EXCLUSIVE CHRIS HUMPHREY COLUMN
Any time I have a form to fill in or document to complete, I do find myself pausing for a second when I am asked to describe my occupation.
Professional footballer is, of course, my immediate answer but I sometimes think I should also reveal my other ‘career’ – that of being a ‘househusband’.
When I am not trying to score and create goals for Preston, my life is kept busy with my two young children Amelea, who is four, and two-year-old Cody.
My wife Kerrie has a full-time job and so she is out of the house early in the morning and does not return until quite late in the evening.
It is left to me to do the nursery runs – something which I love doing – and also making the kids’ tea at night.
I try to keep on top of the housework too, so you may well find me with a vacuum cleaner or duster in hand after arriving home from training.
To be honest, the career of a professional footballer does fit in rather nicely with my role as a family man.
We usually train in the mornings and then I am free to pick up the kids in the afternoon.
I guess if I was not a footballer and had just a normal nine-to-five job, life would be quite difficult.
It is tough for my wife because she does not get to see the kids as much as she would like.
And when I get called up for Jamaica at international level or Preston have a particularly long away trip – like this week at Gillingham – that can also make life difficult at home.
There are times when I can be away a lot and it is difficult for Kerrie because although they are great kids, they can play up a bit.
The nature of my career also means that your family has to get used to moving house and living in different parts of the country.
Although I was born in Jamaica, my roots are in Birmingham but so far my career has taken me to Motherwell, in Scotland, and now the North West of England.
I must admit to feeling really settled in Preston now. Cody and Amelea go to a great nursery and we have made some great friends and met some lovely people.
Whenever we need help, we have people who can help us out with babysitting duties.
We have a good support structure around us which is probably something we didn’t have while we were living in Scotland.
Like I say life can be hectic but I suppose we are no different to any other couple trying to juggle the demands of our respective careers and children.
It means my spare time away from the game is pretty much spent with my family. We like to go out for meals together or take the kids to a soft play area so they can get out and see the world and have some fun.
Cody is obviously still very young but he loves coming to the games and watching his dad play.
He’s my little man and kind of lives and breathes football. Maybe one day we might have a little footballer on our hands – who knows?
Amelea is in to everything at the minute. She loves dancing and gymnastics and is becoming a right diva. She’s four going on 26 already!
Now that I and my family are totally settled here, I think the Preston fans are starting to see the best of me on the pitch.
It does take time to settle and I must admit when I arrived here at Preston I was in awe of the history of the club – especially when I was handed the iconic No.7 shirt, which was worn by Sir Tom Finney.
The pressure you feel of wearing that shirt is a big thing.
I am one of those players who tries even harder when I am not playing well until I finally start to find form.
I think this season I am starting to show what I’m really all about as a player.
The team spirit we have here at Preston is great and I’m really enjoying the company of the rest of the lads. There is a great desire among the team to win promotion this season.
We are going great at the minute with six wins on the bounce – hopefully we can make it seven on Saturday when we play Fleetwood Town at Deepdale.
After Tuesday night’s 1-0 win at Gillingham, we are now in third spot in the table with two games in hand.
If we win those, we could be looking at going second – maybe top.
I have no doubt we can last the course this season because we have got the quality and strength in depth within the squad. I think there are exciting times ahead.