Monday, 3 December 2012

The Start of a Beautiful Career in the Beautiful Game

Proudly holding aloft the Subbuteo Jules Rimet Trophy, won by me for Pompey in 1971.
A second successive postponement for a game I was intending to go (the only match off at levels 1-10 in the whole county this weekend) means no match report again this week.

Instead, it's a picture of me in my brand new Pompey kit, circa 1971! Proudly posing in our West Leigh (definitely not Leigh Park - we were too posh for that!) garden, Subbuteo Jules Rimet Trophy in my right hand, right foot resting on what I remember being a remarkably heavy orange-brown football, which was presumably meant for snowy pitches - I could never kick it more than a few feet, and it was very painful indeed attempting to trap it on my six-year-old thigh, so many rashes...Surely I was destined for big things in the game?

Well, no, my beautiful career lasted until the age of eleven, when my eyesight went and I had to wear thick, black-rimmed National Health specs - no good for heading the ball, you see. Oh, and my lack of fitness, complete absence of tactical nous, reluctance to respond positively to half-time teacup throwing...these all counted against me. Otherwise, I could have been Pompey's key performer under Alan Ball in the late 1980s. My eye for a killer pass and deadly instinct in front of goal could have made all the difference in 1987 (in my dreams)...

My mum had to sew that badge on herself, by the way. The shorts were the first to go, succumbing to a rip. I still have the socks (sorry, stockings) - last used playing five-a-side in my twenties, pulled halfway up my shins. Terribly faded now...

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