Consequently my pen’s mishap became a great source of amusement at the cricket club for the rest of that summer.
The sequel to the story was the sad decline of George played out on TV and in the tabloids as he re-entered various clinics or was hounded for signs of his crippling medical affliction.
I followed his course through vested interest - he was my unsuspecting mate a sort of bond from our chance encounter. He had normally been smartened up by helpers often wearing a jacket... yes with my Mont Blanc clearly visible poking out of his top pocket!
I lent George my cherished Mont Blanc ballpoint with which he kindly signed the printed luncheon menu with the message:
"To Peter and Janet at the
White Horse with love from
As broad speaking Mancunian United supporters and publicans at our local, they were surprised and delighted to receive my gift even having it framed and hung in pride of place by the dart board on the chimney breast in the Gay Bar.
Anyway the following Monday morning clambering into my business suit I patted my jacket pocket by habit - NO PEN! Shock horror! George had kept it!
George, the dazzling dribbler, now departed on a free transfer is playing with the Angels, God’s team, attracting adoring crowds at the pearly stadium. One day I’m going to watch him and get my pen back.
On a beautiful Sunday moons ago, post his playing days, he came to a charity cricket match on the Common along with other sporting giants.
He batted in The Archbishop’s XI making a handy 18 runs but was bowled out confused by a Yorker immediately after a very good lunch. With time to spare he generously agreed to sign autographs so I stepped in.