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Hitching To A Game At Christmas

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 whatever happened to hitching?
and can you remember when kids
would hitch home for Christmas
to waiting parents on frosty December mornings?

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 a different world then
hap-less and map-less
sussing out the best lay-byes to hitch from
cardboard felt pen signs
talking rubbish making conversation
listening to the hits on crackly radios
with smoking lorry drivers and flash geezers in sports cars
often going way out of their way
and – if you were lucky maybe a free coffee
but friendly and always always the spirit of freedom
and then best of all – destination achieved
the beauty of money saved
but more importantly
getting somewhere for nothing

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 so it was that crazy Christmas
late sixties in London and sharing a flat for £10 a week
with a rubbish gas meter
guzzling shillings like some hungry pig
we hit on a cunning but glorious plan
there in some café just off the Fulham Road
when John chirped up
“Fancy hitching to the Liverpool game – Boxing Day..
..we could check out The Cavern?”
“Done !” I cried unknowingly

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Boxing Day dawned
cold yellow sky and deep deep frost
“what if it gets called off?” ..”It won’t” laughed John
and with no Radio 5 updates sat nav or common sense
we chanced it

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 no-one mad enough to stop for us
believed we were going to hitch up and back in a day
we certainly hadn’t thought it through
but somehow we would and we did
and the journey?
the lifts a blur – except for one
an old VW bus driven by The Chants
one of the ‘nearly’ pop groups of the time
heading back up from a gig
but one thing’s clear – that feeling of achievement
on seeing Anfield for the first time
and us – caught in the banter
cold hands and blue scarves lost in in a sea of red
and clearly the height of much derision

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 “hope we don’t get thrashed” I offered
“we won’t…come on you Blues!”
and then the big clock on two forty five
we found ourselves a welcome turnstile
and there we were – standing on The fabled Kop!
the only trouble was
so were thousands of red and white scarved fans
and us the only forlorn Blues fans

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 looking across to the opposite end
a flurry of blue balloons underlined our error
but bon-homie gladly reigned
and with the festive spirit and spirits being imbued
we had a great old time

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 and me – I loved the way
Liverpool fans gave our hero Peter Bonetti a great ovation
something they still do for opposing goalies
it was probably the only time I was glad we lost
two nil for the record
as Yeats, St John and all danced rings around us

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 later The Cavern shut for the holidays
with snow falling lightly and my gloves wet through
we headed off on foot to the motorway cold but happy
and somehow by the miracle of goodwill
and much cold thumbing
we found ourselves some five hours later
and close on ten back in the Earls Court Road
drinking coffee in Le Sous Sol and listening to Otis Redding
and vowing to do it all again one day
maybe
but no….sadly we never did

Me and my old flat mate John Hadden. Where are you mate?
This poem has already been touched upon in The Wrong End Of Life.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/hitching-to-a-game-at-christmas/