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These pages are a collection of stories from the Writer's Group at Box Hill U3A.

A Special Game

I grew up in the town of Ilford Essex within commuter distance of London City Atttending Loxford Central School I was an average student. I was not a sportsperson as such but did enjoy games and participated when opportunity arose. This included soccer and baseball, some boxing and as I grew older tennis.

One boy at my school with whom I became very friendly later was in the year after mine and he brought great credit to the school by becoming an international soccer player, His trophy was in proud display in the assembly hall. Eddie Chapman and I became friends after we left school when we met up to spearhead the founding of an old boys club which we called the Adastra Sports Club. With my brother and others I frequently went to the local park to kick a football around and remember how proud I was to get my first soccer ball though in those days it was just called football. Balls then were made of leather with an inner tube, which had to be blown up with a bicycle pump and the leather had to be vigorously rubbed with tallow. I loved all that.

The Second World War started which affected many of our activities but we struggled on nevertheless. When the blitz hit London and suburbs it placed many restrictions on our ability to keep these things going but we did manage quite well. Meantime my friend Eddie Chapman was endeavouring to progress his career as a professional soccer player and to this end was given job in the office and later became secretary of the West Ham United Football Club, The "Hammers', which was the popular local team to which the males in my family attended regularly on Saturday afternoons.

Charles Dickeson