Today I found myself at Riverside Park. Walking over the football pitch I was struck by how different it was since the time I’d last been here when I tried (and failed) to recreate past glories. The area of the pitch was now a strikingly bright hay-bale yellow having been baked in the summer heat – all apart from two square patches of green at either end where the goalmouths had been. in one of these patches had taken up residency a collection of plants with flowers in the colours of Gabriel Batistuta’s Fiorentina. The goals and nets were, of course, now gone, safely locked away until the start of the new season, but the markings were still there on the ground, although their once well-defined lines were being reclaimed by nature as if they were roads being slowly swallowed by a post-apocalyptic desert. Peaceful in it’s abandonment was this place where victories had been won, losses suffered – and no doubt punches thrown. The place where shouts had rung out, cries of; mark-up, man-on, to feet, in the mixer and exhortations to play as if it’s still nil-nil drifting on the quiet Sunday morning breeze, but the players will be back – soon – and the goalmouths will once again be puddles of mud churned up by countless studded boots and the rain which we’re far more used to.
Riverside Revisited: Walks around an abandoned football pitch