By Darren Staples

You off again?” people say. “Ukraine? The Euros? You’ve got the best job in the world haven’t you?”

So here I am, the man with ‘the best job in the world’, about to have a needle stuck in my backside by one half of the Mario brothers.

It wasn’t meant to be like this.

As a day, it started like many others; up at 5am to catch my fourth of eleven flights during this tournament, bleary-eyed and grey I helped fellow photographers Eddie Keogh, Alexander Demianchuk and technician Magnus Storm load the taxi to the roof with our equipment.

But by the time I reached Kiev airport, something was wrong. I was doubled up in pain: a kidney infection, brought on by the 30 degree Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) heat and not drinking enough water I guess.
I never drink enough water. Rule #1 in this job is that toilets are often scarce. The worry of finding a convenient bush puts you off drinking.

My Ukrainian counterpart Alexander found the airport doctor, a kindly man with overalls, who looked like a plumber. He probably was. I was in no position to argue and ask for his medical school certificates. I pointed to some pain killers I had bought to numb the pain. “Those good,” he said in his broken English. “This better,” he said, needle poised.