My only Football Match for Meadows Old Boys
I actually managed to get into the Meadows Old Boys Junior football team for one match, a cup match against Corpus Christie at Wilford.
Okay, it was during a mass epidemic of Asian flu and there were not enough ‘proper’ players to make up a team, but I got there, and took part in a record breaking match in more than one way too!
Firstly, it was my first ever time to get a match – come think of it, it was the only time I ever got a match!
The 13-0 score line was the biggest in the Thursday League up until that time!
It was their biggest ever win, and Meadows Old Boy’s biggest ever defeat!
My only Football Match for my School House team
A few weeks later, (the flu epidemic was still rampant) I got into the school house team for a match on our Green Street pitch behind the pavilion.
Determined not to let myself or the house down, I ran out proudly with the number 3 on my back, my boots up to my kneecaps, shirt sleeves hanging around my ankles, and the studs digging through the boots into my feet. (Yes you’ve guessed it, they didn’t supply any tackle like the club did).
Nothing was to get passed me, I was resolved! Anyway, after they scored their fifth goal, three of them from their nippy winger who I just could not touch – I came up with a plan!
I would get him sent off!
I waited until play stopped for a throw in, stood next to him, bearing in mind I was a good 12″ shorter than he was, noticing the ref was behind him, I clutched my face, and went on a self-imposed crumble to the ground.
It worked a treat, and the lad was sent off! I was a hero… me!
They didn’t score again, fair enough we didn’t either, but the lads in my team actually spoke to me as we left the pitch!
After showering, I walked around the back of the dressing room, and as I turned the corner to go past where the coke for the boiler was stored – suddenly nothing!
I woke up in the ambulance, hurt and muddled, as I realised my right eye was painful and closed, and blood was coming out of my nose and cut bottom lip.
It transpires that the nippy winger was not best pleased with my play acting, and was waiting near the coke pile with a shovel as I turned the corner, he whacked in the face with it!
Looking back, I cannot blame him, and I decided I’d never cheated again.
My Boxing Début: Ahead on points…
Another chance for me to prove my sporting prowess came in the boxing competition.
I’m not sure how they graded the competitors, but I (all 4ft 2in and 4 stone soaking wet of me) was matched against a 5′ 8′ 10 stone dude! The school Gym master in his corner, and the caretaker in mine?
The bell (whistle) sounded, and I prayed I wouldn’t burst into tears if he actually hit me.
To my own amazement, he rarely made contact with his roundhouse swings, and I found myself well ahead on points with my jabs and occasional upper cuts (Not that they hurt or bothered him at all).
At the end of the third round, Bob (The caretaker and teller of fibs) told me to go for his stomach as he thought that was a weak area – so I did, managing to despatch my best ever punch, and I recall thinking how much it hurt my hand – the next thing I recalled was waking up in the showers.
Apparently it was such a good blow, that it made the dude so angry, and I never saw his punch coming.
So, it was off to the Children’s Hospital for an x-ray on my hand, and broken nose.
I was plonked on a trolley to await my turn in the queue, as I was a little dizzy still. I’m not sure how long I waited, but I fell asleep I think, or must have moved, and fell off the trolley onto the marble floor.
So they x-rayed my ankle at the same time as the hand and nose, which was just bruised, but the ankle was badly sprained.
Now this naturally worried both mummy and daddy – mummy wanted to know if I could still go nub-ending for her, and daddy showed anxious concern that I could still do my double paper-rounds! Dad said “Surely you can still ride yer bike?”
I explained that dear mummy sold my bike two weeks earlier. (Dad had always been observant).
Determined that I should continue with my duties to the household, he went out to his cobbling bench, got some wood out of the coal-house, and supplied me with a knobbly home-made walking stick! (Which was more than the hospital did)
When I returned to the Children’s Hospital to have the wadding removed, (Mummy would have come with me but it was double money winnings at the bingo club that day) they decided I had to have another tetanus jab, and believe me, in those days the needle was more like a sword! It seemed to me that it was about a foot long, anyway after the nurse said “What a brave little boy, even if you have got holes in your socks and shoes, you didn’t even cry at all!”
Well, it’s hard to cry when you’re as frozen with fear as I was!
I put my sporting career on hold after that… come think of it, it’s still on hold. Hehehe!