In the spirit of the season, they invited me to play in an armistice football match in the no man’s land that is the mud and cinder pitch at the end of Bethesda Street, but it turned out to be a Yorkist ruse to kick seven bells out of me.
I knew I was up against it when I saw that I was a team of one against eleven of them. And that’s not counting the referee who showed me a yellow card before I’d hung up my duffel bag in the changing room.
The game was a bit of a bloodbath, if I’m honest, with the opposition more interested in kicking me than they were the ball. And every time I went down, they would mutter things like: ‘That’s for the Battle of Wakefield’ and ‘Henry V was a woofta’.
The partisan crowd only inflamed the situation with their chanting:
He swings to the left,
He swings to the ri-iii-ight,
That Maurice Wi-ilson,
He wear ladies tights
I was able to hold out for a creditable 0-0 draw and I might even have won the game if I hadn’t been sent off with ten minutes to go for a wild tackle on their centre-half’s fist with my nose.
I have to say there was quite a collection of frilly underwear hanging on the pegs in the home team changing room. I managed to take the photo on the right before police driver Clarkson hinted that it was time to leave before things turned any uglier.
I got back to the safe house in time to catch the end of the Queen’s Christmas Broadcast to the Commonwealth. I think it was the one from 1958 which is about as contemporary as the tv programming get around here.
Pc Barraclough was snoring loudly in my favourite armchair, his blonde wig slipped forward over his eyes. He was happily sleeping off the ten pints of John Smith’s he’d quaffed in the Old Queen’s Arms at lunchtime.
Pc Derek might also join us later, assuming he is discharged from the Royal Hallamshire where he’s had his baubles reattached following the booking mix-up with Hermione the erotic dancer from Grimesthorpe at the retired teacher’s Christmas party in Sheffield.
After tending my various cuts and bruises, I was greeted in the kitchen by the smell of boiling sprouts and cabbage. They’ve been on the hob since Wednesday — Mrs P is determined to cook us a traditional Yorkshire Christmas dinner this year.
The centre piece is a local delicacy, a three bird roast which consists of a budgerigar inside a pigeon, inside a duck ‘liberated’ from the Albert Pierrepoint Memorial Park boating lake.
I haven’t had the heart to tell her that, this being Yorkshire, it will be the 1962 edition hosted by Peter West. In a sequined frock.
Merry Christmas everyone.