Ah, the memories inspired by this Garden Goals advert from 1974…
Most of them bad. The country was in the grip of depression and three-day-week strife. £5.55 (inc. VAT) represented a month’s grocery bills and a TV licence. It did not, in any way, represent ‘Every Boy’s Dream’ of extra-strong galvanised steel tubing and rot-proof net. Not for me, anyway. The 65p carriage fee alone added up to more than three weeks’ pocket money.
Out of dire necessity, I was forced to make my own goal out of garden canes and that green plastic netting that grows in sheds. In turn, I was Johan Cruyff, running backwards down the side of the lawn, then Robbie ‘Rensenbrick’ and on to Johnny Rep, letting rip a rocket shot; but every time I scored or hit the woodwork, the whole rickety mess of cane and net and string was gathered up and swept up into the rockery. No great problem, mind. I just spent the next ten minutes setting it all back up again, time and time again.
Then Mum came out of the house and she was actually crying. I’d destroyed every one of the big red velvety tulips she was growing for the Huncote Show, and it was no use either of us trying to stand them back up again or wipe away our tears.
If only I’d noticed the confident sub-heading in the ad: ‘10 DAYS MONEY-BACK OFFER’.
I could have enjoyed ten days’ worth of “shooting and saving fun with Dad and envious pals,” then claimed to have been only partially impressed with a net that could stop a ball, sent the whole rig back, and reclaimed the Postal Order.
The clever things you think of after the event.