Sunday, February 14, 1982


Bright sunshine across the landing, warm on my bare legs. Robert and Carol came for the match late-morning, and our loud talk and raucous laughter soon woke up Dad (he's on nights), and he got up just before we set off at two. Outside it was sunny but chilly. . . .

Hydebeck, in all yellow, were playing towards the Easterby End. Athletic went ahead after five minutes (a Newlands shot through a goalmouth tangle) and looked pretty good, Hydebeck offering little resistance. Minutes later a penalty, and up stepped Wild but blammed it straight at the goalie: it cannoned back off him and into play but there he was again, bursting through on his own, chased by two Hydebeck defenders: as he reached the area he was sent sprawling. Another penalty! We cheered as the referee pointed at the spot. No mistake this time: 2-0!

In the second half a frantic series of corners, misdirected headers, balls crossed in, scrappy scrambles and even a disallowed goal made the crowd restless, everyone rising, venting our frustration at the linesman. But the game had degenerated, bogged down in midfield. . . .

I walked home, through Woodhead Park, over Ashburn and back down through Egley. Ahead in the valley lay Knowlesbeck, grey and twilit, strings of orange lights scattering into the distance. Everything was silent, still and gloomy.

I listened to a good John Stevens Away session on Peter Clayton (“OKKO” and “KOOK”) and I’m really looking forward to getting my Jazz Festival ticket tomorrow. Still reading my Kerouac biography.

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