6. Lonsdale

Then one day, Robinson turned up at my house after school. My mother was cooking the tea. He walked straight in, saying hello to my mother, and presented me with a brown paper bag. He told my mom and I he had brought me a present, as he was leaving to go back to college. I opened the bag, and took out a pair of professional boxing shorts, with the word LONSDALE sewed into the elastic waist.

Even today this word makes me feel sick.

I cannot remember if those shorts were red or blue, but I remember they were stained with his blood. Blood which had dripped down onto them, whilst fighting. The blood was black. To this day I remember, black. He then said to us goodbye Mrs Smith, goodbye Geoffrey.

Jimmy Robinson turned and walked out of my life. He walked down the entry, got on his bike and away he went.

Within one minute, in front of my mother, I threw the shorts into the dustbin. When I say threw, I mean at speed with such force. My mother looked at me, but nothing was said, only silence.

A couple of weeks later, I got a letter from him, at a college, I think it was Osterley, in Kent. This also went in the bin. After this, my mother and my father never mentioned his name again, which suited me.

I have just mentioned my father not saying anything. I have had 51 years to think over this. But I don’t think my dad ever met Robinson. Maybe that was part of Robinson’s plan, who knows.

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