1980

I was busy with work, life and the HNC, the HNC was turning out to be tough, the whole thing was a big step up.  The maths was a different world – having previously not had to worry about maths at all, the CSE and the stuff I did in my apprenticeship had been routine – FORMULA JPEGI was introduced to differentiation and calculus, and frankly it was a bit of a shock.  I had never seen anything like it and to quote the maths teacher, “doing an A-level in a year on day release you just about managed to keep my head above water”.  Phew, I just squeaked past it and I was glad nobody told me exactly how hard it was before I started.

Romeo and Juliet by Dire Straits is the track of the year.  It reminds me of lunchtimes sitting in the bar of the White Elephant, calming down after a morning of maths, followed by extra maths.

Stony_Stratford_Ridge_&_Furrow_Field
Ridge and Furrow” field

Sunday morning football was always a bit of a lottery, and that was before it kicked off, the entire time between waking and getting to the ground revolved around scouring the village, knocking on doors trying to round up enough people to play.  We nearly always managed to get enough together that it wasn’t completely embarrassing, but in any case, I enjoyed it, it was a way of letting off steam.  Home games were played at “Olde Bell Field” which was exactly that, a field, it was on a slope had “ridge and furrow” undulations running the length of it and some weeks it had had cows grazing on it with the ensuring problems that that caused.

I went to the FA Cup final in 1980, the local Football Associations always had tickets (as far as I know still do) to reward their officials, volunteers, referees etc for all their work during the season.  Likewise, the local clubs could apply for these tickets to recognise the people keeping the club afloat and beavering away at the grassroots of football week in week out, rain, sleet, or shine.  Apart from waking up my still snoring teammates on Sunday mornings I hadn’t really done any of that, it was just that this year the club had applied for 2 tickets and only been allocated one and it seemed no one else wanted to go by themselves.  I remember the fact that I got a ticket through the local club did not sit well with my brother, who had been to pretty much every West Ham game during the season and had really had to work hard to get a ticket for the final.

15_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqqVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8West Ham were in the Second division at the time and were given no chance against a highflying Arsenal team, but then Trevor Brooking fell over and the ball flew into the net off his head, I do him a disservice in actual fact it was quick reactions on his part, or maybe he was trying to get out of the way of a Stuart Pearson shot.  In any case the game is remembered more for the cynical foul by Willie Young on Paul Allen a few minutes from the end than for Brooking’s goal.

What else happened in 1980,  

Inflation in Britain is over 20%, but Maggie is “not for turning”, James Callaghan resigns as leader of Labour Party and Michael Foot is elected to replace him.  Solidarity trade union is established in Poland.  There is a riot in St Paul’s, Bristol.  It is announced that American cruise missiles are going to be based at RAF Greenham Common, prompting CND to march to the base.  The 1st recorded use of the word yuppie appears in print and Robert Mugabe is elected Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.

Alton Towers opens, Pacman – apperantly the most popular video game of all time – is released in Japan, and Rubik’s cube makes its debut at the London toy fair.  The 1st episode of Yes Minister is on TV, The Empire Strikes Back is on the big screen and “Rolling News” starts with the introduction of CNN the 1st 24-hour news channel.  John Lennon’s shot in New York and Led Zeppelin disband following the death of John Bonham

82 countries boycott the Summer Olympics in Moscow, the UK go and get 21 medals, including 5 gold.  Robin Cousins had skated to gold at the Winter Olympics earlier in the year, Nottingham Forest win the European cup again, English teams have now won it 4 years in a row.

World population was nearly 4.5 billion, 1 billion of them Chinese.

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