Wednesday 25 April 2018

Kevin Myers: Until you've played rugby with miners' sons, you can't understand the term 'near-death experience'

Memory is a curious thing. I was out walking my dogs in the driving rain and howling wind yesterday, when a spaceship visited me from the distant galaxy of my youth. A panel in the side of the spaceship opened, and I walked aboard. And there, all around me, was a forgotten episode from my early years, unvisited all these decades.

I was playing for Ratcliffe under-16s against Coalville Grammar School. Coalville was -- is -- a small town in Charnwood Forest in Leicestershire. Nearby lie the beautiful villages of Normanton le Heath, Appleby Parva, Norton-Juxta-Twycross and Woodhouse Eves. Coalville is what it says in the name.

When the Romans arrived, its inhabitants hid in the mines until they'd gone. Coalville-folk speak aboriginal Pictish, their faces are usually adorned with a single long eyebrow, and whatever few teeth they possess are usually molars, crowded on to their front gums.

Please sign in or register with for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss