The Firemans Reserve Football Team

Being forty seventh reserve in the Firemans Reserve Football Team has one big advantage over being in the first eleven, you never actually have to play the game.

I didn't have to play Leeds when we lost forty seven to three. I didn't play Chester when Charley, Arthur, Frank and Martin all ended up in hospital. I didn't play Doncaster when Godfery the goal keeper disappeared, never to be seen again.

Having said all that Murphys law combined with the enormously high number of injuries our side always seemed to get, it had to happen sooner or later and it happened.

Me and Joe were sitting on the lower deck of a number forty seven bus each clutching a pair of football boots and a faded yellow jumper. The last time I had actually played football was at school when the boots were made of buffalo hide and they had six inch nails hammered into the soles.

Joe ask why I was not speaking, I told him that until I got positive evidence otherwise I was blaming him for getting us into playing this football match. Unfair perhaps but you have got to blame someone.

The journey continued in silence, or would have done if William had not had an argument with their Doris. Well the wedding was off and all the presents had to go back and everything, what with their Jim and his family come all the way from Huddersfield......

I don't know if the rest of the bus were meant to know all this, but the lady saying it must have thought her friend was on the upper deck rather than in the seat next to her.

Enid and their uncle Anther had bought them that dining table they they had wanted and it was in their front room, well she didn't know how she was going to face Enid now not with this then that business of not inviting their Ern......

By the end of the journey I was definitely on the side of William, our Doris sounded like a right pain and if her voice was as loud as her spokesman, all I can say is that our William had had a very narrow escape.

Short Story Series - Abridged from the book - The Tatty Nickers Tony on the Moon