Football on the Square

Written by Bert Plomp

“Football on the Square” by Bert Plomp is a nostalgic journey back to a time when life was simple, and street football was an essential part of youth. The author takes readers to Napoleon Square, where the protagonists, Joop and the narrator, along with their friends, engage in football matches and mischievous antics.

The story not only highlights the passion for football but also explores the social dynamics between different neighborhoods and the prejudices that prevailed at the time. The depiction of friction between residents of newly built areas and those from so-called back neighborhoods provides an interesting perspective on the social hierarchy of that era.

The lively description of adventures with Sheila, the girl from Kovelaarstraat, adds a touch of romance to the narrative. The sketches of brawls and confrontations between different neighborhoods give the story an exciting and realistic touch.

A highlight of the story is the arrival of Uncle Kobus, the Indonesia Veteran, who comes to the rescue as a hero during a looming confrontation. The description of his character adds depth to the story and illustrates the importance of family ties.

The story also provides a humorous look at the obstacles encountered by boys playing football, such as the ‘Grüne Polizei’ preventing them from playing on the vast meadows along the Kromme Rijn. The depiction of encounters with park wardens adds a comedic element to the narrative.

The pinnacle of comedic turns is Theo’s unfortunate action with the jerry can of petrol, leading to a hilarious series of events with an unexpected twist. This episode not only offers amusing moments but also provides a glimpse into family dynamics and the challenges of growing up.

“Football on the Square” is more than just a story about football; it is a journey to a time of innocence, friendship, and mischievous adventures. Bert Plomp captivatingly captures the atmosphere of that era and brings a smile to the faces of readers who themselves grew up in a similar time.

Part 1: Kicking and wrestling

Part 2: God’s gift

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