The Ping

Flicking through my twitter the other day and I came across a post from an old team mate Ian Spring. It jogged the memory bank of Sunday football days gone by when I first started playing adult football at the club. We started as a CB football team as we had a thriving club in Waltham Abbey called the Ghost Town Breakers. Every week we would meet at the community centre in the Crooked Mile and then laterly if my memory serves me correct at the Football Club. My brother got us use of the Johnson Matthey works ground in Brimsdown and we started playing friendlies known as Matthey Citizens. In reality we were pretty crap but we loved it and at that age I guess we thought we were the boll*x. It was not long before ex Club Secretary John “Charlie” May invited us to come and play Sundays down at the Abbey and would get us in the Sunday League. He used to referee our games and knew that my brother and Keith Hutchins, who ran Matthey, didnt get on.  We took up the invite and were proud as punch when we won our first two games 7-0 (Edmonton Green) and 4-0 (TPA) in Junior Division Four. I remember the paper said we were ” cock a hoop”. If my memory Ian Springalso serves me correct, I dont think we won another game that season! Still we had some great laughs along the way. I recall playing a team called Tower Hamlets in the Essex Cup at Capershotts early on. No way was we going to win this game but strangely enough we did, winning 2-0 at Capershotts. It was Ian Spring who inspired me to write this article as I recalled he scored an absolute ping of a goal with a strike that gave the keeper no chance. Now not knowing what Ian looks like these days, (until seeing his twitter profile) at the time he was about (seemingly) four foot tall, no neck and basically was a circle. But boy could he strike a ball. Ask him to run around and then that was a different matter. Two funny things happened in the game that were stand out had to be there moments. A player was jumping up and down in front of Charlie May (who was now playing for us) as he took a throw in.  Charlie threw the ball straight in his face. Naturally we cracked up as the player fell like a ninepin and claret splattered all over his white Tower Hamlets shirt. The other moment was when a Hamlets player called the ref a See You En Tee. Charlie turned around a said to the ref “did you hear that”? “what”? said the ref. “he just called you a cunt” “who did?” “him”. Come here player, within seconds the fella was shown a red card and turned to curse at Charlie as he walked off. “you wanker, you got me sent off” Charlie said “well I didnt call him a cunt did I!”. We were pissing ourselves, one of the funniest things I´ve ever seen and heard on a football pitch! We lost 1-3 at home in the next round as we embarked on our losing streak throughout the season. I think it was 82-83 that season, no doubt I will look it up one day.

Did you play that day or have a sunday memory from the Abbey? Would love you to leave a comment.