If you have a Kindle, you can get a copy of my book ‘Fergus and Me’ free today. It is the true story of two lads growing up in Liverpool in the sixties. Fergus was my best friend back then. This book will make you laugh, cry and even wince, at times, as you learn how tough it was back then in the education system.
I just have a little favour to ask of you in return: if you enjoy the book, would you please leave a short (two paragraphs will do) review on the Amazon site? That’s all I ask.
To show you the style of the book and get you in the mood for a great read, here’s a little story taken from the book …
At the school sports day, besides the more normal events like the high jump and the dash, we were introduced to some of the games that once made this country great. There was the egg and spoon race, the sack race and, of course, the three-legged race – all of them classic events in their own right.
The teacher explained that, for the three-legged race you needed a partner. You and your partner had to tie one of your legs together so that each competitor had one ‘joint leg’, as it were, and one free leg. It was then to be a straightforward race with each team of two competing against all of the others.
As soon as the rules were explained, the kids were all trying to get the best possible partner to give themselves a good chance of winning. That meant that Toby, who had already won the high jump, and Rory, who won the dash, were immediately surrounded by suitors. Fergus and me looked at each other and quickly decided we’d give it a go.
We were binding our legs together when I glanced up and noticed that Toby and Rory had joined forces. There was no doubt in my mind that this formidable duo would soon be chalking up the three-legged race in their list of sporting achievements for the day. We didn’t have a hope, but Fergus didn’t seem to care as much as I did about winning the race. He was happy just to be taking part – a fine example of the Olympic spirit.
At the gun (it was a whistle really, but I wanted to build drama), the teams set off. I don’t know if you have ever competed in a three-legged race, but it is not as easy as is looks. Rory and Toby, the favourites, took an early lead as the rest of us struggled to get going. Fergus and me managed to hit an early rhythm and began to make some headway but, by the time we really got going, we were a long way back in the field.
The atmosphere was electric because the playground was absolutely packed with all the kids in the school shouting and screaming for their own friends and favourites. After a decent start, we lost our rhythm and both fell over, but we got right back up and started again. It turned out that we were not the only kids to fall over. A lot of the others began experiencing exactly the same problems.
Although neither of us had proposed a strategy, we again seemed to hit a rhythm. But this time we had a little skip in there, which we didn’t have the first time: left, right, skip; left, right, skip. Somehow the addition of the skip seemed to keep us together and our new approach started to pay off. The other kids kept falling over, but Fergus and me were now performing absolutely faultlessly and we began to move steadily through the field.
With the level of intensity now reaching a peak and Rory and Toby closing on the finish, I could hear the screams of the kids in our class and see the teachers holding up the finishing tape. Many of the girls were shouting for Rory being such a handsome kid, and a lot of the lads were shouting for Toby because, just like me, they wanted to make an ally out of him.
Rory and Toby may have been a bit too far ahead for us to catch them, even at the fast pace we were now able to maintain, but it was beginning to look as if we might finish the event in second place. For Fergus and me, this was going to be perhaps the greatest achievement of our young lives: we were going to come second to the best athletes in the school.
Gradually, we passed all of the other teams and were not far behind the favourites and delighted with the prospect of taking second place. That was when Rory and Toby fell over, tumbling in a hopeless tangle of arms and legs as we raced past them to win the event and claim first prize. Fergus started bouncing around with his hands in the air as I glanced back to see Rory and Toby struggling over the line to finish second.
Overcome by the sheer joy of winning, I was still laughing when the teacher raced over to take a note of our names and declare us to be the official winners. He then raised our hands aloft in a gesture of triumph. For us, that victory was like winning the F.A. Cup. Fergus actually won a colouring book and pencils and I won a model airplane but we were ecstatic and you just could not get the smiles off our faces.
You can get your copy here free just for today …