Author Topic: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)  (Read 8828 times)

Offline Rushian

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"Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« on: March 25, 2005, 04:09:17 PM »
43 years ago (1962 for those who failed their maths exams) this writer was running around Garston (South Liverpool) with no arse in his trousers and was as "thick as two short planks." The current rate for pocket money was a tanner 6d (2.5 p).

Living in Garston in these years was great. We lived in Calthorpe Street and I went to Victoria School by the park. We had to go to the public baths for a bath and showers didn't exist. As this was a pretty expensive way of keeping clean, most of us used to get in the portable tin bath at home, which yer Mam made up on the living room floor in front of the fire.

School kecks (grey short trousers) were the fashion cos most of us only had one pair, which was kept up with the latest "Snake Buckle Elasticated Belt." This was yellow and green from memory which matched the yellow and green striped shirt bought new that year (no second hand clobber in our house).

Me arl felleh had just started a new job and he wore a suit! This was very impressive in those days and as he left for work in the morning I used to stand in the street and point out to the kids that "that was my Dad." My Dad had told me that from this August me pocket money was going up to "Two Bob" 2/- (10p). I was going to be the richest kid on the block.

All this generosity had come about because guess what? Liverpool Football Club were going to play in the 1st Division for the first time in my life and hence my Dad's great mood. Me hero Liddell had retired and I always felt sad that he didn't play for us after all those years in the 2nd Division, but we had a "new look" Liverpool side that included:

The pocket dynamo Ian St. John
The prolific Roger Hunt
The enormous Ron "Rowdy" Yeats

I was looking forward to seeing Rowdy play for Liverpool, cos I'd seen him loads of times on "Rawhide"! August passed by but still I was left at home every Saturday while me Dad and Uncle Gerry used to drive off in a Ford Popular (Dad's new car for his new job).

It's all very well having extra pocket money, but what can you do with it apart from buying Jublees, Lucky Bags and Gob Stoppers. I had saved 5 shilling now and it was burning a massive hole in me pocket.

September had arrived, it was my birthday this month, surely something special was going to happen soon. I had worked hard all week in school, "thick as two short planks" I might have been, but I had been good this week.

Me school headmistress at Victoria School was a certain Mrs Jessie Paisley and although I didn't like her much, I knew she was married to someone from Liverpool FC. I set out to impress her by offering to hand out books and hand out the milk to the kids at break (a new idea, but it'd never last, the milk snatcher wasn't far away). I crept and I crawled for a week and on Friday, I asked her to write me Mam and Dad a note to tell them how good I'd been.

She just gave me that look that all headmistresses were good at and sent me home with nowt but a glare. I was gutted, all that creepin for nowt. She was not a favourite of mine in 1962. I got home Friday and offered to help me Mam in the kitchen, another area where I was as "thick as two short planks."

Me Mam always knew when I wanted something and she always had a smile for me when things where gloomy. I gave her the whole down eyes look, which I had perfected over the last 5 years, and with a little tear in my eye told her about the "witch" in our school - sorry Jessie, but to a young kid with money to burn, you did me no favours.

Me Mam promised to speak to me Dad - they used to do loads of talkin like that when I wasn't around. Then came the day ...

Saturday, 12/09/1962
I got up early and made me Mam and Dad, probably the worst cup of tea they had ever had, but it was my best effort! The morning dragged and nothing happened. I kept looking at me Mam, but no eye contact was happening, I had failed. I kept looking at me Dad, but nowt was happenin there either, I was gutted.

What could a young lad as "thick as two short planks" do to win favour ?

Me dad started getting his things together as he did every Saturday matchday. Uncle Gerry had arrived and as always he slipped me a shilling while no one was looking. My Uncle Gerry was a very special man, perhaps he could help.

"When I grow older Uncle Gerry, I'm gonna go all the Liverpool Games."

He smiled, I further offered:

"Do you think I'm old enough to go to games with you and Dad?"

"When you're 10" he said, "yer Dad might take yer."

