Fred (The Shed)

Heads or Tails? Fred Paxford, Gunner aged 82.
Hello again! Im not up at the shed today but back at home, Ive just been cleaning out the old pantry. I’m just having a cuppa and a cheese sandwich here at the kitchen table. I was having a moment then started thinking about going in the garden and planning what I will grow this year,a few runners and maybe the old Dorothy Perkins perhaps. I came second in a competition a few years ago for my marrows so I might do a few of them. There’s a nice young family at number 45, and I tend to give them a few veggies as its too much, what with being on me own and all.
My nephew came around yesterday and read me your comments.How nice they were! I did have a rattle as little lad,we all did that went to Highbury in them post war years.Many times I would hear a voice shout out to my Dad “here mate send your son down here” and I would get lifted up and passed overhead from the back where we were standing and pushed to the front so I could see the game clearly. There wasn’t anything suspicious about them blokes, just kind gentlemanly fellows who allowed me to see all the game. I can see them all now, standing there before me, you think its going to stay like that forever, but times soon change.Shocking really.
I went with my old Dad as much as I could.You would have liked him.He fought in the Spanish Civil war but soon transferred as an ambulance driver once he was over there.I dont think he was much a of a fighting man.Went over on next to nothing and came back a different man. Mum went potty, her Dad, my Grandfather had a penny or two, so while Dad was away we were okay.But I dont think my Grandfather approved or ever forgave him. Cut the old man out of his will!
Talking of which, my Dad never did trust that Stalin again,he felt he let the POUMS down and later thought he was nothing but a big blood-thirsty bully.But he stayed a Socialist despite all.Then came the war. He loved Arsenal and followed them until 1971 when he died.He didn’t see the double year though as he passed away in the January.Somewhere we still have a Cup Final ticket from 1927.Dad was pretty upset about that game.He always said” that’ll teach em to wash the bloody shirts before a match!”. Then Dad would smile kindly with a twinkle in his eye and say, “funny that old Dan Lewis being a Welshman and all”. He didn’t mean anything nasty about it though and said he felt sorry for Dan to have to carry all that about for the rest of  his life.I think  Dad would have had a stern word to say about them AAA types though! They have no dignity in losing. Its like moaning about the rain.Where would we be without the rain?No food that’s for sure! But people seem to demand things these days,and get upset if they dont get what they want.
So my nephew was telling me about this here banner! My word, poor lads really, lucky them who can spend money on that daft thing.But its all perspective really,as my wife Joan would say. Im sure the poor youngsters want to win all the time.Bit potty really as footballs not really like that is it? During my time Ive seen years of barren runs.But we still cheered the Gunners on.I remember us  playing Real Madrid,cor we was excited to see them players like Puskas and. Di Stefano.Must have been back in 62 I think. We did pretty well, and at HT everyone was saying “We’ll show them”.Gave us a 4-0 beating!But it was still something special.Not much to get all upset about. You’ve got to savor these moments as they wont come back.
Joan was an marvellous person.She ran the local library, and always had her nose in books.I can still see her sitting in the chair over there, in my mind. Im more a gardener really.Tried me hand at a few watercolours,but only a few landscapes.Not much cop really.But she always encouraged me. Joan and I would sit of an evening looking out over the garden and she having read all them newfangled books on psychology and would be telling me all these new ideas,and I would be telling her about the life cycle of the Barnacle Goose! What a pair we were.You would have liked Joan.
One thing she always said was “use your loaf Fred!”.And would then tell me how to think straight and positive,or to be like a willow tree,you know bend and flex with the winds of change.What can you achieve by getting all upset? “Whats good can often later be bad and vice versa,its always hard to tell” she would say.Quite wise really.I suppose thats what wisdom is.Being smart without all the emotion. I think we need a bit more o that at our club,what do you think? And a bit more of that in our time.
Sometimes I think back to all those players from the past that wont get statues or even acknowledgement,yet they are as much as part as AFC as Henry or Bergkamp. But to the young supporters, they didnt exist.
When I used to get upset about anything in life I always thought of Mr.Rose. Mr.Rose was our neighbour, he and his wife came over from Germany in about ’38 I think.He was a lovely fellow,gentle and kind. Mrs.Rose was a bit hard and quiet,and standoffish I asked Mum and she told me to hush, and that Mrs.Rose was a shy lady that’s all. Well in the Autumn after the war a man came to their house, Dad spoke with him too and said he was a Rabbi who had come with some news.We could hear Mrs.Rose crying day after day.I asked Mum and she told me to hush, but when Dad and I were up on the allotment, he told me. All of Mr and Mrs Roses’ family had been killed in the war in those bloody horrible camps.The kids too. I was sort of stunned and shocked.Dad said “no matter how hard we think our lives are,there’s always somebody worse off”.So thats what I try to think of,you know, have a bit o perspective.Arsenal losing is pretty horrible, or so it seems, but only because we make it so and nothing compared to what the Roses family experienced.So that why I think these AAA types bloody mad as March hares!
Mrs.Rose died of what they called grief in 1949. But Mr.Rose lived on.He wasn’t the same though,he always seemed far away. He died in 1959. My Mum and Dad looked out for him as much as possible.He even came with me and Dad a few times to the Arsenal.And he liked it too.
Well, better get on,its been nice to have a chat again. Let me know if you fancy a natter again sometime.Take care o yourselves! And keep your
heads up!

