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Lost a friend

September 18 2017 at 2:48 PM
colin bell  (Login nw42)

It was 1974 and I was 14, a stranger appeared on the yard at school during break, stood on his own, white/yellow & blue wool scarf proudly displayed. My inquisitive nature got the better of me and I marched up to him, "you Leeds?"..... "yeh"....... "do you smoke?........."yep"..... "come on then I'll show you where we go".

That was it, the start of a long friendship with the proudest Yorkshireman I've ever met, he wasn't into the mither at games, just a staunch Leeds lad through and through, wouldn't hear a wrong word about your county or your club.
I knew the words to His eyes they shone, YRA, MOT etc etc and sang them with him back in the pub on many a Saturday night, he travelled everywhere and mostly on his own, which as we all know was no picnic bitd.

We attended each others weddings, parties and the like, sometimes we'd go more than a year without contact once I'd moved away but it was always easy to pick up where we'd left off, true friendship is like that.

I last texted him in March this year when you were away @ Fulham, I was following the game on the radio and it seemed you were destined for a scrappy win, I told him how impressed I was with a 6K turnout from Leeds and what jammy fuckers you were for scraping a win.
Fulham got an equaliser on 94mins and I got his reply, "I'm here mate, gutted!". I felt I'd jinxed it and wished I'd maintained radio silence.

I thought about him a couple of weeks ago while listening to one of your games, was going to send summat but thought better of it when I realised you were on an unbeaten run.

Anyway, Saturday lunchtime I got a call, he'd suffered a heart attack that morning, gone, sat at the kitchen table, fucking hell!!

Calls were made and a good 30 of us got together on Saturday night in our old local, he he had stayed faithful to the same boozer for 30odd years, that shows you the commitment of the fella.

He's left a wife and 2 grown up children, his lad turned up on Sat night, Stockport born but I'm proud to tell you that he is Leeds through and through and always will be, that's another measure of the man my mate was, to drag the poor kid through what you lot have been through over the years and he's still around for the cause.

Sorry for the ramble but I just wanted to tell you about him, at least he didn't see the unbeaten run broken, you are sitting in what must be your best position since fuck knows when and the future is looking bright.

Rest in Peace my friend Paul, Yorkshire's finest export to the right side of the Pennines.

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