Football in Preston Park
As Fawcett school pupils, aged about 12 or 13, we would have football practice in Preston Park. Some boys (like me) needed far more practice than others. I had no interest at all in the game but enjoyed the break from school. In the winter, once a week, we would wander along London Road to the park.
Drawbacks of heavy boots
Once there, we changed and put on our boots. For some reason, the boots were made of incredibly thick leather, which had little or no ‘give’ in them. The football was also made of fairly solid leather and inflated with a bicycle pump. I have sometimes seen black and white clips of professional matches of that time. Even the pros wore those very thick boots and staggered up and down the pitch in them. I imagine that football, nowadays, is a much faster and ‘lighter’ game.
On the sidelines
Those boys who could play football, did. Those that couldn’t hung around on the sidelines, hoping that the ball would not come their way. If it did, we made a spirited attempt at kicking it as far away as possible. Fortunately, we were not troubled by the teacher who, I suspect, knew that it was unlikely that those of us who hung around were ever going to make the grade. They knew that our invitation to play for Brighton and Hove Albion was not going to arrive at any time soon.
Going home through the park
After the match, we went home, often taking a long route through Preston Park. I think all of us enjoyed the Park. Some of us liked it far more than we did the football.
Do you remember?
Did you play football in Preston Park? Were you in a team or just having kickabouts? Please share your memories by posting a comment below.