Thursay 1 May 1986

A lovely day today – really sunny all day.  Not perhaps the best of days for me, I wore contacts and due to being a teenager, their cleaning and general all round care left something to be desired.  So sunny days caused me to squint and generally pull some spectacular gurns.

I received a letter from VIth form telling me that I had a place in Septemer and setting out their entrance requrements.  Just the five ‘O’ Levels – well within my capabilities.  It was a mate’s birthday tomorrow and although I report that Xxxx and Yyyy had ‘something ready’ I don’t recall that anything did happen.

Friday 2 May 1986

One week to go, I noted.  Looking back from now as I write this, it’s hard to understand just how momentous it actually was, this leaving school lark.  At the time, getting up and trundling off to school was an activity that I had done for around 11 years out of my 16.  That’s a big chunk I think that you’ll agree.

Anyway, that’s enough of that kind of thing.  Today we did some German (talking not writing) work today.  I reckoned it was harder than French – ‘can see a better French mark than German’ – didn’t happen, I got a B for German and a C for French.  ‘Chemistry was as usual very boring – Teacher is c**p.’

In the evening, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet continued to be ‘brilliant’.  That’s ‘b****y marvelous’, ‘just magic’ and ‘grate’ over the past few weeks.  Wow – I could be Clement and La Frenais’ in house reviewer…

Saturday 3 May 1986

This was a very big day for sport.  In the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final from Wembley, Castleford defeated Hull KR by 15 points to 14 in a closely contested match.  Across London in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish scored the only goal of the game as Liverpool won their 16th First Division title.  In his first season as player-manager, Dalglish himself had set his team up for the classic ‘Double’ of League and FA Cup in the same season.  The FA Cup Final was a week away.

In Division 2, Shrewsbury Town beat Middlesbro 2-1 –  a result that saw Boro go down to Division 3 and Shrewbury stay up.  They managed to  maintain their place in the Second Division until 1988-89 when they completed a west Midlands relegation triumvirate with Birmingham and Walsall.  Try saying that without your teeth in…

Sunday 4 May 1986

Now don’t let this shock you, but way back in the 1980’s, I was a mad Snooker fan.  Huge.  It was just the best thing to spend an entire afternoon watching the chaps knocking their balls around their green baize covered slabs of slate.  If you could then persuade your mum to let you have your tea in front of the telly, even better.  And then of course you had the evening session to watch.  Great stuff!  But then Stephen Hendry came along and really put me off…

But, back to the matter in hand.  Today saw the start of the Embassy World Championship Final.  No, it wasn’t played in an Embassy, they were the sponsors.  The Embassy World Snooker Championships were played at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.  After today’s frames, Joe Johnson and Steve “Interesting” Davis were locked together at 8-8.  This was quite an effort from the unknown Johnson, as Steve Davis was the big thing in snooker at the time.  Tomorrow being the first May Bank Holiday, the final would be played out to a finish.

Amidst all the excitement re Football League Championships and Rugby League Challenge Cup Finals, not to mention the snooker, I recorded that I ‘done no h/wk this weekend.’

Monday 5 May 1986

Just a quick note for today, Bank Holiday Monday.  Joe Johnson won the World Snooker Championship by 18 frames to 12.  His prize – £70,000, but much more than that, he was now snooker immortal. As I noted, ‘he buried Davis, absolutely thrashed him.’

Oh, yes, just the 4 days left at school now…

Tuesday 6 May 1986

Back to school today, for what it’s worth, after the extended weekend.  Our usual, c****y Chemistry teacher wasn’t there today so consequently the lesson ‘was even more of a dos.’  One friend broke another friend’s calculator, and considering that at one stage we’d been having calculator wars – who can get the machine with the most scientific functions, or built in constants, e.g. Planck’s Constant (6.626068 × 10-34 m2 kg / s) used to calculate the sizes of quanta in quantum mechanics – that was quite a faux pas.  The fact that such calculators were not terribly useful for your average ‘O’ Level Physics student, never mind, Chemistry student, was lost on us boys (as always!).  I finished up with a Casio fx570 – not bad, but not the winner either…

I also had an argument with another friend.  I described it as ‘brill’ and that’s probably because I won.

3 days to go…

Wednesday 7 May 1986

English Aural exam between 9.45 and 10.45.  Can’t remember exactly what it was about – tho the tape was ‘distorted to crap’.  It was a shock to see 1986 on the front of the paper too!  I guess that this was a reference to all of the past papers that we had seen recently.  That was just practice, this was for real!

I also made a resolution to revise in the mornings that I wasn’t at school, as it was ‘too hard to revise at night – I forget it.’  Whether or not I forgot to do the revision… or forgot what I had revised is yet another matter!

Thursday 8 May 1986

My penultimate day in compulsory education!  (See, it was worth it, because I know that penultimate means last-but-one. Ha!)

By the sound of things, my finishng school wasn’t total though, as I noted that I now had to go in for Geography as well as Chemistry and Physics.  We played cricket for school this evening, againts one of the town schools, who I reported were ‘c**p’.  No note of the result, safe to say, we probably won!

And, in other news, I sent off for the Radio Times FIFA World Cup wall chart.

Friday 9 May 1986

Here’s the full entry for today…

‘Last day at [school].  Finished!  No more [school].  Yes it’s true, we have finished regular school…  Revision must now become more concentrated – only3 weeks till they start properly.’

So the most momentous occasion in my life to date passes and I can’t remember a single thing about it.

Saturday 10 May 1986

So that was it then?  Eleven years of compulsory formal education over.  What’s next, some revision for these impending ‘O’ Levels?  Nah!  That can wait, today is the day of the FA Cup Final.  And it’s a Merseyside Derby, the first ever in the FA Cup Final.

The two best teams in the league are facing up in the final showdown.  Liverpool crowned Champions just a week earlier are trying to become only the fourth team to win the League and FA Cup double, following on from Preston North End (1888), Spurs (1961) and Arsenal (1971).  Everton, on the other hand, are trying to ensure that their season which promised so much doesn’t end without a trophy.

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Gary Lineker had given Everton the lead with a trademark cool finish after Grobbelaar had partly blocked his first effort.  However, as they had done on so many occasions recently, Liverpool were to find that extra gear in the second half to step up and win the game 3-1.  Ian Rush bagged a brace whilst Craig Johnstone became the first Australian to score in an FA Cup final.  So that was it, Liverpool became only the fourth team ever to win the prestigious Leage and FA Cup ‘Double’.