These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the Southern Premier - just seven leagues below the Premier League. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton. After nearly 14 nomadic years we finally have a brand spanking new home in Slough.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

LAST ORDERS

Printed in the Southern League Midlands Division match v Sudbury Town Saturday 13th February 2010. We lost 1-0 in front of 238 people.


I blame my dad for my Slough Town addiction. Although he didn’t particularly like football, much preferring darts, he took me and my brother to our first Slough game -Slough schoolboys against Liverpool schoolboys in the FA Youth Cup final in front of over eight thousand people. I was 12 when he brought me my first ever Slough Town season ticket and he was our unofficial taxi for home games and supplemented my paper round money so I could get to away games. We even dragged him along to my son Ruben’s first ever football match (a Slough one of course) after assuring him that there wouldn’t be eight thousand people at the game this time.

Born in Slough in 1938, he spent his first few days in Upton workhouse until his aunt came for him and brought him up as her son. After school he joined the Merchant Navy and when he left he married my mum and shortly afterwards I was born quickly followed by my brother Spencer. He worked at Miller, Morris and Brookers for over 30 years, working his way up till he eventually became transport manager.

To say my dad liked a drink would be an understatement and the tales of his past endeavors always bought a smile to my face. He was also a very generous man – especially for stuff that wasn’t his to give away! I fondly remember the parties at our old house in Westfield Road, lodgers, uncles and plenty of people around. When he and my mum divorced he moved to 14 Alpha Street and that was to become his home for nearly 30 years. I moved in with him for a few years accompanied at times, by numerous waifs and strays that loved his company. And don’t tell me it was just co-incidence that the Alpha Arms Pub closed for over a year shortly after he left the street!

For the last 16 months of his life he moved into the new extra housing complex in Northampton Avenue. Before every ‘home’ game I would go and visit him, sort out his post, pay his bills and inevitably be sent on a Whisky run. He would drive me and my brother mad with his requests for immediate refreshment and could be a miserable old sod, but we all knew deep down he was a very decent man. One of my mates Joe Conti, was his particular favourite, ‘The Italian Stallion’ as he used to call him. Joe told me that he was just an all round nice bloke, who never did anyone any harm. How people rallied around when he was ill, to sort out his house in Alpha Street, to do his shopping, or the phone calls and texts I have received since his death, is a testament to that.

The drinking and smoking had taken its toil, and he wasn’t well, but could still get about on his electric wheelchair and loved his new home and all the staff. I’m gutted about his death, but happy in the knowledge that there was no lingering illness and that he died peacefully in his sleep. He didn’t leave many possessions, but that wasn’t who he was. He liked a laugh, a drink and I and a few others at today’s game will no doubt be nursing a hangover from yesterdays wake in the Herschel Arms.

Goodbye dad, I will miss you. And I’ll be raising a glass for the good times and memories I have of you at today’s game.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home