Modern Day Heroes
Ben Stokes vs Chris Blakey
The British people need heroes more than ever. We are a nation accustomed to unfulfilled dreams and heroic failure. We have a capacity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and phrases like “batting collapse”, “abject display”, and “missed chances” are all too common in the language of sporting reports. It should therefore be no surprise that British modern day heroes who succeed against all the odds have a massive impact on our nation’s sense of pride and well-being, inspiring both young and old to believe in their dreams.
Two Heroes in Two Weeks
Like London buses, we have been blessed with 2 British heroes in the space of the last 2 weeks. Both men have succeeded against the odds and overcome many set-backs and challenges on their journey and both men’s exploits have the potential to inspire future generations to follow their dreams. I thought it would be interesting to compare the achievements of these 2 British Heroes and the impact on their own lives and the lives of others.
Ben is a legend in the cricketing world and a household name. His exploits in the Cricket World Cup and the Headingly Ashes Test match have assured him a permanent and revered place in the history of cricket and a guaranteed source of income and attention for many years to come. He has overcome errors of judgement in both his cricketing and personal life and he has at last reaped the rewards of his dedication to the sport of cricket in spectacular yet brief moments in time.
His exploits in both the World Cup and the Ashes test attracted the attention of millions of spectators around the world and will be re-lived many times over during the coming years across multiple media channels.
Chris is virtually unknown outside his family, friends and the Austin Seven Vintage Car fraternity. Chris is passionate about Rugby Union, his family and his 1937 Austin Seven car. He was inspired in part by a school trip to the Soviet Union in 1966 when he visited Moscow and Leningrad (St Petersberg) at a time when foreign travel was normally only accessible to the wealthy. His dream was to drive from his home in Corsham to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, visiting Moscow for the first time since his school days and driving across Siberia.
He started his journey with a reconditioned engine that had not been “run-in”, an oil leak and a hole in his second petrol tank. During this epic journey he had to overcome many obstacles including a broken fuel pump, a broken dynamo requiring the car battery to be recharged every night and a wheel shearing off in the middle of Siberia. His exploits have been followed by a handful of people around the world and the impact of his adventure is, as yet, unknown.
How do Ben and Chris’s Achievements Compare and Contrast?
- Both mens’ dreams have been built over several years
- Ben’s finest moments have been experienced over the space of a day whilst Chris’s achievements have been experienced over a period of several weeks
- Ben’s achievements have been followed by millions of people whilst Chris’s followers are only in the hundreds
- Chris has been stopped by the police over 50 times in six weeks (with no charges) whilst Ben has only one notable police intervention (with a charge)
- Ben has the benefit of the use of the latest and most reliable batting technology whilst Chris has had to manage technology which is over 80 years old
- Ben has had a massive impact on the cricketing world whilst Chris’s goodwill gestures have so far only had an impact on Russian Rugby
- Ben will continue to bask in the cricketing limelight for year to come whilst Chris will have to adjust to “normal family life” when he gets back home to the UK
Both men deserve to be applauded for the positive impact on the lives on many hundreds of people but it is interesting how the concept of a modern day hero is very much shaped by modern media and lifestyles.