Thursday, 24 January 2013

A Trip Down Memory Lane

The previous delivery provided a trip down memory lane (or memory track?) and this one had a tangential trip down memory lane of its own.

After a previous book on the History of the FA was claimed I received an email from Sue whose 70+ yr old father suffered from Dementia. He had been a long time football fan and the book would have provided (provoked?) some memories of days gone by… I knew I had to do something, so I advised I’d find something appropriate.

Age does funny things to us in terms of memory, we all get affected by short term memory loss – we can keep it relatively agile through various techniques but in those with Dementia short term memory loss is a permanent feature. Short term memory stores all those things happening to and around us, it takes things in, filters it and decides what should flow through into long term memory which in itself is divided (simplistically) into event based memory – dates, things that happened etc. and more functional memory – the things we don’t even consciously think about – riding a bike, boiling an egg and such like. In the later stages of dementia, these longer term memories start to be affected and our need for care increases.

Long term memory is a powerful thing – we can probably all think of a song that evokes our first love and brings to mind, sounds, sights, smells. Caring appropriately for memory in those with Dementia can really improve quality of life. So as a football fan, Sue’s father might not be able to remember the current manager of Aston Villa1, or who plays at the Keepmoat Stadium2, but could probably reel off the starting 11 from the 1966 world cup final or in my case it would be the Leeds Untied FA cup winning team of 19723 (despite being an infant at the time).

Burnden Park c/o 
So this book was perfect – The Football Grounds of England & Wales, but before Keepmoat, Ricoh, DW, Emirates et al provided some of the money which built spanking new stadiums of seemingly opulent luxury (if the ticket prices are anything to go by). The book was printed in the mid 80s so there aren’t any behemoth Premier League stadia in there… Roker Park, not Stadium of Light, Burnden Park not the Reebok Stadium .. well you get the picture. My hope is that upon receiving the book ,  the memories of standing on a freezing cold terrace on New Years Day with a cup of Bovril and a Meat Pie of questionable provenance came flooding back and a smile arose at the thought of George Best dancing down the wing as various ruggedly built defenders tried to decapitate him.

I don’t know whether it was irony or sod’s law or something else, but I printed off a map for the house and because I kind of knew where it was I didn’t really refer to it again. As I turned into what I thought was the appropriate road (no signs) I knew this wasn’t quite right… which I found out after posting it and then cycling past the right road … happily I had labelled the pack so book was eventually happily received ….

1.        Still Paul Lambert at the time of posting but hanging on.
2.        Doncaster Rovers
3.        Harvey, Reaney, Madeley, Hunter, Charlton, Bremner, Giles, Lorimer, Gray, Clarke, Jones

ASIDE: I’ve changed my donation rule – I’ll be donating 5p per mile on top of the £1 per book which makes a 40 mile round trip a £3 donation instead of £1.40 which seems more proportionate.

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