Keen to impress I went at it in the same way I did sex. Shirt off, tool in hand, banging away like there was no tomorrow and not finishing until I managed to get the job done to everyone’s satisfaction. Mike pitched up with Adrian at lunchtime, to find me sitting on a box, eating my lunch, finished with the floor work. Adrian and Mike inspected the work, came back out and said I had fucked it up as the preparation had been planned to last at least two days. Mike would have to start laying the new floor that day and the job would be over too soon.
Rick Holmes and I
It turned out that Rick and his brother Patrick had a rock band, (The Law!) and were quite big on the local circuit. With my aspirations to be a singer-songwriter (my jottings in notebooks equated to songs in my mind), we had common interests and a long lasting friendship was re-commenced. Work with Adrian dried up and Bradley got me a job working as a Painter and Decorator for Carters, a local building contractors and I started to get money in at last.
I shouted for five players to form a wall and moved them to cover the left hand side of my goal and I covered the right. Kevin Eagleton, an adversary from my schooldays and a handy striker, took the kick and bent the ball around the wall and in towards my left. I was stranded on the right, but launched myself across the goal; my body totally extended and with the tips of my fingers pushed the ball around the post for a corner. I landed flat on my stomach and felt a spasm of pain run from my lower back down my legs and let out a cry.
My teammates ran to me as I lay there in great pain, pins and needles running up and down the backs of my legs. “No one touched him” shouted one of the opposition, “he has a bad back you twat” said one of our team. I tried to get up but couldn’t, and they had a corner but I could barely get to my knees. Our sub came on in my place and I was carried around to the back of the goal, tears in my eyes. The team played out the last remaining minutes and I was carried back to the changing rooms for tea and sympathy. That night we had a disco in the club and I was hoisted onto a few shoulders, like “Tiny Tim” and lauded for my save of the century.
Meanwhile, in Portsmouth, plans were afoot. Mark Cameron was working as a bouncer and general dogsbody at a nightclub. He hated it and was scheming plans and ideas, so I went down to see him and stayed with him and his mum. The club he worked at was Ritzy’s and were went there and to another more dubious club on the seafront, where I succeeded in chatting up and shagging a barmaid, staying at her place, not wanting to upset his mum.