Back To The Future

Thwack. Biff. Splot. Smack. People are asking me if I’m alright. I am. I’m fine, the ball has hit me on the side of my head. But I’m fine. Just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean I’m weak. Someone says Butch Wilkins is on the bench. I don’t know why he wasn’t playing today. He must have got an injury. We’re playing Aston Villa. But something’s different. All the players on the pitch are wearing really long, old fashioned shorts. And they’ve got writing on the front of their shirts, and names on the back. It must be a new thing they’ve brought in. I can’t have read the papers properly this week. Maybe Mum used yesterday’s sports section to put on the floor to clean out the budgie’s cage, instead of using an older copy.

One thing is the same though. We’re playing crap. Probably missing Butch. But I think we must be playing some of the younger players as I don’t recognise any of the names. Most of them are foreign names. That’s odd. Foreign players? The defence is very shaky. We’ve never won the league since I’ve been alive, and winning that is something we can only dream about. I don’t think we’ll even win another major trophy like the FA cup or the league cup at this rate. Someone just said we’re 17th in the table.That’s typical for this time in the season. I hope we won’t be relegated but you get used to working out goal average on your calculator every April to see if we are safe.

Fans are singing some chants I’ve not heard before, but then someone starts We All Follow The Chelsea. I like that one. I like hearing Liquidator, too, before the game starts. I can see the Match Of The Day cameras which is exciting because we don’t get on the telly very much. They always choose Liverpool and if not them, Man United or Leeds. They’re so biased, although I do like Motty, and he’ll be commentating on this game.

I hope there won’t be any trouble on the tube going back to Liverpool Street. I know some people think it’s fun but they scare other passengers with their punch ups. Oh! Wow! We’ve scored! Hang on, there are some Villa fans in part of the Shed. I can see their colours. Villa, taking the Shed? Come one Chelsea boys, don’t let them away with that! I know I said I don’t like the fighting but they don’t come here and walk all over our patch.

I might get a new satin scarf from the club caravan on the way out of the ground, I think I’ve got just enough money. They’ve had some good things in lately. I got a blue leather wrist cuff at the last game, and I’m wearing my new badge Chelsea Run From No One. I even wear it to school when I can get away with it. Some of my friends get fed-up with me running on abut football but they put up with it and some of them even agree that Tommy Langley is sexy. I forgot to get his autograph today, but I’ve got it loads of times already. I say the same thing to him before the game if I can catch him pitch side. I say: ‘I hope you’re going to score today, Tommy.’ And he says ‘I’ll do my best, love.’ He even winked at me once. I was so happy. No one at school believed me though. I wish I’d brought my camera but I can’t afford the films for it all the time.

My head still feels a bit funny. We’ve had half time and I never saw the peanut seller. Some girls came round the pitch with some trophies, I think they’re from the local girls’ school and it was a special treat for them to parade round the pitch. Lucky them, getting to play football at school. We have to do hockey and I hate it. I wouldn’t be any good at football but at least I’d enjoy it. YEEEEESSSS! A goal at our end! 2-0, that will help us up the table and I can put our real position on the Shoot league ladder. Sometimes it gets too depressing so I put Leeds at the bottom and us at the top. My dad gets cross and says that it’s stupid but I have to cheer myself up somehow.

I’m feeling quite hungry. The man next to me is eating something called a S .. snickers? What a stupid name for a chocolate bar. It must be American or something. Just hang on, Chelsea, please. We need these two points. I’ll have to wait till I get home and see Match Of The Day for the other results unless anyone in the crowd has a transistor radio with them. We don’t pass a Curry’s. I hope Leeds have lost and then I can laugh at those boys at school who are always having a joke about Chelsea.

Someone is talking to me and saying I might need to be checked over. Look, I’m okay, honest. Unless they’re offering for me to be checked over by Tommy Langley and then I’m not okay, I’m in need of first aid.

Oh. What, you mean this is not the 1970s? Well, pardon me for thinking it was, but given the way we’ve been playing lately, surely I can be forgiven? Yes, yes, my mistake. I know it’s 2015 now. I was just a bit stunned by that ball hitting me on the head. The players? Oh, well, they’ve caught up a bit. They’ve probably reached the early noughties, today. Pre-Roman, late Bates era. Still a lot of work to be done.

© Carol Ann Wood
October 2015


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