Ernest wrote to me yesterday apologising for having to disappear at short notice from the Garden Gate’s grand opening of the Hunslet memorabilia room. He says it was the first time ever that I had bought him a drink, the shock of it caused him to have as Ernest put it ‘a funny turn’. He was receiving treatment from Mark the pubs Landlord but he soon made a marvellous recovery when Mark tried to administer him the kiss of life.
To prove that he is still in good health and his memory as not failed him he passed on another one of his great tales.

Most of us are probably fed-up to the teeth with what seems to be a never-ending Saga of alleged racist remarks made on the sports field. Only the other day a coloured gentleman himself said he too was Brassed–off with the whole business, declaring that what went on during his day as a footballer, worked both ways, was mostly said in the heat of the moment, then forgot. Whether one agrees with it or not, it was the same during my time as a sportsman; a kind of ‘handbags at dawn’ occasionally, as some commentator or another once said, but over and done with off the field.

In conversation with my old bowling buddy George Hollings on the same subject, he reminded me of an event which took place during what became known as the 1932/3 Bodyline Series of Tests between England and Australia when the great Harold Larwood introduced bodyline bowling at the behest of his captain, Douglas Jardine, which created a deal of acrimony amongst Australian players and supporters; after which what came to be known as ‘sledging’ really took off.

When the match was over, Jardine knocked on the Aussie dressing room door, which was opened by their skipper Bill Woodfull, who himself had been at the receiving end of some of Larwood’s bowling. Jardine went on to say that one of his players had called him a bastard. Responding to which, Woodfull slung the door open wide and addressing his players said: “Which one of you bastards called this bastard a bastard?” Which just about sums up my own view on the subject. For which I offer no apologies.

Thank you for that information Ernest, there’s no need to apologies and I promise you I will avoid buying you a drink again. We can leave that to our OLD pal Ken Eyre’s
(another mention Ken)