So began... and ended my footballing career... in complete failure! In fact, as I look back over my life, I would have to admit that I've known a great deal of failure in one way or another.
Having scraped through the '11 plus' exam I struggled through my first 2 years at Kirkcaldy High before my family moved through to the west and I had to transfer to Dumbarton Academy. Two years later we moved back east which meant a return to the dreaded Kirkcaldy High. By this time I'd totally lost my way academically and was thrown out of school without even being allowed to sit my 'O' Grades, (today's Nat 5s ). My happiest school day was undoubtedly my last one!
From the age of 14 through to 24 the 3 big priorities in my life were Girls, Football and Music ...and in that order. But time and time again I failed to sustain any long term relationships. No matter how hard I tried, all too often the words of a Gordon Lightfoot song would describe how so many of my 'romances' would just simply peter out...
'I don't know where we went wrong but the feeling's gone and I just can't get it back.'
I entered the world of work at the age of 16 but by the end of 1973 I was thoroughly disheartened by the business world in general and 'selling' in particular. So in quiet desperation I changed direction altogether, moved to Edinburgh and began training as an Inspector with the RSSPCC. But within only 3 weeks I was sure I'd made a monumental mistake. The change of job which I had hoped would prove so life-enhancing was anything but!
So what could I do? Here I was at the age of 24 with no academic qualifications, no career, no home of my own, no real friends... empty and aimless... disconsolate and despairing. My life was spiraling downwards and I wondered if it was really worth living at all.
By April '74 I'd come to a complete end of myself. I'd reached rock bottom. But little did I realise at the time that this was just where I needed to be! At last God might be able to do something of significance with my life... without any residual sense of self-sufficiency or pride getting in His way. Yet little did I know just what amazing and totally unexpected turn of events lay ahead. But then that's another story... and another blog!