30 comments on “Fred (The Shed)

  1. Great writing Fred – now get down your garden before the rain starts !


  2. Light relief, just the ticket.


  3. ‘They have no dignity in losing’
    Very wel put Fred.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Some very wise words…..especially about being smart without all the emotion.
    The AAA types back in your earlier days would have still have made banners though.
    “Winston, thanks for the memories (Dardanelles excluded) but time to say goodbye” ….right after Dunkirk

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Fighting them on the beaches eh ! Whose fault is that ?


  6. Not sure who people with the AAA spirit would have replaced Churchill with but I would guess someone high ranking and German…….the Nazis, born winners, tactically astute, media friendly, use underhand tactics to their advantage……struggling to think of a modern day comparison though……at least nobody who is German

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Stolen from the Guardian Mandy, Churchill interviewed on Newsnight ( if it had been invented then);

    “Churchill, windbag”

    Paxman: You say you have nothing to offer but blood, tears, toil and sweat. That doesn’t sound like a particularly inspiring manifesto, Mr Churchill. Why should anyone take any notice of you?

    Churchill: Never in the whole field of human conflict…

    Paxman: You’re avoiding the question, Mr Churchill. Can we just go through your proposals one by one? You say you have nothing to offer but blood. Whose blood exactly?

    Churchill: We shall fight them in the beaches, we shall fight them…

    Paxman: Let me interrupt you there. You say, “We shall fight them on the beaches.” Who is this we exactly? The Conservative party?

    Churchill: The British people…

    Paxman: But that’s just not true, is it Mr Churchill? When you say we, you mean they. You personally have no intention of going down to Brighton beach and keeping the Germans at bay, do you?

    Churchill: I, I, I…

    Paxman: You will be sitting in your bunker under the Cabinet Office in Whitehall smoking cigars and drinking a bottle of scotch…

    Churchill: Don’t be so impertinent.

    Paxman: The fact is prime minister, you’ve completely lost touch with the mood of the country and no one believes a word you say. That’s all we’ve got time for. Thanks very much for coming on prime minister.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Another remarkable post Fred.

    Yep, modern football supporters. An odd bunch, on the whole.


  9. Excellent stuff An5 hadn’t seen that


  10. I see Liverpool have drawn Dortmund in the Europa League – small world eh ?

    For those of us with an eye to co-efficients the exit of Juve and Lazio from the Euro respective competitions this week suggest another reprieve for the fourth English place in the CL til 2020.

    Its still a trophy folks

    Liked by 3 people


    Arsène Wenger has revealed the latest updates ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against Everton:

    on the team news…
    Well, the other night we lost Mathieu Flamini with a hamstring injury, so he will be out. He will be replaced by Chambers. Everybody else should be available. We have a check-up this [Friday] morning, but all the other signs look quite positive.

    on Cech, Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere…
    Wilshere is showing good signs now of recovery, Santi is a bit slower. The players who will definitely be back from injury [after the international break] will be Ramsey, Cech and maybe Flamini. But I don’t think Cazorla or Wilshere will be straight after the international break.

    Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20160318/team-news-flamini-ramsey-and-wilshere#mASA0qEBfBdpHk3p.99


  12. Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel fires first jab at Liverpool. “They’re an OK team but really it’s 2016, not the 1980’s.”

