Tuesday 5 May 2015

The Benny Hill Show

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The tickets were purchased, the children were excited and the family was set for a day out at Carrow Road to watch Norwich City F.C play Middlesbrough F.C. Packets of sweets were at hand and they were wearing their Green and Yellow. The club were on an unbeaten run and there was a full house. If they could win they would go top of the league, and the omens were looking good. Norwich always upped their game against what would be called top opposition, so what could go wrong!
The sun was out and the atmosphere was electric, but after ninety minutes of huffing and puffing everyone went home with a sense of dejection. Norwich lost one nil after an early goal, and once it went in you just had the feeling they weren’t going to win. Their luck seemed to have deserted them, with a referee and linesman who seemed to be seeing a totally different game to the twenty six thousand Norwich fans in the stadium.

The opposition players spent as much time as possible in wasting time by rolling about the pitch every time a Norwich player went near them, and it was not a good advert for professional sportsmanship. With parents trying so hard to install the right values into their young children professional football is not the best of role models.

The following week as other parents and I stood on the touch line for an under 7’s football tournament is was pleasing to see such effect by the little ones, but occasionally there was the odd incident that you knew they hadn’t learnt from the coaching staff, but from watching their hero’s on T.V. It’s a shame, but its life and as they grow up the more it will affect their behaviour.

But there were two things that happened which you won't ever see from professional footballers. The first was when one of the seven year old boys in the opposition team was substituted. He didn't want to leave the pitch, but wanted to play on. The team manager tried, and tried again, and then tried again, to get him to come off, but he just stayed on. The referee asked him nicely to leave the pitch and then asked again and again, but he still would not leave. In the end the manager went on the pitch after him, and the boy just ran off, chased by the manager all around the pitch. It was comical like the famous last scene in the Benny Hill television show when Benny Hill is being chased by a crowd. In the end the child ran off the pitch and across the other football pitches while his team manager chased after him.

The second event happened when another young boy was swapped with another player. He hadn't been off the pitch very long when the ball was kicked out of play, and ended up at this boys feet. In the excitement he had forgotten he had just been substituted, and with the ball he ran back onto the pitch and headed for goal with the manager shouting after him to come back off. He didn't hear. He was so caught up in the game he just carried on playing, even when the referee realized our team had one more play on the pitch then the other team, and stopped the game, this young lad carried on playing.

After the tournament as us parents walked back to our cars we couldn't help it. We all started to hum the Benny Hill tune which brought a smile to everyone's faces, well most people at least.




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