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Mark I just want to say that resonated with me on a number of levels, thank you nt
Posted by Betablue
on December 9, 2019, 5:37 pm, in reply to "Here it is
Back in the 80s my dad’s job as an engineer manager was made redundant and he, at the grand old age of 54 was never to work again. There were conflicting variables at work, he still suffered with the bad back he sustained through military service and he probably had some undiagnosed PTSD going on and he was more or less forced to sign on the sick by the DHSS as it was then, a widespread cynical ploy employed by the Thatcher government to disguise the amount of unemployment (which was still around the 3 million mark, despite this blatant manipulation of the statistics).
Anyhow, one day in the early 90s I found this proud, hard, taciturn bloke, who could be unknowable and distant, in tears. Now, I didn’t really get on with my dad, I guess there was a bit of ‘young bull-old bull’ syndrome going on and in truth he could be a bit of a nasty b@$t@rd.
‘What’s up Da?’ I asked. He was sat on a bench he’d made in the back garden he’d lovingly turned into a patch of heaven on Earth.
“I’ve just found out Roy Vernon died last night” he said.
Royston ‘Roy’ Vernon was a demonic forward, just 10 stone but built of pure footballer and quarried from Welsh slate. He was a natural goalscorer and played along Alex Young in the title winning side of 63. A bad boy off the field an inspired goal machine on it.
I very rarely saw emotion from my dad apart from anger and so his tears threw me off balance and I didn’t know how to react.
‘Er, I remember him dad, but Catterick sold him to Stoke before I really started to notice football’
He looked at me and smiled through his tears - ‘Let me tell you about Roy Vernon son’ he said and what followed was the longest conversation I had with my dad since before I ‘let him, the family and myself down’ by failing the 11 Plus.
It was a magical hour and it was the first time I really understood that football is more than kicking a ball about to a system or a philosophy and it sometimes involves real emotions from real people and can quite often evoke passions that are normally repressed and hidden away (more is the pity)
I’d been feeling a bit jaded lately, what with VAR sucking the life out of live football, soul destroying apathy engulfing everything about the game and I’d found myself ‘going the match’ as an almost ritualistic pursuit and a chore to be endured - a string of $hit results can do that to you - but it was more than that.
I found myself in tears on Saturday as another ex Everton demonic bad boy forward brought pride back to Goodison and the love that he has for the club writ large for all to see. To those of you who understand (and there will be many who don’t) it was much, much more than the result.
That one was for you dad.
Since I was born I started to decay