GLF57: Watsonville

Last updated : 31 August 2017 By GLF

GLF57: Graham rolls back the years....




It will never be the same with ASDA on site !

I still get a heavy heart when I drive or walk past Watsonville Parks and see the new ASDA rise out of the football pitches that I graced for many years in BB football back in the 1970's !( graced - are you sure Graham !?!? - Ed )

These were heady days as we at 7th Motherwell fought to win the title for four years in a row ( as it turned out we only won it three years out of four ).I will never forget the memories of playing on those two fine ash pitches.

We used to play at about 1:30 p.m. on a Saturday,sometimes barely enough time to get there after playing for the school in the morning.Often we arrived at the garage of one of our officers at Oakfield Tower with the Cleland Estate mud still on our legs!

I can remember playing in all sorts of weathers,including flood,ice,fog and occasionally sunshine !

The larger of the two parks always gathered a huge puddle when it had been raining and many of the younger players that we came up against were afraid of getting too wet,which led to us booting the ball into the puddle and leaving it to see who would retrieve it.

Then in the fog we could exploit the conditions by clearing the ball from a yard behind the goal line and carry on without the hapless ref being able to see clearly or not.I also remember one day when we only knew our team had scored was when the forwards came back to take a kick off !

I also remember a day when we played on a tundra - like surface when the pitch was brick hard.Following sods law this was the day that I got tripped and fell full length and my legs were ripped to shreds and bore the scars for weeks,possibly months after!!!

Not only was the weather something that we had to combat but also when the Old Firm came to town we had to deal with their fans staggering across the pitch on their way to Fir Park from Motherwell Station ( no airbles in those days ! ).This was always difficult to handle when they wanted to engage in a conversation with you !!

It's a shame that these pitches are now consigned to history as appears to be the "ashy" down in North Lodge where we used to play some of our other games as this takes some of the availability of organised football out of the heart of the town.

I hope pitches spring up that kids of today can have the same memories as I had playing at Watsonville before Asda / Wal*Mart chewed them up in their search for world domination.

Graham Barnstaple

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