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We’d park by the West Park, in my Uncles’
Hillman Minx – it smelt of leather and stale
Smoke. Briskly walking, the three of us up
Newhampton Road West; a shilling for the
‘Molinews’ from the old man on the corner.
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Turn left; movement everywhere in scarves and
Heavy overcoats. Ticket touts and newspaper
Sellers. Hot dog stands, an excitement in the
Misty lunchtime air. Clustered round the players’
Entrance – programme and pencil at the ready.
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A scribble on the cover, still not legible all
These years later. Past the new club shop,
Wolves’ Lair they call it. Posters, pennants,
Photos…Aladdin’s cave when you’re eleven.
That colour shot of The Doog a golden prize.
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Into the long turnstile queue. A push and then
You’re inside; up the steep steps onto a dark,
Dirty concourse. A glimpse of green; shouts
From the back. But we’re down at the front
And it’s only 1.30; against the rail we wait…
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It fills up, people surrounding us as kick off
Approaches – boys in parkas, working men
In caps. Yobs get pulled out from the rear by
Harassed coppers. Music over the PA, teams
Announced (cheers and boos). Ten to three.
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Out they come – our lads peel off away to the
North Bank goal; the weak sun edges through.
You’re filled with a nervous anticipation as the
Warm-up ends; referee’s whistle calls captains
Together. It’s that magical moment once again.