Putting one past Pat Jennings!


A once-in-a-lifetime memory from Peter Hughes, who works as a librarian in Summerhill, Co Down . . .

‘I was born on 26th March 1967.  I grew up in the town of Newry in Northern Ireland during the height of the ‘troubles’.  It was just like any other working class town anywhere in Britain (apart from the noise and large military presence) and like other kids in these areas, we played football every day after school in our street.  There were a lot fewer cars to contend with in those days so we normally had most of the street to ourselves.

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Dog Tracks


There were no factories or offices on Greenbank Estate in my youth. There was The Showgrounds, or soccer ground, but there also was – wait for it! – TWO dog tracks! Owners, bookies and punters would travel from far and wide to ‘go to the dogs’ in Newry.  During the summer, race days were Wednesdays and Sundays, leaving Jack Mullan’s track after the first meeting and then into Matt O’Hare’s. In the winter months it was Sundays only but both tracks, so again it was out of one and into the other. 

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Meeting Big Pat Jennings


The year was 1985. I was employed by Fords at Dagenham and I happened then to be player manager of a departmental football team.

It was a Sunday morning and as usual my team was playing a league game at the Ford Sports Centre, Rush Green in Essex. We were allocated one of the pitches adjacent to the main arena. On that day, the Arena itself was the venue of a Cup Final. This game featured representative teams from Ford plants at Halewood and Swansea. The day’s Guest Celebrity to present the Trophies was our own Pat Jennings.

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