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05 Oct

Life of Brian by George Barratt (NWS/Post competition winner, 16-17 category)

Wouldn’t say I was the best observer in the business, but I was in the top one.  On occasions I’ve been called bigheaded.  Most people are – in the limelight. I call myself bighead just to remind myself not to be.

Busy place here; all sorts wandering around; everyone from Mother to Granddad – even some famous blokes. That Frank Sinatra came by once. He met me once y’know? I know this place better than most and every bit as good as the last: Council House, Theatre Royal, The Trent. The Trent’s lovely; I should know: I walked on it for 18 years. Yes, plenty to admire here in Market Square but there’s a lot of crap too. Just last week I saw a little sprat of a man make off with an old lady’s handbag. I’d have his balls off – I mean – the cheek of some. No room for that kind of thing on my watch I’ll have you know.

A lot of things make me chuckle here as well. Group of kids playing football; guy in goal clearly spends a while getting ready. Spends more time playing with his hair than the ball. You can’t keep goal with hair like that. I’d have done his hair for him. Splat, right on his head; that’d have sorted that young man. A woman, clearly a tourist, comes wandering through with fourteen boxes of shoes. Who the heck wants fourteen pairs of shoes on holiday? I haven’t had fourteen pairs in my life. Anyway, there she was, just wandering on through, when a pigeon comes out of nowhere. Off she topples, down on the floor, surrounded by footwear. Looked like a bomb’d gone off in Clark’s.

Not just tears and laughs in old Slab Square; quite interesting without the people. Some buildings are magnificent, but they don’t half take half long to build, eh? They say Nottingham wasn’t built in a day, but I wasn’t on that particular job. I was on mine, but that took bloody ages too. Lots of time to look at all of that now; standing here, watching life day to day. Yes, it was the job that killed me I think. I’d always decided to pick my moment to retire very carefully – in about 200 years.

Old club’s ready for a shake-up mind – six managers in two seasons – madness. Forest’s finally got their heads screwed on though; my young man Mr Pearce might manage the odd game or two. I remember getting told he’d come off with an injury one game. I even recall my response: ‘Tell him that he’s Pele and that he’s playing up front for the last 10 minutes.’ Wasn’t my proudest moment, but it was an FA cup game. How was I meant to know he had concussion? We could have won that year. People used to say ‘you can’t be winning forever’. I can though; I’m made like this; it’s like I always will be.

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