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Last Updated: Friday, 23 June 2006, 07:31 GMT 08:31 UK
Football letter helps man's dreams
By Douglas Marshall
BBC News

John Boileau
John wants to eat at a Michelin starred restaurant
When John Boileau set up a website listing all the things he wanted to do before he was 30, he thought just a handful of friends would read it.

But two months later tens of thousands of people from around the world have been reading about his 77-point wish list, with many offering to help him out.

Interest spiralled after he applied to become Middlesbrough FC's new manager.

The humorous reply from Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson, which John posted on his site, was placed on numerous football websites.

"It was one of those small things. It was just for Middlesbrough to have a laugh at," said John.

'Outstanding candidate'

In his letter, the 25-year-old, from Rugby in Warwickshire, jokingly said he could manage the Premiership football club after becoming proficient at the Football Manager computer game.

The reply, on headed Middlesbrough paper and signed Steve Gibson, read: "You were of course the outstanding candidate but we decided against your appointment.

"Quite frankly we were of the opinion your tenure with us would have been short-lived, as your undoubted talent would result in one of the big European Clubs seeking your services."

AMONG JOHN'S LIST
Find out what my blood type is
Do 100 press-ups in one go
Bake a chocolate cake
Tell my dad I have a tattoo
Learn to play poker
Brew my own beer
Have a dance lesson before my wedding
Read War and Peace
Learn how to write my name in Japanese
Take my parents out and buy them dinner

John's website, beforethirty, seems to have struck a chord and he has received hundreds of e-mails from around the world from people who have offered to help him.

These include an invite to watch Real Madrid play at the Bernabeu in Spain and another to record a song in a studio.

"I have just been contacted by loads of lovely, lovely people who want to help," said John.

"It is really lovely - just loads of altruistic people and caring people. It reaffirms your spirit."

John even heard from an ex-girlfriend who tracked down a copy of Lord of the Flies he had borrowed from Higham Lane School library and which he has promised to return.

The list, which includes visiting every county in England, Scotland and Wales and living abroad for a year, was begun earlier this year and the website went up in April.

I have got to get them done now the pressure is on
John Boileau

He has already completed six of the tasks he set himself including owning 100,000 shares in a company, having lunch at Claridges with his girlfriend Emma Ledwith and running a website.

"I am constantly saying to my girlfriend I mean to do these things and never do so I did a list.

"You get in a bit of a rut. You just come home from work and put on the TV."

He has set himself until January 2011, his 30th birthday, to complete the list

"The thing is, it isn't a list of major things.

"But I have got to get them done now the pressure is on. I'm fairly confident I will."


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