Saturday 1 March 1986

Well, I’m at it again.  When a diary entry begins with, ‘Today was quite boring really…’ you do have to wonder.  We played football, so it couldn’t have been that bad.  Maybe it was the calibre of the other participants, this particular Jairzinho always did have an unrealistic idea of his own abilities.

In grown up football, it was good to note that Man Utd lost but that ‘B******s Everton won.’  Things were hotting up now in the two horse race for the title between Stanley Park’s finest.  Liverpool were I noted, playing Spurs tomorrow.

Sunday 2 March 1986

Despite what turns out to be quite a momentous result from White Hart Lane, Spurs 1-2 Liverpool merits only the most cursory mention in my diary.  It was one of those old time Liverpool displays.  Feeble in the first half and deservedly one down, they powered back in the second half with goals from Jan Molby and Ian Rush.  The pitch was bone hard due to the frost, and most of the players wore flat soled boots.  The game turned out to be Steve Perryman’s final appearance for Spurs, the last of his club record 854 first team appearances.

I collected just over a hundred pounds on my paper round, so I was happy enough about that.  The weather was sunny – whoo hoo, we must have been emerging fro the coldest winter for a while – it felt like it anyway.  Again, we played football and I did some French homework.  Not a single mention of the word boring.  Now there’s a turn up.

Monday 3 March 1986

Not a lot happened today.  Though I did receive back my Odour of Chrysanthemums essay.  Not my best mark, but a satisfying 28 out of 36 nonetheless.  I thenk you!

We played football in the field – no record of the score, but who cares really, we played football.  It was definitely feeling warmer, as I noted.  The wind had gone inthe morning, but did start to freshen up in the evening.

Tuesday 4 March 1986

Ah, a momentous occasion.  The first edition of Today newspaper.  The first new newspaper in the UK for quite a while, and also the first newspaper to go bust in quite a while.  Today ran from 4 March 1986 until 17 November 1995, eventually expiring in the hands of News International.  It was printed in colour – quite an innovation, but its technology was extremely crude – you must remember the slide on the images.

In the evening at Wembley Arena, Frank Bruno beat Gerrie Coetzee in a little over a minute.  He was warming up for his tilt at the World Championship against Tim Witherspoon in July.  Remember, these were the days before Sky TV so I don’t recall this bout (v Coetzee) being shown live, it was probably shown the following night on Sportsnight on BBC with Des Lynam as host.  Those were the days, eh?

Shock horror!  School was boring and the weather was warmer and wetter.  Nothing seemed to change did it?

Wednesday 5 March 1986

Another (surely not) boring day.  A mini crisis in French – we had a reader to do.  Must have been exam related, can’t think what it was exactly mind.  We probably had to read a passage in French and answer questions on it, again, in French.  I think that it was getting to be a little bit too much like hard work for this individual.  I also looked up my exam numbers too.  These were how we were to be identified when the papers were sent away to be marked.  I had exams with four different exams boards, JMB, AEB for Maths, Physics, French German and Geography and both the Cambridge and West Midlands Exam Boards for English Lang. and Lit. and Chemistry which were designated as 16+ exams – you could fail the ‘O’ Level and still get a CSE.

I noted that we had a game pencilled in for Saturday – ‘ace’.  It’s funny, but looking back my memories of playing football, in the park or on the school pitches, always seem to include the rule that the better games were those when we just turned up.  Some driving spirit of school boys communicated itself and we were just there.  Ready to play, get covered in mud and generally have a good time.

In proper football, Liverpool and QPR played the second leg of the Milk Cup Semi Final at Anfield.  After QPR’s victory in the first leg, most of the football world expected Liverpool to batter them in this game to go through to the final.  Well, and this is one reason why it’s called the beautiful game, things didn’t quite turn out that way.  A 2-2 draw saw QPR win the tie 3-2 on aggregate and Liverpool were out.

Thursday 6 March 1986

Sacre bleu!  No BlackAdder again – must’ve been bl***y Crimewatch on again.  In an exciting development, we made an electric motor in Physics and what’s more it worked.  And I did some Maths, German and Chemistry homework.

Friday 7 March 1986

Not much happened today, except we watched Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.  This was the second series of the smash hit comedy (on ITV!).  By now the boys had decamped from Germany and were installed at Thornley Manor working for Bill Paterson’s character, gangster Ally Fraser.  There was no reduction in quality in this series – its strong writing and equally strong performances made it so.

Prior to coming home from school, we were laden with ‘a lot’ of Chesmistry homework, and apparently our Maths teacher threw a bit of a wobbler.  I have no recollection for what reason.

Saturday 8 March 1986

As previously arranged we played football.  As usual, with a prearranged game, not many turned up!  But whatever, my team won, I scored seven, everything’s rosy.  In other football, it was the sixth round of the FA Cup.  Liverpool were due to play, but since the fifth round replay between Watford and Bury had been postponed due to bad weather, they played today, with Watford wining.  At the same time, three days too late, Liverpool beat QPR 4-1 in a rearranged league game.

Sunday 9 March 1986

Oh ho ho what joy.  Yep, you guessed it, the 1980’s are in full swing, so Man Utd are s**t and boy did they prove it today as Geoff Pike’s header from the edge of the box sets up West Ham for a famous 2-0 victory in their fifth round replay at Old Trafford.  Ray Stewart scored a penalty (although ‘scored’ doesn’t do justice to what he did to a ball in taking a penalty) to make it 2-0 and apparently Utd were later denied a stick on penalty of their own.  That’s what you get for having a clown like Fat Ron as manager.

This paper boy collected the princely sum of £100.25 on his round and managed to do some French and Geography homework.

Monday 10 March 1986

Oh dear.  Another one of those nondescript days that seemed to punctuate my childhood.  ‘Boring.  Got a lot of French homework.’  YOU ARE SIXTEEN, EVERYDAY SHOULD BE A JOY, FIFTY YEARS AGO, YOU’D HAVE BEEN DOWN A PIT, WORKING A TWELVE HOUR DAY OR MORE.  Pfft!

I then add insult to injury by describing my mate as ‘childish’.  Him childish, take a good look nearer to home sonny Jim.  (Apparently, he nicked my bag, so I beat him up.)  Two things spring to mind:

a) Yes he probably did nick my bag, and;

b) Quite what I meant by ‘beat him up’ is unclear and more than likely a gross exaggeration of what actually happened.

And the final, piece de resistance… wait for it… ‘Nothing much on the television.’  BL***Y UNGRATEFUL PEASANT.