The Shieldsman

A story of four young boys growing up in the tower block of flats in Percy Main in North Shields. the story follows them through to adulthood through mischief and lost innocence, love, tragedy, and finally triumph. If you remember what it was like growing up as a child then this story is definitely one for you.


20. 20

Later that evening the boys were playing a game of football on the newly cut grass.

They used their coats as goal posts. Joe dribbled past Richard Milton and a few other lads that Kevin had rounded up for a game; he lined up a shot with his right foot and the goal. The Keeper Ronnie Heron had no chance as the ball flew past him.

“Goal! Shouted Ralphie as Joe made his way back to the makeshift centre circle.

“We are winning 14-2 Joe and you have scored eleven of them. We had better let them score a couple or Brian Ellis is going to take his case ball home.

“Aye alright sulked Joe; who hated giving goals away.

The ball was kicked off by Podger Harris who passed it to Ryan Smith. Brian Ellis called for the ball and Ryan crossed it. Joe considered a sliding tackle but let Brian get past him to where Paul Kerrigan who had had virtually nothing to do was faced with a shot from Ellis. Paul put his arms out and made a save that surprised his pals.

Saved! Shouted Kevin. The ball was picked up by Paul who then bowled it out to Ralphie Mason who was a fantastic winger with speed. He went flying down the wing beating Podger, Ronnie Heron, and Ryan. He squared it to Kevin who slid the ball past their new keeper Geordie Watts as Ronnie had decided he wanted to play out.


“Right that’s it I’m gannin’ in noo 15-2 we are never going to beat that score said Brian holding his ball under his arm.

“Ha’way noo lad’s diven’t be gannin’ in already man.”

“No I’m gannin see you’s later.

“You had two player’s more than us an al’ said Joe in protest as Brian walked away.

“Well we will have to gan doon to the res’ noo said Kevin.

The lads walked up the road past the other towers on their way to the reservoir.

When they got there some older lads were throwing bricks into the pond trying to break pop bottles with them.

Paul couldn’t help himself, he shouted for the lads to stop.

They turned towards Paul and began to laugh.

“Get stuffed fat boy said one of them as they walked towards him. The eldest pushed Paul to the ground.

“Leave him be said Joe.

“What you going to do? the lad who turned to his friends laughing.

Joe’s huge fist shot out and hit the lad smack on the bridge of his nose. There was a crunching sound as the bone broke and blood poured from the wound. The force of the blow sent him flying backwards into the water. His clothes were soaked as he picked himself up out of the pond holding onto his nose to stop the flow of blood.

“Am gan a get me fatha’ on you said the lad as he ran with the rest of them towards a gap in the fence.

“Are you alright Paul said Joe?

“Aye, that was some punch Joe, thanks.”

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