As I sit remembering my Grandad my mind always fixes upon my childhood when I would go with my brother to visit my grandparents on Sundays and during school holidays and play snooker, watch films and learn about the war, football and just about every topic under the sun. I remember how he would teach us to position our cues and aim properly, then exclaim, “what a shot!” when a ball made it into a pocket: I was so sad when they gave the snooker table to charity a few years ago. I remember how he would record TV shows he thought we would like during the week and we would watch them together on Sundays. Sometimes we would watch films, usually the same ones over and over again: The Black Stallion, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Santa Claus the Movie. I remember how he would help me with my homework, regaling us with tales of World War II and his experiences in Liverpool during the Blitz. He had a file for myself and my brother and we had writing tasks to complete when we were younger. He cared about language and taught us to speak properly, pulling us up if we mis-pronounced: “not gorra!”, he would say, “got to!”. I remember how at Christmas he would put the swinging Father Christmas up just because we liked it. He would make us drinks with fruit swimming in pop and buy us Orangina; I always think of him now when I see those curved bottles. I remember how proud he was of his country and his city. When we were younger we would all go over to Liverpool on the train and take the ferry and listen to the woman playing the grand piano in Clayton Square. I remember how he used to talk about going to his first Liverpool match with his eldest brother Charlie in 1937. He would talk nostalgically about Billy Liddell, a great player and a gentleman he would say; manners were very important to him. I remember how he would talk about his playing days though I didn’t find out until the end that he played at Anfield and Goodison Park for Liverpool schoolboys and signed for New Brighton when they had league status. I would love to have seen him play. I remember how he would talk about past players and managers. I remember how he told me he visited Anfield in the days after Hillsborough and saw grown men sobbing, surrounded by flowers. He would be so happy to see that justice is on its way. I remember how he was always happy to see us. Always happy with my Nan, 60 years married last August: an inspiration to me.
It’s funny what stays with you. It’s so real, it is almost tangible. I can almost imagine that if I were to go to the house, he would still be there, in his chair by the TV. The years may pass but they can't erase the memories of times gone by that will stay with us forever.
Goodbye Grandad - You’ll Never Walk Alone