself realises he has to focus on first things first.
He added: “If I was to start playing again, I would have to spend a bit of time in the nets to dust off the cobwebs.
“I used to be a lot better than I am at the moment, but who knows, if there’s the chance of taking part in a friendly, then why not?
“It goes without saying I wouldn’t be keeping wicket, or diving around and risking an injury. Football is my livelihood and I have to respect that.
“But there is something about coming here to Aberdeenshire I really enjoy.
“And I do love my cricket.”