Troubador Grass Roots

Released: 19/10/2018

eISBN: 9781789012682

Format: eBook

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Grass Roots

From Steam Trains and Football Rattles to HS2 and Prawn Sandwiches


Richard takes us on a journey through the decades, from his 1951 birthplace in a Victorian terrace in the Nottinghamshire railway town of Netherfield, via the luxury of a brand new council house in the leafy suburbs, to his current home on the residential rural edge of the city. From steam engines to HS2, pit villages to retail parks, and valve radios to interactive TVs, his autobiographical tome reflects the dramatic changes witnessed - and not always welcome - during his lifetime.

Football, which sustained him during difficult teenage years, is the central theme, from the defining moment when a spontaneous sliding tackle stopped Porchester Junior School's star player in his tracks and ignited his passion for "The Beautiful Game", via the ever welcoming Rec that bordered the back garden of the family council home, and on to an assortment of local pitches where his talents could be displayed to greater effect as joint founder and stalwart of Notts Sunday Morning League newcomers Grasshoppers FC - club motto: "If at first you don't succeed there's always the pub".

"Grass Roots" also takes us on surreal away trips, back to school, down a coal mine, on carefree childhood - and adult! - adventures, including an enduring fascination with the railways that enveloped his Netherfield birthplace, and an emotional journey of family reconciliation to Estonia. Comparisons with the old and new abound, including his disillusionment with the modern game, and the diminishing - but paradoxically now deserted - playing fields that once heaved with energetic youngsters of all ages.

His story is laced with unapologetically forthright views, not least that Estuary English has replaced the "Ey-up mi duck" dialect of his youth, referees today flourish red cards for players kicking the ball too hard, and that his favourite "veteran" band are inexplicably shunned by the celebrity obsessed media. To quote their words, his ultimate grievance is that "The years disappear like a ghost".

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