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.


42. 42

Joe was asked by Charley Wilson and Ian Kirkup why he didn’t compete in the 1972 Olympic Games. Joe simple said it was because I just wasn’t ready mentally plus I tore a muscle in my wrist and it would have been silly to compete.

“Are you ready for Montreal in Canada?

“Yes, I have prepared well. I would like to thank those who have helped me along the way, my sponsors, Eric Sanderson, Bob Takano in the States and to Middlesex University who gave me an opportunity and paid for me to go to Michigan to train with some of the best lifters in the world. I’m twenty five now and at my peak I think.

“How do you compare with the others in the competition Joe?

“I believe I can win the gold medal as I am every bit as good if not better than my rivals.

Krastyu Semerdzhiev from Bulgaria has been tipped to take the gold does this bother you?

“Not at all, I welcome the challenge.’

“Thank you Joe.

“Your welcome guys.”

Joe left the interview then took a taxi home.


“How did it go son asked his mother and father as well as expected I suppose.”

“They are sceptical because I pulled out of the Munich Games.”

Your friends rang you to ask when you’d be back they said they would meet you in the Percy Main Club at 7.30pm

“What time is it now 6-45pm I make it; I can’t adjust back to the time scale in England.

 Joe washed then shaved then dressed in a clean blue shirt and tie with his Olympic black blazer and black trousers. Joe had grown his hair in the 70’s style and had sideburns.

My Joe, you look so handsome; are you not coming over father?

“Not tonight son you have a lot of catching up to do.”

“I have my key mother so don’t wait up.”

Joe left the house then hurried up the road. It had been so long since he’d seen his friends he wondered how they would look it had been almost seven years.

Joe was about to show his club card when the doorman said go straight up Joe it great to have you here. Joe ran up the stairs then walked inside where he looked around for his friends. He saw a hand through the smoke filled room and walked towards it.

When he got there he hardly recognised Paul Kerrigan he had lost all his puppy fat and was a lean handsome looking man.

Paul stood up and Joe shook his hand. Then Ralphie Mason stood up and Joe said you’ve never changed.


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