Lee Manning is 12 years older than any of his other wheelchair basketball teammates and has backed them to carry the torch when he eventually calls time on his career.
The 32-year-old is not ready to retire just yet though, with a bronze medal his new priority after defeat to Australia in the Commonwealth Games semi-finals in Birmingham.
Playing alongside Charlie McIntyre, 17, Abderrahim Taghrest, 18, and Lee Baines, 20, Manning fell to a 13-12 loss to the Australians contributing seven points.
“I want to give all the credit to my young teammates. This is a learning experience and a tough one to take for us all but the maturity that they've shown at this tournament and the preparation before,” said Manning, who is one of over 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.
“The future's bright in their hands. They might need me to be a bit of a big brother, arm around the shoulder but we'll be alright.
“I was here to get gold but any medal is special. To win it for England would be special. We'll come out tomorrow to get that bronze and take it home with us.”
The encounter went down to the wire, a buzzer beater from Lachlin Dalton swinging it Australia’s way, leaving England to take on Malaysia in the fight for bronze.
Manning added: “All I can say is massive respect to Australia. They deserved it on the day. They played very well.
“I missed some easy shots that I back myself to make but I'll take that on the chin.
“We've got to dust ourselves off, come back tomorrow and put on a show for the amazing crowd here and get that bronze medal.”
National Lottery players raise more than £30million a week for good causes including vital funding into sport – from grassroots to elite. Find out how your numbers make amazing happen at: and get involved by using the hashtag: #TNLAthletes.