Forty Years


BILL THE BIRO



A few weeks ago my old mate Henry died. For over forty years we used to go out drinking most Friday nights, and talk mostly about football. And about once a season, despite being an Arsenal fan he'd go with me to a Pools away match anywhere not too far from our South Midlands homes - Cheltenham, Kidderminster, Walsall, Coventry, West Brom, Northampton, Wycombe and the like.

This week we entertained Henry's widow to Sunday lunch. And she brought with her some old Pools programmes Henry collected on our travels, mostly from the 70s and 80s. And they reminded me that this launch weekend for Monkey Business he would have been joining me for Pools' game at Solihull, which, at 18 miles, is the closest Pools have ever played to my home, ironically since I moved south from Solihull in 1975.

However, looking though those programmes made me look through my own and one caught my eye from the Pools-Darlo derby of Good Friday 1981, which featured a lineup including Phil Brown, Andy Linighan, Keith Houchen and Roy Hogan for Pools with David Speedie and Alan Walsh playing for Darlo.

That programme was a bit of a mess visually but it was more of a "read" than many of the time with their "Reserves notes" and "Supporters' Club News" sections that nobody ever read.

And in there, under the headline "Pool Patter" (in the days when "Pool" was still trying to become the accepted nickname), was this reminiscence of a match from forty years ago that many will no doubt still remember:
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