A Boyhood Dream

Posted by WOOLTONIAN on March 5, 2004, 11:38:43 AM

As a little "Rag Arse" running around Garston, I used to dream about becoming a great footballer. My role models at the time were:

Ian St. John, a powerful header of the ball.
Roger Hunt, a prolific goalscorer.
Ron Yeats, the Collossus.
Tommy Smith, the Anfield Iron.
Peter Thompson, Our first "twisty-turny" who could peel an orange with his left boot.

If I could colate all their skills together, what a great footballer I would have been. Sadly my dream of playing for Liverpool did not materialise, perhaps 8 was a bit young.

On moving to Woolton, my heroes changed...

Tommy Smith, was still kicking everything in sight.
Emlyn Hughes, covered nearly every inch of turf.
John Toshack, became the role model for heading.
Kevin Keegan, was the heart of the team.
Terry McDermott was the "twisty-turny"

But for all my dreams of playing for my beloved club, the call up never came. I had to settle with schoolboy football at Preston North End. Which didn't last long.

So the best I achieved at 16 was playing for Hillfoot Hey (Saturday morning), Woolton Boys Club (Saturday afternoon) and Garston Villa (Sunday morning).

The following years I spent more time watching, than I did playing. Watching Liverpool was like a drug. Boyhood dreams of scoring at Anfield had passed. Adolescent dreams took a different turn. No longer was I sending in a diving header, another sort of diving was more the order of my dreams.

And so the years passed.

I met and married Lynn Case from Speke. My only game in those early years of marriage was playing for BICC. We were a reasonable side, but the talent scouts did not tend to follow what was basically a pub side. Four pints before a match and 4 after.

Then came our two kids, Billy and Desperate. My only dreams at this stage, were that my son could succeed playing football, where I failed. But he too found "hide the sausage" much more fun than running around a field kicking a ball.

My two children are now adults and the old fellah's dreams of greatness on the footbal stage, had all but disappeared. At 46 and being a Grampa, I suppose getting a call up is about as likely as me winning the Lotto.

and then I got a letter ....

"You have been selected to take part in a penalty competition on 4th April. To be held at Anfield at half time during the Blackburn home game"

Sorry, I must have misread that .....

"You have been selected to take part in a penalty competition on 4th April. To be held at Anfield at half time during the Blackburn home game"

No it couldn't be. Obviously it was one of my mates taking the piss.

I read it for a third time.

"You have been selected to take part in a penalty competition on 4th April. To be held at Anfield at half time during the Blackburn home game. You will be supplied with a full kit, which you can keep. Just bring yer own boots. You will be supplied with a match ticket for the main stand"

Now some who know me well, would suggest sitting in the main stand was my worst nightmare. But worse, my last boots have been somewhere on a Liverpool Council dump for 20 years. Do I go looking for them or do I go out and buy the latest version of "Puma Pele"?

Do I buy "White"?

Last night my boyhood dreams turned into a nightmare of monolithic proportions.

Would I trip over me own feet on the run up.
Worse, would I trip up when I step on the pitch.
Would I hit someone in the crowd.
Would I make a total idiot out of myself in front of the wife and kids.

and then it dawned on me ...

No, I was likely to make a total idiot of myself in front of 45,309 Liverpudlians. Or worse, the ruddy game would be televised on Sky, ergo me parading my idiocy in front of millions.

Needless to say, I didn't sleep a wink last night. But as the sun rose this morning and the larks were larkin' around I dosed off. Back came all the boyhood dreams. I was a young lad again stood in front of the KOP ready to take my brace of pens. If I put them away like my dreams foretold, I can honestly say, I will go to my grave a very happy man.

The moral of the story?

Never give up hope, never give up on your dreams.

The event is the RAOTL Ray Kennedy Penalty Shoot out in association with Parkinson's Disease Society. If there is anyone here who would like to sponsor me, please contact me by IM or leave details below.

Fully fortified with the "Spirit of Liddell" will I put the two away, will it be just the one, or will I make a total ass of meself?

You decide.

© Wooltonian 2004

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