TEN ! TEN !! thats another lifetime to a 5 year old !! I was gutted again. I was near tears and me Mam had disappeared into the kitchen, obviously to avoid her only son with floods of tears running down his face.

Me Dad and Uncle Gerry left and closed the door, just as it was about to shut, me Dad's head popped around the door.......

"Are yer coming or wot?"

I looked at the kitchen door and there was me Mam with me coat, she had known all along, but had kept very quiet all day. I let out the biggest whoopee ever heard in that little house by the park. Anfield here I come.

The Fortress Anfield was a massive red brick jobbie, it was even bigger than Dickie Lewis's in town. I stood outside the gate of the Kop and me Dad said,
"Have you got the money you've saved?"
 
I went grey; I had never felt so sick in me life. Apart from the shilling Gerry had given me I had nothing, all my money was at home in me bedroom. Then came my finest bit of "doing a deal" for a lad as "thick as two short planks". It was pure genius.

"If you pay for me to get in, I'll buy you and Uncle Gerry a programme."

The deal was struck! Two programmes at 6d each = 1 shilling and I was at last in the home of my beloved Liverpool, the start of a love affair that has currently lasted over 40 years.

The game that day:

Liverpool v West Ham United
Stadium: Anfield
Attendance : 39261 (the 1 was me)
Competition: Division 1


Liverpool team:
Furnell, Jim
Byrne, Gerry
Moran, Ronnie
Milne, Gordon
Yeats, Ron
Leishman, Thomas
Callaghan, Ian
Hunt, Roger
St. John, Ian
Melia, Jimmy
A Court, Alan


Score: 2 (1) - 1 (0)
Liverpool Scorers:
Ian St. John (1st half)
Ian St. John (2nd half)


Many great games and many great players have come and gone since that first game, but there is never a feeling greater than your first time.

Jessie Paisley won't remember the little rag arse from Garston, she taught so many kids like meself, but I will always remember the look on her face on the Monday morning on the school playground when I told her about my special day.

Victoria School has long since disappeared now and I last saw Jessie with Bob at the shops on Hunts Cross Avenue, Woolton, where me Dad still buys his morning papers. Jessie, I still remember the smiles and those scowls will live with me forever.

Love and best wishes,

Wooly
Karl William Brodrick
"Thick as Two Short Planks"
Victoria Pupil 1962/3

© Wooltonian 2005
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Offline inky2

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley Story)
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2005, 05:20:26 PM »
6d for a proey!! they were 4d in my time you whippersnapper !! :)


feck it was real magic then
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Offline ALPH1217

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley Story)
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2005, 05:40:57 PM »
Good stuff which evoked some memories. My debut in Anfield was also that same year (I think). We were leading Chelsea 3-nil and hung on as they pulled 2 back. The memory's a bit vague but like you it was the start of a long time love affair which continues to this day despite being 3000 miles away. Nice going, mate.

Offline Millsee

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley Story)
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2005, 05:43:42 PM »
Quality

Offline billy-b

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley Story)
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2005, 06:00:47 PM »
nostalgia, aint it great. ;)

Offline SmithdownAndy

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2005, 09:09:45 PM »
Brilliant, loved it, and as a kid from next door in Speke about 7 years later, sounds just a bit like me, I think I was about 5 as well, we played Newcastle about 69 or 70, always remember me dad always used to go with me Uncle George, but he never was me uncle, bit like his wife wasn't my auntie all though I used to have to call her auntie Edna LOL, probably cos me mam used to go to bingo with her and me dad went the footie with George, humble times for us kids then when we used to have to work for our pocket money, don't remember much about them games up until about 74 when we won the UEFA cup, the one thing that always sticks in my mind though from that age was I always used to think to myself I must be one of the luckiest kids alive being born in Liverpool and supporting the best team in the world, still going now and will follow them for life, what's the saying, " you never forget your first love".
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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2005, 09:17:04 PM »
sounds like me dad wool, you must be picking up yer pension by now too eh :P
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Offline JonnyCigarettes®

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley Story)
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2005, 01:22:16 AM »
Attendance : 39261 (the 1 was me)


Nice touch.
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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley Story)
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2005, 01:37:41 AM »
great tale Karl, enjoyed it throroughly.
Yep.

