Glyn Smith’s Kicking Grass: When I was a lad…

Was football really so much better when it was jumpers for goalposts? Glyn Smith has been trawling his memory for some of his favourite moments during his 40-plus years in and around the Keighley local football scene. 

I was out for a walk the other day up Tim Lane and, as I struggled up, I remembered when it used to be part of one of the “warm up runs” when I trained with Haworth as a youngster.
It was usually somewhere up here that most of the lads regurgitated their early evening meal if they had been foolish enough to partake of one.
Sometimes we would turn right into Oakworth, down Provi and back to the Community Centre – the quick circuit. At other times we would turn left towards Oldfield.
I went left and gazed across the field where it all began for me. Actually, I gazed across a number of fields because I couldn’t recall for certain which one we played in and to be honest none of them looked suitable candidates.
Unfortunately there wasn’t a hen hut with the legend “Oakworth F.C.” hanging from it to refresh my memory. To be honest I don’t recall much of my time there.
It must have been January or February 1966. There was a force 10 gale blowing with plenty of sleet, hail and snow.
At some point an older guy came up to me (not sure if even then I could have told you if it was a team-mate or one of the opposition) and said: “I think you had better go off lad.”
“Why?” I asked. His reply was “because for the last 10 minutes all you have done is wander round in circles”.
I doubt I would have even known the word hypothermia back then let alone it’s symptoms. But on reflection I guess my mind probably had shut down.
I took his advice and headed for the hen hut (sorry the changing room).
No nice hot, or even luke warm, showers in those days just an old tin bath the farmer filled up as much for his cows to drink from as for us to get a wash.
Does anyone else care to share an early memory of their local football life?
‘Big Ed’ has already added his on the Bronte Wanderers forum – tales of the player who was having such a nightmare the manager took him off, even though he’d already used all his substitutes, and also the title-deciding match that turned into an 11-0 romp.

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