Heard the one about the Commonwealth Games sprint medallist and world record holder who was beaten in a race by a footballer?
To be fair, Ade Mafe, who was born and bred in Hounslow but now lives in Worcestershire, was cheated, having been challenged to the race by Chelsea's Michael Duberry.
But it serves to illustrate the interesting life the former Heathland schoolboy has led, from athletics world titles to coaching some of the world's best footballers.
Having come eighth in the 200m as a raw teenager at the 1984 Olympics, then winning gold in the event at 1989 European Indoor Championships, Mafe was the final part of an English 1-2-3 at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, coming third behind Marcus Adam and John Regis.
He also still holds the world record for the seldom-run 4 x 200m relay, which he set with Regis, Linford Christie and Darren Braithwaite in Glasgow – where this summer's Games are being held – a year after bagging Commonwealth bronze.
After retiring in 1994 to concentrate on personal training, two years later, Mafe got the call from Chelsea to work as fitness coach for newly-appointed boss Ruud Gullit's star-studded side.
He went on to hold the same position with former Blues Robert Di Matteo at MK Dons and West Brom, and Gianfranco Zola at Watford, before leaving football last summer to build up his personal training business once more.
Mafe said: “On my first day at Chelsea I didn't think the players were very fit compared to me, but then again, I couldn't do what they did to play football at that level. I soon realised they may not be all round athletes, but they were specifically fit for what they did.
“Ruud had just taken over when I got the call. It was all new to me, but I ended up doing it for 17 years. But I have a young family now and didn't want to relocate them, so packed it in.
“I love being involved though. Michael Duberry once challenged me to a race, and although I hadn't been training as an athlete for a few years I would have beaten him, but one of the other players acted as starter and let Dubs go first, putting his hand across my chest.
“Fitness training has definitely changed in football, even in the time I was involved. You can't have a Jan Molby just sitting in the middle of the park controlling the game these days. Look at Bastian Schweinsteiger in the World Cup final – he gave every ounce.”
After leaving Heathland, Mafe went to the now defunct Hounslow College where his fellow pupils included Buster Watson, who also ran the 200m at the 1984 Olympics but failed to make the final, going out in the heats.
He also joined Borough of Hounslow Athletic Club, the future first club of a certain Mo Farah, which was swallowed up into Winsdor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow AC in 2001. Mafe later ran for London Irish AC and Thames Valley Harriers too.
Mafe said: “Hounslow was a great little club, but there were far more athletes back then, meaning clubs like Hounslow could exist on their own. But times change, and membership was right down by the turn of the century and they had to merge.
“As for the Commonwealth Games, it was the best I have ever run the 200m, and I did it in a personal best of 20:20, but it was still only good enough for third. It just goes to show the wealth of talent we had in athletics at the time, and I am still a world record holder, but I did do that relay with three very good runners.”
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