Recollections of Dave Muckle
I’ve put 1987 and I’m pretty sure I’m right, but if anyone knows different I’m sure they’ll tell me. In this year it was held at the Depot, and after having trials of sorts 2 Regt put a team in.
We travelled up on the Friday, taking the usual cases of liquid refreshment with us, and after dumping our gear in A block it was off to the NAAFI for a bevy. Surprisingly nothing much happened that first night, we met up with mates from the other Regts, and all had a good drink and went to bed about one-ish, after all we did have to get up and play footy in the morning.
Slightly overhung, we made it down to the pitch for the first game. I think we played 1 Regt and got beat, but we played 4 Regt next and stuffed them, I could have scored about 6 goals but couldn’t be arsed running up the other end of the pitch, so I hit them all long and missed. I do remember Jed Wright was their goalie-hopeless! The depot were doing their normal thing and beating everyone, but we didn’t have to worry about them until Sunday, so we let them enjoy their bit of fun.
I’m not sure who came up with the idea for that Saturday night, it could have been Scouse Winnett, Stan Hogg or Pete Bartle but it was a masterpiece. We had all taken lightweights, cam scarves, vests and boots with us, so that was one part of it ready. Once we were showered and changed we jumped into the mini bus and shot off to Wooleys in Finchley, straight to the toy section (and we found what we were looking for), WATER PISTOLS. Better than that they had Machine Gun Water Pistols, and they made the rat-tat-tat noise as well, result.
We got back to the block and dropped the gear off before going to tea. To this day NOBODY knew what we had planned, not even Dick Mackenzie who was our acting SSM, or Jim Dempsey SSM at Bulford. They knew something was going to happen, but WHAT!
The P*** Up, I mean Social Drinks were being held in the Viking Club, and we were supposed to be there for 8pm, but if we’d been on time we would have been seen and that would have spoilt the surprise. We all got ready in the gear we’d taken and ended up looking like 14 Rambo’s, there is a pic somewhere of us before we left-if anyone knows where please let me know, I’d love a copy. Then we set off to do the deadly deed- A SECTION ATTACK ON THE VIKING CLUB!!
We went straight into the bogs when we got there to make sure we were all LOADED and we knew who was going where. Scouse Winnett gave the word, or should I say screech and we were off, Stan Hogg hit the floor in front of the door to cover us while we piled in, GUNS BLAZING- I mean squirting! You should have seen the faces in the crowd, it was a picture, they didn’t know whether to larf or cry. Before we’d had time to get into our stride Dick Mackenzie came over and stopped us-BOO, a certain SSM who was in charge of footy at the Depot, I won’t give you his name in case I get retribution at the next Reunion-Harry Symms-bugger, wanted us to stop, so we did.
The good part of this though was that we had been told we couldn’t do anything until 10pm, but nobody else knew that-ha’ha, they thought it was all over. As you do in these circumstances, we decided to have a couple of drinks-or three, and by about quarter to ten we were on tender hooks. You know what it’s like clock watching, it seems to take forever, so we drew up a plan of action while we waited. The first bit was to get as many people wet as we could with the ammo we had left, if we’d gone to the bogs to load up they would have known something was coming. The second part of the plan was easy and contained only 3 words GET MEL BELLAMY.
I don’t know to this day why Mel was picked out, but I do remember someone saying he had just spent £30 on the shirt he was wearing, a lot of money in them days, so what the hell.
Bang on 10 Scouse screeched again and we all jumped up, lined ourselves up across the dance floor and opened fire. You should have seen them all diving for cover like a bunch of girlies scared of a little bit of water, and before you knew it our attention fell on Mel. The poor sod had nowhere to go and before he realised what was happening he was drenched. I can’t remember if Vanessa lept for cover or stood by her man, but we must have been good shots coz we didn’t seem to get her. As Mel does, he took it as a bit of fun, well what would you do with 14 people pointing guns at you, and the night went on.
The rest of the nights a bit of a blur, I can’t remember why but I think a Gorilla did a dooda in me gob the way it felt in the morning, and none of our guys were that hairy. I managed to get the keys to the mini bus back from one of the lads who’d scored the night before (thought I’d throw that bit in for a larf-it’s true!), and started getting ready for our first match of the day-against the Depot. Because Harry Symms had spoilt our fun the night before, and we knew how serious he was about the competition, we decided to get our own back!
I haven’t got a clue about breakfast, did we make or didn’t we, maybe someone can remind me coz I can’t remember. We had taken 2 strips with us, a Red one and a Yellow one, and while they looked ok on their own we decided we could improve the look. We took both strips out and mixed them up so we all had a yellow shirt, red shorts and a red and yellow sock each. On top of that we still had some cans left we had taken with us, so knowing the kind of reaction it would get from a certain person we decided we would turn up drinking them, and carrying the rest. The looks we got as we approached could have killed, but the lads thought it was a good larf so we weren’t too bothered.
Once we had been shouted at to get on the pitch to start the match, we finished our cans on the touchline and ran on-sort of. The game went the way everyone expected, we were getting beat but what the hell we were having a great weekend. Now I’m not sure about this bit, either Dick Mackenzie came on as a sub, or he was already on, but the game changed in a matter of seconds. Someone punted the ball high and long towards the Depot’s goal, it bounced up-I say hitting Dick on the head, but he’ll probably say it was played for, but anyway it went over the goalie and into the net.
Nobody had scored against the Depot all weekend and it was greeted with apoplexy, we charged up the field jumping on Dick’s back wondering how we’d managed to get a goal. Then it got nasty, 4 Regt who were watching from the side invaded the pitch! A certain SSm was highly dischuffed and started shouting at everyone to get off the pitch so the game could restart. Everyone was cheering, beer was being drunk, and all coz we’d done it, we’d scored against the Depot.
The rest of the competition passed quite peacefully after that. As usual the Depot won and got the cup, but we weren’t bothered, we’d had a fantastic weekend, a brilliant larf while we were at it, and I think everyone else had a good giggle at our harmless antics-Even Harry