Join Free! | Login 

   Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
Where Authors and Readers come together!

Signed Bookstore | Authors | eBooks | Books | Stories | Articles | Poetry | Blogs | News | Events | Reviews | Videos | Success | Gold Members | Testimonials

Featured Authors: Tony Lambert, iLem Yedowicz, iEdward Patterson, iDavid Page, iRichard Tscherne, iMargaret Hardisty, iMichael Csizmadia, i
  Home > Children > Stories
Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

Steve Coltman

  + Follow Me   

· 23 titles
· 32 Reviews
· Share with Friends!
· Save to My Library
Member Since: Jun, 2006

   My Blog
   Contact Author
   Read Reviews

· Gorgeous A Got Married

· What Would My Dad Say?

· When The Weather

· The Disgruntled Beard

· Room On Top- If Only

· Great Minds Think

· Life Is......

· The Artist

· River That Aches

· Stroll on Geordie

         More poetry...

Steve Coltman, click here to update your web pages on AuthorsDen.

Cup Final and Apples
By Steve Coltman
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Last edited: Tuesday, March 30, 2010
This short story was "not rated" by the Author.
Share    Print   Save   Become a Fan
Children play in a Cup final, lose heavily and find more than solace in a handful of Golden Delicious. And a meander through a few years of schoolday football memories.

