Sunday, 18 August 2013


According to this is the right way.
Football has played a strange part in my life, it is important to realise that it is one of the sports I am so amazingly bad it's like a comedy performance. I don't know where I was when everyone else learnt to kick a ball but I got too the toe poke and not beyond, consequently on occasions the ball I kick goes very fast but very rarely in the right direction. I can remember being told that toe pokes were a bad idea but I can't remember ever being given an alternative other than using the side of my foot, which gave me slightly more control but no power.
Before the age of 12 I played badly for MCA under 12 after 12 I gave up unless forced at school it just wasn't worth the constant abuse.
For some reason in my late 20s I decided to try again, I was just as bad but now I had one improved technique, I could stand in the right place on the pitch, the effect of this was to make me even more frustrated that people didn't pass to me when I was in the perfect position because they knew I would screw up and when they did pass to me I screwed up. I did manage to do some trendy stuff like break a metatarsal before it became fashionable.
There was one certain thing in my youth, that the football season started after I had gone back to school and Liverpool would win something important. Unfortunately nowadays neither is true. The premiership has started this year on the 18th of August, to make matters worse the last game was after the FA cup, the gap between seasons has got smaller and smaller.
A Casey by MDBR
Football is a game of the winter, that I learnt on a soaking field in the rain, with a casey who's patented leather had worn so much, that if it had rained in the last 2 years the ball weight about 2 cwt. They had a lace on one side, which was often badly tied and on a cold winter's day would be probably be frozen. If you were mad enough to head the ball and hit the lace, you could end up with stitches in your head, if you didn't throw your head at the ball you'd break your neck and if you did you'd get a concussion. Standing in the wall for a direct free kick was as like charging the cannons in the Crimean war.
Every game would start with 22 lads, most of which were shivering and had legs so white that coupled with the blue veins looked like golems made of Blue Stilton. It was not an impressive sight.
I got a good view from my position as fullback but due to a natural aversion to running unless it was either to catch dinner or avoid being dinner, I was a terrible fullback, I was not in any sense an enthusiastic player. Also, as the number of predatory animals in the Maghull bad lands is limited, I was grossly unfit. By the standards of the late 60s I was borderline overweight by the standards of today I was borderline anorexic.
Some of my legendary literalness came into play when at one match the manager suggested I put my track suit bottoms on, which I did and then went back on the pitch, as I hadn't worked out I was being taken off.
The 60s boot was not an elegant thing, they were not branded and came with moulded soles, only the most dedicated players had a screw in studs. Having this season kit for your league team, to practice in, was not essential, this decade's would do, in fact just about any shirt, of the right colour, would do. They had no names and no numbers on the back. It was very different from the fashion parade of today.
The game itself was also different with a far more physical contact at all levels of the game and often between fans. The railways offered football specials to segregate fans from the general public. Trains would run from the nearest station of one team, right to the nearest station of the other.
Today's game at all levels is very different. The only bit I'm really happy with is the change in the ball itself. Everything else was a move in the wrong direction. The boots are no more than ballet shoes with studs, and the kits fashion statements for the gullible. Used to generate cash for a company that claims to be a club. It used to be the peoples game but is now the owners and players way of getting money, and as the people who used to go don't have enough money they have moved up to tap a richer segment of the market for match tickets, while the rest watch on TV. The only football on TV in the 70s was the odd international or European game plus highlights on match of the day. Late Saturday afternoon in Liverpool city centre witnessed groups of people huddled outside TV Rental Shops trying to catch the results on Final Score. It was always cold and raining and it was always winter, during the football season, only the FA Cup final, the last game of the real football seasons was allowed to be played under anything other than an overcast sky.

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