Frank and Margaret Corti were in bed trying to sleep.
It was 6.00am and they’d finally managed to doze off.
As usual, the person living next door had kept them awake all night.
Frank and his wife were a quiet couple, they were both 72 years old.
Living next door was 23-year-old Gregory McCallum, who liked to drink, take drugs, play deafeningly loud music, and party all through the night.
Eventually, around 2.30am, Frank had to call the police to try to quiet him down.
Then at 6.30am McCallum started pounding on their front door.
He was still drunk and angry and he wanted revenge for them spoiling his fun.
They lay in bed and tried to ignore him, but they couldn’t sleep.
Eventually, they got up, got dressed and went downstairs.
It was 8.00am and standing in their passage was McCallum with a knife and a knuckleduster.
He’d broken in and he had a furious rage in his eyes.
He slashed at Frank Corti with the blade, a vicious swing.
McCallum was a young man in the prime of his life, Frank Corti was an old-age pensioner, even without the blade it wouldn’t have been a fair fight.
And it wasn’t.
Frank leaned back and avoided the knife, as he did he unleashed a right jab that caught McCallum square in the mouth.
As McCallum staggered back and dropped the knife, Frank followed through with a left
hook which flattened his nose.
As McCallum was on the way down, Frank put everything behind another right, which snapped his head back, closed his eye and knocked him out.
As Frank said: "He went down like a sack of spuds."
What McCallum hadn’t known was that Frank had been a champion boxer in his youth.
As Frank said himself, you don’t forget it, it just stays automatic.
Frank’s wife had already called the police.
They came prepared to take the victim of a violent attack to hospital, but it wasn’t the one they expected.
Frank said he had to ‘restrain’ McCallum, the police said: "He looked like a car-crash victim."
His mouth was bloody and split, his nose was broken, and one eye was swollen black and shut tight.
When the case came to court, McCallum was given four years for burglary.
I think he should have been found guilty of stupidity.
He thought because Frank Corti was old, he was useless.
Anyone who classes people according to a bigoted view is stupid.
Classing all old people the same is like classing all BAME people, or women, or disabled people, or LGBTQ people the same.
Classing old people as useless stems from the days when all work was physical.
Young men were much better at physical work.
Like football: your best years are in your 20s, by the time you’re 30 it’s pretty much over.
But that’s players, not managers.
There aren’t many football managers in their 20s because management isn’t about physical ability, it’s about thinking.
And that doesn’t get worse as you get older, quite the reverse.
Alex Ferguson is considered one of the greatest and most successful managers, ever.
He was 72 when he retired, and he’d just won the Premiership for the 13th time.
Not because he was young or old, but because he was good.
Let’s stop the fallacy that young people are better at everything and old people are past it.
Let’s just judge people as individuals, it’s smarter.
Dave Trott is the author of Creative Blindness and How to Cure It, Creative Mischief, Predatory Thinking and One Plus One Equals Three