Saturday, April 10, 1982


Robert arrived for the match mid-morning, full of the usual enthusiasm, talking about Pigbag’s “Elephants Wish To Become Nimble,” The Cramps, his efforts to catalogue his 500-strong record collection . . . . He's read loads. We set off to Tabotworth in bright sunshine.

It all began in typical desperate fashion, Tabotworth playing dirty, giving away free kicks but Athletic unable to find a way through and not playing well at all. Frustrating. Despite this, in our first real attack, we got a penalty. 1-0. Then, minutes later, with the ball bouncing three or four times around the goalmouth amidst desperate lunging bodies with the goalie stranded, we got another, which billowed the netting.

In the second half more of the same, Tabotworth dominating for long periods and threatening dangerous breakaways, Athletic casual and haphazard until, unbelievably, we went 3 up! I felt sorry for the dejected Tabotworth fan standing next to us who seemed really unenthusiastic and glum and depressed by the whole thing: we really were not worth a three-goal lead but consolation for Tabotworth late on in the shape of an excellent, rifled volley from the edge of the box. We drove back to Saxton cursing the other top teams’ consistency.

In the evening Robert & I went into Dearnelow by bus for a drink. The first pub’ we stopped at was a foul trendy aggressive place, and the second similarly so, but the last was scruffy and almost empty and OK. I got quietly drowsy on 3½ ciders, playing space invaders, or UB40 and Madness on the jukebox. We left in a loud raucous good mood

Midnight hilarity over a Woody Allen film.

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