Footballer talks about premature birth of first son

Unlike some of his fellow professional footballers in the English Premier League, James McFadden — a striker for the Birmingham Blues — has no interest in gracing the pages of the British tabloid magazines. The 24-year-old says that if he had his way, his private life would stay exactly that — private.

My wedding was for my wife and myself, and the people we invited. You should want to share that kind of occasion, or the birth of your children, with close friends and family, not the whole world. I just don’t buy into that celebrity thing.

Something that James apparently is comfortable sharing involves the frightening circumstances surrounding the birth of his first child, James Jr., 20-months. Born 5 1/2-weeks premature, the baby would go on to be fine — but the ordeal left an indelible impression on his parents. Says James,

[James Jr.] weighed 6lb 7oz and looked like a healthy baby but his lungs hadn’t developed and he had to be put on a machine because he was having breathing difficulties. He’s fine now, causing havoc, but he was in hospital for a week and a half. Something like that gives you a different perspective on life.

Now, as James and his wife Gillian await the birth of their second child, that new perspective is still firmly in place. Although James has an important match Saturday he says he’s prepared to leave the field in an instant — no matter what the circumstances — if he gets "the call."

They told [Gillian] two weeks ago it could be any time now so I’m waiting for the call and, whenever it is, I’ll be there.


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