Offline Vinay

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2005, 02:57:07 AM »
Karl,

I enjoy reading your stories and I can't believe you were called 'thick' as an infant!  You have a gift for writing - well of course, if you were to write a book, I would expect you to use less slang!  I found the bit about you looking at your father with wonder in his new suit really moving.  If you have time read that Marcel Pagnol book "My Father's Glory" - it is not lengthy, and very moving.  Or watch the movie.  If you don't dig French, it has subtitles.  Or pick up a translated version of the book. The way you write, you will love this story, I assure you.

The one amazing thing though is that I cannot imagine my 5 year old son planning and really looking forward to a game like you did at 5.  Of course, my son has never watched a game, except for a few minutes on the box.  Plus maybe kids these days have so many other things to do (or watch on that bloody little telly of his in his room.  If ya ever hear of an angry father smashing his kids' telly in the summer, you'll know its me!).

Well, keep the stories coming man.

 :wave

Offline Мерфи

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley Story)
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2005, 05:42:05 AM »
Bloody hell - is everyone on here a writer.  They say everyone has got a book in them, and it's definitely true for the people here.

my thoughts exactly.  We have some real guffs around here who can't string together two sentences without revealing their troubled educational upbringing.  But there are quite a few quality posters, and this was right up there.  Lovin it. :wave

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Offline inky2

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley Story)
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2005, 08:43:25 AM »
my thoughts exactly.  We have some real guffs around here who can't string together two sentences without revealing their troubled educational upbringing.  But there are quite a few quality posters, and this was right up there.  Lovin it. :wave



easy tiger. a well meant post however ungrammatical is worthy of attention. those of us with an education should be grateful, not scornful of those not so fortunate.
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Offline WOOLTONIAN

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley Story)
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2005, 09:36:38 AM »
Anything to do with Garston, in my eyes, is fabulous, so through biased specs - great post.
Were you a towner or under the bridger, mate? Calthorpe Street don't ring a bell, to me.

Under the Bridge
Brunswick Street 0-4
Calthorpe Street 4-6 (park end behind library)
Condor Close 6-8 (behind market opposite Home Guard)
One Nan lived in Hackstead Gradens, the other above Dunn's Chippy, Western Avenue Speke
Aunt Queenie still lives in Island Road, Garston.

My memories of Garston are very vivid.
A walk down St Mary's Road and Under the bridge last year reduced me to tears.
All my memories have been bulldozed away.
Garston Baths, The wash house, The Mona Castle, even the old T&GWU sandstone building has gone which was a listed building.
That was were my Dad got his new job mentioned.

I remember the old tram turntable outside the dole.
I remember the old cottages down Banks road.
They appear to have been replaced by new and have since been burnt out and boarded up.

Memories of walking from Condor Close to my Nan's in Speke are still vivid
Walking over the bridge, passed the Gay Cav, Speke Road Gardens (better known as The Tennies) passed The Matchworks and Fire Engine Depot on the corner.
Passed Speke Airport (which I still insist was in Garston)
The Metal Box, Evans Medical and then down Western Avenue.

I always remember me Mam telling me to run to Grandads from the roundabout halfway down.
I used to run straight to The Pegasus and I was never wrong, he was always there on a Sunday.

One fellah mentioned an Uncle who wasn't and an Aunt.
The qualifications for above status has changed greatly over the years.
Nowadays its a brother or sister of your Mum and Dad.
In those days anyone who lived within 200 yards or met your Dad for a pint was an Uncle.

My Uncle Gerry mentioned above, was my favourite Uncle for years.
I only found out he was just a friend many years later.
daft it may be, but I still call him Uncle just as I do many others.

