Tha oul crocks fitba match

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IVERY year roon Christmas A hae mine o’ ma faither hoakin oot haes oul tartan fitba beg. Ay, it’s near foartie year syne A hae seen thon oul beg bit A hae mine o’ it lik it wus yisterday. It wus smaa compared tae thadays begs bit it wus big eneuch tae howl aa ye needed.

Inside tha beg thur wus an oul pair o’ shin guerds, tha kind ye tucked intae yer socks, fer thur wus nae velcro in thon days. The’ wur aboot twa times es heavy es tha yins tha weans wear noo, an ribbed wi herd wudden strips.

Forby tha shin guerds thur wus a pair o’ weel worn bleck leather fitba boots, wi leather studs that ye hae’d tae hemmer in iver a lathe. An tucked intae yin o tha boots wus a wee jar o’ dubbin wae a greesy rag lapped roon it. Fer boots wurnae sae easy cumby in thon days an ye cudnae afford tae neglect thum.

Bit thur wus yin mere thing in thon oul beg, a smaa, thin clear, gless bottle wi ribbed sides. It contain’t a derk broon liquid an haed a picture o’ an oul fashioned cretter wae a handlebar moustache oan it. Noo, A hae furgotten mony’s a thing bit A can still mine tha smell o’ thon wee bottle o’ Sloan’s Liniment. Yin whiff wud o clear’d yer heid fer a foartnicht.

Yinst iverthin hae’d bin checked, tha bag wus pit intae tha boot o’ tha car, ready fer tha oul crocks fitba match.

A’m sure it hae’d a mere formal title bit thon’s whut we aa caa’d it. Tha oul crocks match wus played ivery year aroon Christmas at tha Sand Fiel in Ballywalter an wus appen tae players fae tha lower Ards iver thurtie-five.

Bit tae bae hoanest wi ye, us weans wurnae iverly concern’t wi tha fitba. Tha crack wus in taakin’ tha han oot o’ tha oul crocks, wha aa reeked o’ Sloan’s Liniment an Wunter Green, es the’ hirppled up an doon tha pitch.

Ay, bit time maks fools o’ iz aa an noo its maesel whas hirpplen aroon. Maebae A shud hae a luk fer thon oul liniment bottle.

Tae nixt time, hae a blythe New Year an aff coorse, lang mae yer lum reek an yer spicket dribble.