Anyone for footie?

Turton Tigers in action.

Turton Tigers in action.

We were over in Bolton for the night – Daughter Number One played on of the lead roles in ‘The Nerd’, with the Marco Players. It’s a play which deserves to be far more widely known: it’s clever, funny and a grand night out.

But being over in Bolton on Friday night means being over in Bolton for Saturday morning.  And Saturday morning, for twin grandsons nine years old Alex and Ben, means only one thing.  It’s match day for their footie team.  They play for Turton Tigers.  Parents, grandparents and associated hangers-on play at being supporters.

The thing about being a supporter is that it involves being cold.  We knew that only too well when Daughter Number Two played away matches for a hockey team in Harrogate.  Nowhere is colder and windier than a hockey pitch made from a reclaimed slag heap somewhere outside South Elmsall.  Except perhaps a community football pitch somewhere in Bolton.  It might be May at the moment, the tail end of the season, but wrap up warm.  Find your woolly socks.  Don’t forget your hat.

Football is a closed book to me.  I can’t tell which shots are amazingly good, and which ones might be astonishingly bad.  I can’t understand why it seem to be OK when the ball goes off the pitch.  It was never allowed in netball I seem to recall. I can’t tell when a ball has even half a chance of getting between the goalposts.  I can’t join in those conversations which Malcolm is able to initiate on the lines of how very much the team has improved and matured since last we saw them play a few months ago. I try hard not to clock-watch.

It's half time.  That's why nobody's looking at the pitch.

It’s half time. That’s why nobody’s looking at the pitch.

It’s lovely to see the boys giving it their all, to see their enjoyment, determination and sheer physical fluency.  I just wish I knew what was going on

But I’ve realised we may have a get-out clause.  Last Saturday was their first defeat in an unbroken nine week run of success.  The time before when we watched them play they lost as well.  And the time before that.  I think the boys are beginning to observe a pattern.  Next time we visit, we may be forbidden from watching. Oh dear.

It’s OK, Alex and Ben.  I don’t mean I don’t enjoy watching you two.  But you hit the nail on the head a few weeks ago Ben. You’d been talking animatedly and without pausing for breath for several minutes about (of course) football. Suddenly you stopped and regarded me pityingly. ‘Granny’, he said, ‘You haven’t understood a word I’ve been saying, have you?’.  And I’d been trying so hard…..

3 thoughts on “Anyone for footie?

  1. You are so fortunate to relatively close – our families are so far away it made coming for a weekend difficult – and now both of our dads are gone. My step mom came for a visit years ago and we went to one of my daughter’s softball games and it was rained out in a gully-washer… She hasn’t been back. Instead we send video clips and photos. But it’s not the same as being there – even when the team ends up on the short side of the score card. Sounds like you had a fun weekend – here is to getting warmer and enjoying late spring.


  2. This is what Americans call soccer? I don’t understand it at all. But you’re a good grandmother to try and, if necessary, to stay away so as not to jinx the team!


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