The reunion match this year began on a solemn note as we remembered our good friend and football coach Paul who sadly passed away earlier this year. A minutes silence was observed before the kick-off.
Our match was a special one as we were playing formidable opposition in the shape of the England over 55 vet’s team. Our team lined up as follows: Ian Parkinson; Ted Wightwick; Jim Reid; Errol; Cliff Bailey; Stuart Jones; Nick Davis; Paul Rabbetts; Chris Wintle; Clive Jarrett; Rob Beel.
At the pre-match team meeting we agreed we would adopt a passing game. During the meeting Beel was heard laughing hysterically. Soon we went 1-0 up thanks to the deadly finishing skills of Wintle and it could have been 2 when we were awarded a penalty. Errol promptly kicked the ball yards wide. When asked about this later he said ‘I changed my mind at the last minute’. Good to see the reputation of our referees is safe in Errols’ hands. Mick Pyle came on as substitute wearing a pair of socks usually worn by an 8 year old girl and was promptly sent off again.
At half time we went in 1-0 to the good. The team advice was given by Willie Mc Gee our faithful supporter. Nothing of any use was said but it was nice to see him. Clive arrived, out of breath, for his orange just as we kicked off for the second half. We think he spent most of the second half eating it, along with some pies, as he wandered along the wing by the kitchen trying to see what the caterers were providing for the post match eats. Then we suffered a setback when a long punt up the field by their centre half went bouncing towards Parkinson who started to back pedal. Unfortunately Ian’s legs went at a critical moment and he collapsed while the ball rolled gently into the goal.
This equaliser galvanised England vets and they added a second shortly after when poor marking allowed their centre forward to head in from a corner. However the Aston never say die spirit then came to the fore as Cliffy went rattling down the left side and started a passing move that included Ted, Mike and, astonishingly, Rob who played the ball through. Stewart outpaced their 72 year old left back to make the net bulge.
After that the referee did the decent thing by blowing the final whistle making the final score 2-2.
Mention must be made of our small band of supporters who included Pete Alexander. Pete was our centre forward but he is currently the European over 55 squash champion and he is challenging for the World title on the 14th July in Birmingham. Thanks to Pete for the post match refreshments.
Words by Ted Wightwick
10 July 2012