Garston was just "One big happy family" in those days.
As were many areas in Liverpool.
Reading stories from Evo and Robbie Ashcroft, always have me in stitches.
Especially Evo's stories of running the Pawny (also known as Uncles)

Reminiscing of previous decades often draws criticism, but in 40 years when I'm at the bottom of the Mersey, I bet the youth of today are talking about The French and Spanish geezer with just as much fondness.

Lighter note
Speaking to my missus recently about throwing my ashes in the Mersey at the Pier head or off the Ferry.
She said you'll regret it
I looked at her puzzled
She said "Pound to a piece of pigshit, you'll float down river and end up under the bridge at Runcorn"

The shiver that run down my spine was frightening.
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Offline Brimag

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley Story)
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2005, 10:12:51 AM »
Karl, you always do this to me, get my memories flowing again. Brilliant mate just brilliant, keep it up as I find it harder and harder to remember.

Born in the tennies, nearly died in Garston baths. Those wooden steps were death traps.

Garston market, probably the best market in the world. :)
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A team that plays the Liverpool way
And wins the championship in May

Offline WOOLTONIAN

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley Story)
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2005, 10:57:28 AM »
Dont worry Bri, next time we meet, I'll have a couple of new stories for yer about Garston the only anagram I know of Snotrag !
trying to cut down on reminiscing recently as its not everyones cup of tea.

I was sad reading this today, because me Mam is on a very slippery slope.
I might write something soon in an attempt to cheer her up.
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Offline JonnyCigarettes®

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley Story)
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2005, 10:58:13 AM »

Garston market, probably the best market in the world. :)


Yes, but Carlsberg don't do markets.

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Offline Garstonite

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2005, 12:24:39 PM »
Felt sad reading all of that Wooly.
Well, all except Garston baths being knocked down.
The place was an absolute dump; I think the swimming pool guards wore gas masks, if memory serves me right. Some said that when yer flush yer lavatory, that's where all yer waste went.

;)

Seriously though, when I moved back to Garston, things were rapidly changing. I lived in West Derby till I was about seventeen/eighteen but me mate called Iain (spelt correctly, BTW) lived there. I found it amazing that no matter how far away he was from his house, people out in the streets always give him a wave and a hello.
Anywho, I'm off to do the 'weekly shop' now.
Tra.

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley Story)
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2005, 12:27:52 PM »

Reminiscing of previous decades often draws criticism, but in 40 years when I'm at the bottom of the Mersey, I bet the youth of today are talking about The French and Spanish geezer with just as much fondness.


It shouldn't.
You can't know where you are, til you appraciate where you've come from.  And let's hope that in 40 years' time, our kids are reminiscing fondly about Rafa's revival of the club.

Offline ecmdtan

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2005, 01:51:48 PM »
Thank you very much for sharing such precious memories.  My education continues
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Offline Brimag

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2005, 09:27:03 AM »
Dont worry Bri, next time we meet, I'll have a couple of new stories for yer about Garston the only anagram I know of Snotrag !


Will look forward to that mate.
A Liverbird upon my chest
We are the men, of Shankly's best
A team that plays the Liverpool way
And wins the championship in May

Offline Brimag

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2005, 09:46:09 AM »
Spent hours last night looking up Garston on the net, came across these
A Liverbird upon my chest
We are the men, of Shankly's best
A team that plays the Liverpool way
And wins the championship in May

Offline Brimag

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2005, 09:50:35 AM »
Had tears in my eyes when i came across the bingo one, me late mam always used to go there. It's amazing what a picture can do to you.
A Liverbird upon my chest
We are the men, of Shankly's best
A team that plays the Liverpool way
And wins the championship in May

Offline mobydick

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2005, 10:21:32 AM »
Wolly, that brought a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat.
I was just talking to my dad this morning on the phone (he lives in New Zealand now), telling about my daughter Sarah's  first time  :o at Anfield , the Leverkusen match. We spent three days in Liverpool and telling my dad about this started to bring back his memories of when he lived in Garston, with his  Auntie Sarah and Uncle Bob, who had a chippy in Dingle. He mentioned catching the train on the overhead railway from the Pier head, but couldn't seem to remember when it was done away with. He's 75 now though, but still a good'un.
God bless
Hope you cheer you ma up as you cheered me up.

