Monday, 2 April 2012

Red Boots

My first boots were a pair of Puma 300 size 5. I was 7 ish and either Puma started at a size 5 or my Father insisted on a pair I would grow into, they were beautiful &  had green rubber soles. Black with the distinctive Puma band, the mark of Pele & later Dalglish amongst others. The Germans tended to favour Adidas, certainly Beckenbauer, The Kaiser was a man of 3 stripes.
I had a particularly good pair of Adidas Santiago, bought when I was 12 and played in the Glasgow Cup Final, we lost 3-2 to Lourdes.
That great sports shop Chivers, Carlisle persuaded me that the pro's were all wearing boots slightly too small as they would stretch & fit like a glove. That piece of 1970's advice persuaded me to buy & painfully wear a pair of Puma Meister boots for a long long season. The pain was slightly alleviated when we played at home as Hammond's Pond was adjacent to the pitch and an immersion in water allowed for a certain temporary stretch. Next pair, Adidas 2000 bought in Luke Sports, Battlefield Rd, Glasgow. Slightly too big at 9. 1/2s.
great until it rained and they were suddenly 10. 1/2s.
Recently I was offered a game of 7's in Kendal, I went to the nearest so called Sports Shop and bought the cheapest on show.
All my other football boots, those bought since I was 7ish, many many  boots, mostly Puma or Adidas had one glorious thing in common. They were black, and if they were adorned with 3 stripes or a Puma flash then these were white in colour.
But now, me, a grown man in his earlyish 50's now wears Red Pumas. A saving of £3.00 persuaded me to buy red. Do I play well in them? Yes of course,  I certainly continue to show flashes of brilliance. For any passing spectator they will instantly recognise an oldish player who has certainly watched and learned from Barcelona & Athletico Bilbao. Style, yes in an athletic, technical way.
Style, not in any sartorial way. Cascades of laughter greeted their 1st appearance and this mirth has never ceased.
There is a rumour that the town of Ayr is going to run special tourist buses on a Friday night to witness the ludicrous sight. A fellow player has nominated me for the Turner Prize. the same wit has suggested that on a summers evening my boots may be a hazard with a late sun causing a glare strong enough to blind passing airline pilots.
They may be boots worthy of Hot-Shot Hamish himself, next time I however I am going black.
I long for the days when the kids buying football boots  agree that 'Black is the new Black'.

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