stop it and tidy up

It’s a chore isn’t it, the old tidying up? You get by for a while simply putting things in carefully arranged piles, but eventually it is inevitable that you have to actually have a proper sort out, which usually involves things getting in much more of a mess before putting everything back in neat piles again. But the upside of it is that you can find all sorts of really great stuff which you had forgotten you had.

This is the Forest kit from the 1980 – 81 season when Forest would be champions of Europe for the second season in a row under the legendary Brian Clough. The shirt material has that quality to it that instantly transports you back to the early 80s whilst simultaneously setting your teeth on edge. This was one of the first shirts ever to have the new pinstripe effect – a fashion that was soon to sweep football both on the field and on the terraces in the form of the pinstripe stretch jean. The scratchy socks still have my name on them, but the shorts (which were tiny little things in those days) are mysteriously AWOL.



About the same time I was running round the sports field in my Forest top (above) I was scaring myself to death reading this. One of the first ‘proper’ books I ever read, I remember being terrified from beginning to end. This cover predates the famous waterskier version of the film, but is still a design classic, and an underrated book thanks to the success of the film.

This must be from a Christmas around the same time – a £5 WH Smith Gift Voucher. This was a time when WH Smith wasn’t just licensed robbery in train stations and airports. I would take it in there now and try and spend it, except for the fact that a) I refuse to patronise their business as everything in there is so eye-wateringly overpriced and b) for that reason I don’t think there actually is anything in there under £5 anyway.

Signed by Big Daddy, Kendo Nagasaki, Mick McManus and someone else by the looks of it, this is from when I went to watch Big Daddy at Lincoln Drill Hall with my Dad. Indeed, good old Shirley Crabtree was the children’s (and granny’s) favourite, right up until that fateful day he Big Daddy splashed someone in Castleford and killed them. Shame.

These two little handbooks are both charming and informative. Although not to be followed too literally.






This was a Christmas present from my good friend Tubbs. At the time opera heavyweights Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, and Luciano Pavarotti were hugely famous, being collectively known as The Three Tenors. Brucie, Tarby and Kenny Lynch clearly tried to cash in with a Christmas release, which given this has been marked down from £3.99 to 29p, doesn’t appear to have worked. After we read the letter in The Sun which is carefully tucked inside the front cover, we too used to put this on and shout “Come on Tarby, let’s party!”

And finally, some lyrics found on the 55 bus to clapton circa 1996. They speak for themselves.






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