Monday 29th December

141229

THE PHANTOM HEADER OF TOMMY HUTCHINSON:

“Whenever I hear Johnny Mathis sing ‘When a Child is Born’
it takes me straight back to 1976, Coventry v West Ham at
Highfield Road. Coventry won 1-0 from a beautiful cross
to Tommy Hutchinson who headed it straight into the top
corner. I remember ’cause the crowd went mad. I’ll never
forget it ’cause it was my first boxing day match –
music is a trigger like that.”
He said, but though we trawled the net for ages neither
that match nor Tommy Hutchinson scoring against West Ham
turned up. Coventry lost 2-1 that winter & I could feel
the chill in the stands as that song echoed around the ground,
hope carried on the breath of penguin shuffling men & boys
escaping through damp woollen scarfs wrapped around their
necks & mouths, joining to form thin clouds that condensed
as low hanging mist, congealing with mangled mud & grass,
glistening on the heavy leather boots of steaming sweat soaked
players re-emerged from half-time tunnels with matted 1970s
hair & long stares.
You laughed,
“We’ll I’ve remembered it that way all these years,
maybe that score line changed over time?” you laughed
“The home crowd went mad – I definitely remember that.”

(K)

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