Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Last Ten

Last ten!! is the cry that goes up as a Sunday League football match moves beyond the eightieth minute. Well, it is in South Yorkshire where I played years ago in a league centred on Rotherham. The actual purpose of the cry is somewhat ambiguous. For old fellahs like me, in my final years of turning out, I assumed it was a welcome reminder that the ordeal of getting through the full ninety minutes was approaching its close and you just needed to keep going somehow. But in earlier days, when I was reasonably fit, it felt like a call to arms, an indication that there was time to seize the game by the throat as the opposition weren't going to be able to muster the necessary staying power (especially if they'd been in the boozer before the game - a not unheard of occurrence, especially as the season approached its end.)

My playing days are long over, as you know, Gentle Reader, but I found some comfort in the old cry the other evening as I dug deep to complete my thirty-five minutes on the elliptical trainer in the gym. Mind you, that last ten felt longer than any I've passed on a playing field.

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