Sez Les: Dates, an anniversary and the future

Fans taking away pitch 'souvenirs' at Bramall Lane in 1973
Fans taking away pitch 'souvenirs' at Bramall Lane in 1973
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This week the column looks at dates, an anniversary and peers into the future.

The anniversary first and it sort of sneaked past during this week but those who were there may just have nodded in its direction.

Forty years ago on Wednesday - August 7, 1973 to be precise - Yorkshire played their final cricket match at Bramall Lane.

The end, in a Roses clash with Lancashire when the second day was rained off entirely, was rather an anti-climax because it petered out into a rather tame draw with no result likely on the final afternoon.

But those seeking their bit of history didn’t mind too much, not even with the fact Geoffrey Boycott had made only six in his final Lane innings. After the finish, spectators flocked onto the outfield and began taking away bits of it as souvenirs.

I got my penknife out, cut a strip of turf, wrapped it in my copy of the Daily Mirror and carried it home on the 69 bus from Sheffield to Rotherham and cut it into the back lawn right next to the drainage cover.

The next day, the paper described us as “vandals”. No, I wasn’t. I wouldn’t be watching cricket at Bramall Lane again and followed the rest in getting a ‘souvenir’ - whilst starting excavations for the football stand!

Talking of dates, I found myself going back further... to 1966 and pondering the Germany team which lost to England in the World Cup Final.

Which of them, I thought, might this week’s story have been referring to when it said three of the Germany players are alleged to have been taking drugs.

As for the future. Let’s fast forward to August 2015. Arsenal are embroiled in an unsavoury spectacle with the star striker. It looks like they’ve fallen out, the player is determined to leave despite all the great support he has had from the club and its fans during several controversies in which the player has been involved from time to time.

Yes, Luis Suarez wants to leave for Real Madrid.

Now for much further into the future. And in 37 years’ time, Sheffield United will still be in League One and the Millers too.

It said so in the league tables in my Sunday paper. I glanced at the date. 25 December 2050. Don’t ask me how. There’s never been any newspaper on December 25 any year. So, perhaps it’s a collector’s item! Bit like that Lane turf then.