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For our second MyLocalPitch Humans of Grassroots Sport series entry we spoke with Andrew Dagnall who has been playing in the same 5a side game for over 30 years…..
I started playing 6a side largely because myself and a group of mates all used to boast how good we were.
A good friend of mine, Chris Thornton, got the game going way back in 1987 and this year we reached our 30th successive year. Because we play down in Wandsworth at St George’s on Wednesdays we went by the ‘Wandle Wednesdays’.
I’ve been playing with the same mates since the start, but we’ve had a few noteworthy signings to speak of. Hugh Grant and Simon ‘The Analyst’ Hughes are perhaps the most famous, who both can handle themselves well enough on the pitch.
For me, the social aspect of playing is as important as the game itself.
We always pop to the local pub to relive some of the great and embarrassing moments from the game.
I remember one Wednesday night when for some reason or another, no one else could go to the pub so I went home. My wife thought I must be injured and had come home at half-time!
Another time we decided to properly record a game as I used to be involved in production to see whether we were as good as we imagined. During the kick-about my mate Mike scored a ‘worldy’ and when we finished he couldn’t wait to see the footage.
He was gutted when I told him the cameraman was changing tapes at the time and it just happened to be for his ‘best goal ever’ – shame that! He did eventually get to see the goal and wear the tape out with repeated slo-mo’s
Although I’ve retired due to a foot fracture, our game has been going for such a long time that some of the original players’ sons now turn out regularly for a match. I hope they continue the traditional for years to come, reaching the 50th anniversary mark would be pretty impressive.
BY - Will Chrimes
25 January 2018