Elegy to park in Hillsborough

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The crocuses are thrusting upwards erect and affirmative and the park is swarming with children in the playground and the adventure area. Who notices the awakened squrrels now? Not even the bemused and slow dogs uncertain of what they should do if they… ah well, it needs a Jack Russell to lead the way in such affairs.

Prams and parents and muddied young footballers in England shirts still risking, if not life and limb, aching legs and a not-so-early bath – they will enjoy a happy and deep sleep. Oh I’d love to kick a football again across the flat muddy wastes of Hillsborough Park but fear to make a fool of myself but long for the opportunity and think about the shades of our younger selves. Old friends are older now and so am I. Where was that sweet shop now? Or rather then. The South Stand is different– anoymous now since first I saw it. The geese still sail on eternal waters while I am becalmed by memories and useless regret. I wake as the ice cream van goes home up the slope and out of this catchment area of lost youth.

Ron Clayton, trying to wax lyrical in S6.