The excitement was positively palpable yesterday, as the Extra Time Roman Hill Football Club arrived for their debut match against the Britten Court Angels.
Stan led the children in a pre-match warm up, with much toe-touching, arm-circling and back stretching, after which Roman Hill players Oscar and Maisie instructed the residents on some chair-based exercises, demonstrating the moves as they went.
This was the first time the school children had met the residents, and there was a lot to talk about as, together, they put the finishing touches to the pitches, polished up the players, and discussed their favourite half time snacks.
Resident Jim rated hotdogs at half time, whilst pupil Millie preferred a burger – but they both agreed on fried onions and ketchup. When Millie said she’d have a ‘chocolate frappucino’, Jim confessed he had ‘no idea’ what she was talking about but, after she’d described it to him, he reckoned he might quite like one, too.
There were no burger vans or hot dog sellers, but the Britten Court chefs came in to meet the children and offer the most magnificent fruit platters to prepare them for the kick-off.
And what a kick off. With the stands full of colourful spectators and paper flags flying, the ref blew the whistle and immediately the room filled with howls of disappointment at missed goals, whoops of glee at free kicks successfully taken and the occasional ‘boo’ at a linesman’s decision.
All too soon, the final whistle blew and the visiting team had to return to school. The residents all agreed that it had been a splendid afternoon, with one gentleman moved to tears by how much he’d enjoyed it.
Next week, the goalie poet, Dean Parkin, takes over from Caitlin and soon the two sides will meet again, pitching some footballing poetry and sharing some more Extra Time stories.