Offline Garstonite

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2005, 03:58:43 PM »
Garston today:


Offline mobydick

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2005, 04:08:03 PM »
Thanks@ Garstonite
I'll be sending your pictures to my dad, might bring back some memories. :)

Offline Garstonite

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2005, 04:09:46 PM »
Here yar lad, take a look at this. Full of 'em.

Offline mobydick

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2005, 06:22:34 PM »
Thanks, I'll be looking through the site later, see if I can cheer the old fella up a bit.

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2005, 07:18:37 PM »
trying to cut down on reminiscing recently as its not everyones cup of tea.

Don't you bloody well dare!!!! 

Thank you for that Wooly.  I thoroughly enjoyed it (as I do all of your pieces).

I'm sorry to hear your Mum is poorly.  Please accept my sincere good wishes for her return to health.
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Offline Big Goggsie

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2005, 08:03:31 PM »
I had to wait untill I was 9 for my 1st match proper. I had my fair share of reserve games (vouchers taken from my brothers Kop season ticket) and a couple of Liverpool v's Everton Boys games.

When you mention your dad wearing his suit, it reminded me that my dad would always put his jacket on, when he answered the front door.

My pocket money was 2d a day and was thick as 'Sunday Stew' the only thing I was good at, at school was plasticine snakes.



Offline alana

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2005, 03:37:35 AM »
I did a weeks work experience in garston baths, and it was fallng apart then. Apart from telling me stories about LFC me dad used to work for the corpy and would tell me stories about the rats, and the water leakin thru them baths. I also remember the bus station gettin knocked down. As for garston market, i used to go with my mum and nan, i stil remember thinking how huge it was.

Offline Tarpaulin

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #30 on: March 29, 2005, 10:27:15 AM »
Quote
                    trying to cut down on reminiscing recently as its not everyones cup of tea.

                    I was sad reading this today, because me Mam is on a very slippery slope.
                    I might write something soon in an attempt to cheer her up.

NEVER stop reminiscing.....theres loads like me on here that need this kinda stuff mate. God help us if the youth of today were brought up without the memories of "proper" reds such as yerself.

Hope yer mam picks up mate - best wishes.

Always ere if yer need a gab or whatever.

Yer mate.

Andy :wave

Offline Bren1892

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2005, 07:11:07 PM »
That was really good Wooly, don't stop reminiscing - you put it across so well.  I can't remember the first match I went to, I suspect it was before I had any interest at all - how things change  :D.  Anyway, keep them coming.  :wave
YNWA
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Offline IrishRed

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #32 on: March 30, 2005, 09:37:08 PM »
Don't you bloody well dare!!!! 

well said Maggie

Karl - deffo don't cut back mate, stories from people like yourself is what capivated me bout the internet in the first place, i love hearing all the accounts of what went on, half imagine myself being in on the adventure when reading some of them!!  you see thats all some like me have got, reality is we'll never have the experiences of our more mature (shall we say...) fans

add to the fact that i would rather read accounts like yours and others like it than read the 451st thread bout a particular player or bout some other shite

the day that people like yourself stop posting articles will probably be the day i leave the forums behind
« Last Edit: March 30, 2005, 09:42:51 PM by IrishRed »
LFC SHOULD NEVER PLAY ON THE 15TH APRIL, NOT THIS YEAR, NEXT YEAR OR ANY OTHER YEAR

Justice

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Re: "Thick as two short planks" (A Jessie Paisley story)
« Reply #33 on: April 1, 2005, 07:02:04 PM »
Rushian,   Thanks for posting Wooltonian  story.  Brought back some great memories  Liverpool v West Ham United 1962.   It was my first game also went with some mate’s into the Boys Pen and have been hooked ever since :)

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