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.


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Joe told his mother that he was going to play football with his friends, well you be careful people maybe jealous of your success and may try and injure you.

Mam I am head and shoulders bigger than kids my age and older so don’t worry.

Ralphie, Paul, and Kevin came running over.

“Have you seen the paper they said; you’re famous.

“Don’t be daft it’s only one photo.’

“But Joe you broke the British record and you are only eleven; every coach in the country is going to be after you.’

“Come on forget about all of this we have a football match to play. Where’s “Winger Ellis and his mates. They are meeting us there Joe. They walked over the road and up Wallsend Road which was a straight road all the way to Scorers Park.


When they got there they saw the lads having a kick about.

Joe walked up and saw Dave Mason who was no relation to Ralphie.

“Do your lads fancy a game wi wor lot?

Brian Ellis and his friends joined Joe.

How many you got on your side, we’ve got eleven.”

We’ve got eleven as well.

“Good have you got boots with you because we all have got them?

“Yes, said Joe and shin pads as well.

You can go down to the toilets down there to change but they sink to high heaven.

“It’s alright we will just change here we have our shorts on under our pants anyway.

The lads were lacing up their boots as the girls showed up with two bottles of villa lemonade. “Can we sit on your coats the girls asked?

“Go on then said Kevin as he did tricks with the ball keeping it up and using his head to pass to his team mates.

After the lads had warmed up the game got under way and it was the North Shields Boys Club side who scored first with a header from a black player on their side called Colin Moses.

Paul Kerrigan dived for the ball and it just slipped passed him.

Joe had words with his team who were no yet organised and told Richard Milton and Ronnie Heron to tighten up the defence. Ralphie I want you to keep making those runs down the wing and you Brian, on the other wing. Cross the ball near post to either Kevin and I and we will have a pop at goal.

Ryan Smith and Darrell Thompson I want you to man mark that big lad over there; “What’s his name? that’s Billy Phelps. The other one they call Colin Sarin keep tight to him and try not to give him space.

They kicked off again and the ball was fed through to Ralphie Mason who set off at blinding speed down the wing with the ball.

He got passed John Colquhoun and Freddy King then came inside looked up then floated the ball to the near corner where Kevin Skipsey jumped then headed home the equaliser.

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