A winter’s day, a darkening sky. Warned
by the ref midway through the first half
for over-enthusiastic touchline coaching:
I don’t know what you’re on, but I want some of it.
Those games meant more to us dads than the boys.
We poured our hearts and souls into them.
My lad didn’t score that day, but he put quite
a few away. That feeling when your boy heads
a last-minute winner. You’re walking on air.
Back to this game. We beat our fierce rivals,
but that wasn’t the half of it. An ambulance
drove on to the pitch in the second to take
our striker to hospital. No bones broken,
thank goodness. Perfectly good goal
of ours got flagged offside by one of theirs.
Thought no more about it, until the final whistle.
As the sun went down he and our centre back’s
dad were in a ball on the centre circle,
fists flying. Ok, our lads were embarrassed.
But what a match! The pride and the passion.
That’s what I call a proper local derby.