“If they were playing in the back garden, I would draw the curtains”, was just one of the frequent put-downs I got from my Da as the weekend came and I got ready to follow Newcastle United once again.
He also hated punk-rock and said I was a sissy when I got my ear pierced.
At the time I couldn’t comprehend how he thought I had taken such a wrong course.
As I got a little older, bigger and confrontational, I eventually questioned him regarding his apparent disdain towards my beloved Newcastle United.
He was calm and explained that as a teenager in the 1950s he had also been in love them, but over the years and through bad ownership, they had broken his heart.
It was well into the 80s and I had started to hire a transit to ferry my mates to away matches, when my Da asked if he could come with us. He even volunteered to drive the van, which was always a burden on one of us.
Taken aback at first, I still readily agreed and he came to Nottingham Forest away. He was the life and soul that day and I believe that he rekindled a long lost love after over 30 years.
Da started turning up more regularly after that and used to love the pre and post-match banter and booze in The Farmers Rest and Percy Arms. He got himself a season ticket even though we were in the second flight by now.
Then came the ‘Second Coming’ that turned everything on its head.
Kevin Keegan’s style and brand not only captivated the region but got the whole country looking north-bound in admiration.
Nobody was prouder than my Da whose love affair had turned full circle – I was happy for him and felt that a passage of rights had been fulfilled.
Now nearly two years on from his passing, I can still see my Da pogo-ing at nearly 60 to Sham 69’s “If the Kids are United” in the Percy with all of my… and by then his, mates.
I have also got to say that I too enjoy all the Chuck Berry and Little Richard crackly vinyl that he left me. The same stuff I turned my nose up at to spite him in the day….when I thought he was picking on me!