My age wasn't even in to double figures when I was taught by my father " How do mend shoe's " as he called it, in the 1940's shoes were made of leather, no look-a-Like crap, honest leather, he put a cushion on my lap, put the last on top, and instructions were made clear, hammer, nails, sharp knife, no Stanley knifes then, father sharpened the knife on his stone & oil, I quickly learned
Being football mad, I kick everything from my house in Irwin St. to Craigeknowes School, first with my right foot, then with my left foot, I just loved tin-cans, much to the tenants of Weir St, they used to shout out of the windows, " You bliddy wee sod, stop that racket " or words to that effect
My uncle Hughie Ormond, came from 11 Ann St. played left back for St. Mirren FC, and some how he got permission to take to Cappielow Park to watch Jimmy Cowan train, he kicked the ball over & over, left foot , right foot , just like me, he would kick the ball on to the stand roof, and it being corrugated then it bounced at a different angle each time, he jumped and caught, he got another player to kick the ball into the stand, then it was fitted bench seats, the ball would rebound back, and Jimmy was there to catch, I follow every move, he used to scrape a line from the centre spot back to his goal line, to enable him to get his angles right, just like me, every time he jumped to catch a cross, he somehow puckered his lips, just like me, that's why in my eyes I was the 2nd best goalkeeper in the world, every time I rand out for the " Gibshill Rovers " " Bellaire FC ", " Gourock Jnrs. ", I was Jimmy Cowan
Back to the shoes, mother inspected my shoes every time I came home from school, which resulted 9 times out of 10, a " Back of her Hand " slap, scuff marks on the toes, I tried to stop but couldn't, my father used to get a bag of mixed leather in Greenock somewhere, all different thicknesses, I would Soul & Heel, no problem, and steel tips on the Heels & Segs on the toes, you could hear me coming from miles away
Not like today, mother just couldn't just nip into town and buy me a pair of shoes, too dear, no money, and to get a pair of new shoes, for the first few weeks they were pawned, until they were unacceptable through scuff marks on the toes, and 30/40 back hander's later
How many of you remember holes in the soles of your shoes, we used to put a bit of cardboard in the shoe, if it was raining, which was often in Greenock,we got soaked,
Then the Black San-Shoe as we called them came in, a lot cheaper than shoe's, I had Black, mother couldn't afford the white ones, you could tell the well off kids at school, " White Sannies "