Archive for July 4, 2009

You Couldn’t Make It Up – Part 1

July 4, 2009 2 comments

Sometime ago the Ministry of Defence issued advice to unfit civilians about how, within fourteen weeks, they could get themselves fit enough to join the Army. That sparked a memory. You may already have gathered that I have had a varied career. Well about forty years ago I joined the Army because of my dismal employment prospects in the North East. Sadly I was invalided out before completing anything like the three years I signed up for. During basic training our platoon of ‘squaddies’ was visited during the night. We  had been warned that it would happen. Fully trained soldiers woke us up and subjected us to a pretty harrowing time I can tell you. I  see little wrong in what they did; afterall a soldier has to be tough and ready for almost anything, including interrogation. I think it wise not to go into detail but the following day I had about forty bruises  over my body. It is safe to say that after that experience I was trained and ready for a brutal interrogation by a foreign power. Actually the Army subsequently looked after me pretty well and I have no complaints.

How many young people in Ushaw Moor are aware that West Auckland Football Club won the World Cup twice back in the early 20th century? They beat Juventus on the way to achieving it. Google it and find out more. 

Back in 1968 I spent 75 minutes scoring 6 against Reyrolle Cricket Club. We were bottom of the league at the time and playing for a draw right from the start. My fellow opener played a hairy fairy shot outside the off stump and I went down  the pitch to ask him to calm down! Several years earlier he had been on University Challenge. In the end a spin bowler who must have been at least 65 years old dismissed me. I was convinced that I could hit one delivery right out the ground: stumped by at least three yards. The team then collapsed – losing about seven further wickets in forty minutes. I still occasionally think about that spinning gentleman; I suppose there was the feeling that we had seen off some very good opening bowling, on a fast wicket, and as a result I had lost concentration.


Categories: Memories