The Sporting Spirit

Posted: October 1st, 2019

THE CRICKET WORLD Cup, the Men’s Final at Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix all took place on one day. While many were torn between at least two of these, I was not among them. Sports—or games, as they were known then— were compulsory at school but this was before games for women were taken seriously. Games were a blackspot on the timetable, more for the discomfort afterwards than during. First cold, then sweaty; that peculiarly British absence of proper shower facilities; then getting changed back into uniform. The horror of the clothing was a major complication too. The uniform was bad enough: brown gabardine skirt, white blouse, brown and yellow tie, brown cardigan, brown gabardine coat and a velour hat with a hat band and elastic under the chin and sensible shoes. I haven’t worn brown for 40 years and have no intention of ever doing so again. But games involved even worse sartorial crimes.

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