A long time ago when football was played by kids outside and without a controller in their hand I had the great joy of playing for my school team at the most exciting time for them. In 1970 Barnes Road County Junior and Infants School was the oldest school in South Shields due to the recent demolition of Gilbert Street School as part of the Rekendyke redevelopment. I am led to believe it was built round 1850, which is how my mother claims to have gone there, and was therefore about 120 years old. 120 Years – along time to wait for a bit of footballing glory, but good things come to those who wait. I remember waiting in 1965 and 1966, a mere slip of a lad following “wor kid” (we all talked like Jackie Charlton in those days). Oh yes I remember, how I, as a 6 year-old used to go watch my older brother play for “The Barnes” on what was always a dark and cold Saturday morning. We had to get up early to meet at the school gates with he rest of the team and make our way to Whiteleas Junior School, a good walk and a bus-ride away - and that was just for the home games as Barnes was not blessed with new fangled facilities such as grass. I was barred from entering the changing rooms, obviously not to be frequented by a mere supporter. Instead I had to wait outside with freezing cold feet under my slip-ons and plain grey, thin socks. The wait was not to end in glory, as the bigger schools always seemed just a bit too good. So by the time I arrived at the “big school”, the junior school, I was aware of the footballing legend that was Mr (Alan) Wightman – slick (brylcream) backed hair, moustache, tweed sports jacket and an ability to hold the attention of all in front of him, and he held an FA coaching badge, a legend? He was a bloody god! My first minutes at junior school in September 1967 will be forever etched in my simple brain. I was taken out of Class 1A (Mrs. Bell - mild mannered, tweed checked skirt suit and not much taller than five foot one) by the school secretary, led upstairs, (since when did first year’s get to go upstairs) and into Class 4A (God’s classroom). “Look who has started today Mr Wightman, Tom Coltman’s brother”, for then I was Tom’s brother – later at Barnes he became MY brother. So into the footballing world of Barnes I was thrust. Now Barnes had 2 football teams, A and B. The A team consisted of 3rd and 4th year boys with the B team consisting of 3rd and some 2nd year boys. The A team had always been in Division 2 out of 4 and the B team was in Division 4. Let’s fast forward to September 1970, for I am sure most are asleep by now (even I am, and I love the tale!!). Suffice to say that my B team days in season 1968 – 69 were pretty indifferent, though I remember sneaking out of the house on one particular Saturday morning with shorts and socks under my trousers having just told my mam that I am only watching No, I wouldn’t dream of playing 1 day after having a plaster cast removed from my arm – I was only goalkeeper after all. I borrowed some boots, played centre half instead and we lost to Ocean Road. So 1970, and the A Team!. Not a great start, a draw at Monkton and a 5 – 0 defeat against Cleadon Park. So God’s brain went into overdrive and we were summarily sat down in the hall after school one day and taught the intricacies of the 3-3-4 formation. Now all of us being obviously of brilliant minds footballing wise took to these revolutionary tactics and embarked upon a long winning run, culminating in a 2 – 1 League Play-Off (who said they were a new money-making scheme by the Football Association) victory over Simonside. Now Cup Final and Apples – oh how I digress, go off at a tangent and generally ramble. Anyone still here with me at this point? Apart from a fantastic run of results in the league, which saw the mighty Barnes promoted for the very first time in their history, and saw two of their players represent the town team (another first for the school, but probably only as the Under 11 side was a new venture for town teams at that time. I say this because I am assured that young Thompson would have made it in those cold dark days of 1965), it also included a remarkable run in the Weaver to Wearer Cup (obviously sponsored by some giants in the local textile industry – Premier League eat your heart out!). The cup run saw victories against West Boldon (took 2 replays and a John Brampton hat-trick), Harton, and Biddick Hall, all Division 1 teams – Barnes were obviously the forerunners for Sunderland in 1973 and made it to the Cup Final, (played at Cleadon Recreation Ground – Pitch Number 4). It would seem so as we took the lead against Horsley Hill, but settle down as “Horsa” fought back and went on to record a narrow 7 – 1 victory, and now the apples! Having lost so comprehensively I was in no mood to show my face for a while. I took my boots off and threw them across Pitch 3, sheepishly picking them up again as I realised the supplying sponsors (mam and dad) would not be best pleased. As I picked them up three trusty mates met me, and we hatched a plan to disappear from the face of the earth, well a stroll over Cleadon Hills. So after I got changed we spent the next few hours in and around the old mill way above the disappointment of a cup final hammering. On the way back we pooled our bus fares together and, being the healthy sort, bought what seemed like a few stone (kilos in new money) of apples, made up of two varieties – one a gut scruncher and the other a gut rumbler, or so we found out a while later. Why didn’t we just buy penny chews and black jacks? Without any bus fare our journey home was now an obligatory sixty-minute walk, but hey, we did have a few pounds of apples each to keep us sustained and the spirits high. As the apples were consumed and the juices mixed within the digestive system (I was never good enough at biology to describe the process correctly) we, one by one, started to slow down, chat less and moan more. We all did make it home, two just behind Mortimer Road, one just off Dean Road and me back to Foss Way. I can’t remember the solution to the after effects of the apples, although the frightening thought now is that our typical Saturday tea was banana sandwiches – nice. So I suppose the moral is (is there one?) when your team finally comes to the end of years without silverware and achieves a bit of magic or if your team fails miserably in a one-off game, don’t look for solace in seven pounds of Royal Gala or Golden Delicious (I wonder if they even had Royal Gala in 1970, to me there was just red or green). An apple a day might keep the doctor away but an apple every five minutes doesn’t guarantee you’ll never see one.
As an added bit of information, I have been informed by a very reliable source (my best man at my forthcoming wedding - only 33 more days - that my brother was at the said cup final, so goodness knows where he scarpered off to after the match - probably to Finns the butchers on Stanhope Road for one of the best mince pies in the world, circular with a domed top - pie heaven!

© Steve Coltman    


Reader Reviews for "Cup Final and Apples"

Want to review or comment on this short story?
Click here to login!

Need a FREE Membership?
Click here to Join!

Reviewed by alan wightman (Reader)
Hi! Steve,
Thanks for bringing back those "golden" memories of a great bunch of lads and team! We had built up a bit of "needle" against West Boldon after the two replays as we had not been expected to progress. I agree that the third game at West Boldon be behind "closed doors" during school hours to try and prevent any more bad feeling! I was on the touch-line with my little white hanky when the entire West Boldon school marched out of the school and took up position on the opossite side of the pitch. I had the West Boldon parents on my side of the pitch! They all thought we were going to be lambs to the slaughter! How I remember John´s hat-trick! West Boldon was silenced! As soon as the final whistle blew it was home lads for our own safety! Hope you are all still well and thanks for those days.
Alan Wightman

Popular Children Stories
1. Singing Solo
2. Reduced price on my eBooks
3. The Magical Rocking Horse
4. Finding Ricky's Voice
5. Big News
6. Kandu's Great Discovery
7. The Happiness Bubble
8. Bobby Gets A Boo Boo!
9. An Update: Courage Watkins, October 2013.
10. The Raging River

Authors alphabetically: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us

Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen
© AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.