    Liked by 3 people

  13. So if Liverpool lose out to Dortmund and finish 6th or 7th in the League, and United win the FA cup but come 5th and Spurs finish 3rd and Arsenal 2nd who might be said to have had the best season ?


  14. That depends who is asking, and who wants to know ????


  15. Thanks, Fred! Too close to shred?

    Pity poor Stew, writing a preview on Wednesday, flying to Barcelona to write another preview, then to Liverpool Airport on Saturday, at an ungodly hour, for another preview!

    Where is the R & R? where are the HSE people when they are really needed.

    The RSPCA, would be on the TV complaining about the EPL, if it was a puppy having to go through that, for a poo or two.

    Off with Scudamore’s head..


  16. Man City U18’s V Arsenal Under-18s in the FA Youth Cup tonight

    Arsenal Under-18s starting XI: Keto, Johnson, M.Bola, Bielik, Robinson, Sheaf, Bennacer, Willock, Hinds, Reine-Adelaide, Mavididi
    substitutes: Virginia, Nelson, Malen, Da Graca, McGuane

    Reine-Adelaide has given AFC the lead after 4 minutes

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Nmecha has scored for City to make it 1-1 after 25 minutes


  18. city take the lead, Buckley-Ricketts is the scorer 1-2 (39)


  19. Nice one, Fred.


  20. Arsenal FC ‏@Arsenal 6m6 minutes ago
    HALF-TIME: Manchester City Under-18s 2-1 @Arsenal Under-18s #AFCU18


  21. Arsenal FC ‏@Arsenal 37s37 seconds ago
    FULL-TIME: Manchester City Under-18s 2-1 @Arsenal Under-18s #AFCU18


  22. ha ha ha, the AAA/WOB who lamented Arsenal scouts not spotting Marhez before he went to LCFC, are now losing their shit cos AFC are being linked with Nimes 22 year old striker Anthony Koura. As we know Arsenal are doomed if they don’t and doomed if the do, with this lot.


  23. Well, that brought a tear to m eye. What wonderful, in fact beautiful, writing. Humble and wise, and so genuinely human. This must rank as one of the best accounts of the need for perspective. Fred looking out into his garden reminds me of a lasting image of my grandfather looking out of his cottage window down the mountain side full of vine-clad terraces, spindle-shaped Cypresses and olive groves to the azure blue Aegean Sea….this is what it means to be Positively Arsenal….thanks Fred.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. She joins on an initial 66 day loan and will be available for Sunday’s SSE Women’s FA Cup 5th round tie.

    The England international started her career at the Gunners before re-joining them in 2005, remaining at the London club for the past eleven years.

    Yankey is one of England’s most capped players, having made 129 appearances for the Lionesses, scoring 19 times, she was also part of the Team GB squad who competed at the London 2012 Olympics, appearing in all five games.

    The forward joins the Lady Pies on an initial 66 day loan, and will be available for Sunday’s SSE Women’s FA Cup 5th round encounter against Durham at Meadow Lane (KO 2pm).

    Notts County Manager Rick Passmoor welcomed the experience of Yankey to the Notts squad, “I don’t think I need to mention the quality that Rachel possesses, everyone in and around the game is more than aware of the devastating effect she can have on a game.”

    “Rachel is a fantastic attacking option for us to have at our disposal and I’m delighted to bring her to Meadow Lane.”

    Source – nclfc.co.uk


  25. Hugely frustrating that I couldnt find a stream for the youth cup game and ARSENAl dont even have someone comentating on the game. I found plenty of streams for the blackburn/chelski game which added to my annoyance. Anyway good luck to the lads i the second leg COYYG.


  26. ian the Blackburn v Chelsea game was live on ITV 4, that is probably why lots of streams, hopefully ITV4 will show the second leg of of Arsenal’s tie live.


  27. Diaby came on as a sub tonight at 75mins for Marseilles.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Thanks Fred.

    A5 you must have looked into your crystal ball as you were right about Tuchel being the new idol of the WOBbles! Not sure why they think Eddie How is hot stuff but they seem to have had many suggestions of a similar sort.In fact anyone who isnt AW! Oddest thing to me is that the arguments they blog on the dark side of the force are actually quite easy to answer and demolish.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Great article. Thanks Fred.


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