Mummy returned: full of the usual false compassion and commitment.
The real surprise was she bought me a little red haired puppy dog!
Because of its colouring, I called it 'Rusty', my first and last dog. It lived in a Heinz bean box behind the chair in the living room. I'd rush home from school and take it for a run, clean it, feed it (luckily Daddy had got me a double shift paper round so I could earn the money for the dogs keep).
After a week had gone by, I thought life had changed for the better - until I got home one day, and the dog and box had vanished!
I questioned dear mummy about this, and she said 'Rusty had died'.
I was really heartbroken, and sad. I cried my tears for the next two days.
On the third day, I was walking to or from school, and saw our window cleaner on the other side of Queens Walk - with Rusty!
I ran home and challenged mother through a haze of roll-up cigarette smoke.
She said 'Well, we were short of money and I owed him' - That was that!
I actually managed to get into the Meadows Old Boys Junior football team for one match, a cup match against Corpus Christie at Wilford.
Okay, it was during a mass epidemic of Asian flu and there were not enough 'proper' players to make up a team, but I got there, and took part in a record breaking match in more than one way too!
Firstly, it was my first ever time to get a match - come think of it, it was the only time I ever got a match!
The 13-0 score line was the biggest in the Thursday League up until that time! And it was their biggest ever win, and Meadows Old Boy's biggest ever defeat!
A few weeks later, (the flu epidemic still rampant) I got into the school house team for a match at Green Street pitch behind the pavilion.
Determined not to let myself or the house down, I ran out proudly with the number 3 on my back, my boots up to my kneecaps, shirt sleeves hanging around my ankles, and the studs digging through the boots into my feet. (Yes you've guessed it, they didn't supply any tackle like the club did).
Nothing was to get passed me, I was resolved! Anyway, after they scored their fifth goal, three of them from their nippy winger who I just could not touch - I came up with a plan!
I would get him sent off!
I waited until play stopped for a throw in, stood next to him, bearing in mind I was a good 18" shorter than he was, noticing the ref was behind him, I clutched my face, and went on a self-imposed crumble to the ground.
It worked a treat, and the lad was sent off! I was a hero... me!
They didn't score again, fair enough we didn't either, but the lads in the team actually spoke to me as we left the pitch!
After showering, I walked around the back of the dressing room, and as I turned the corner to go past where the coke for the boiler was stored - suddenly nothing!
I woke up in the ambulance, hurt and muddled, as I realised my right eye was painful and closed, and blood was coming out of my nose and cut bottom lip.
It transpires that the nippy winger was not best pleased with my play acting, and was waiting near the coke pile with a shovel as I turned the corner, he whacked in the face with it!
Looking back, I cannot blame him, and I decided never cheated again.