Stoned

Matthew had a condition since being a baby, rather a serious affliction known in medical science as Medussanesia.

Because of the weight of his boulder-head, over years his neck grew strong.

Despite the truth nobody ever told him: “Aye, you’ve got a good head on those shoulders.”

Nobody in Polite Society remarked. Even the children encountered during his schooling in England would think twice and resist.

Academically-speaking Matthew did relatively well, but the game of football became his true calling.

At an appropriate stage of life, he turned to a career in football. Within this he excelled and soon followed a reputation for dramatic heading skills.

During any set-piece, Matthew would appear in the thick of the battle, rising up into the air (unchallenged by opposition players) dispatching the ball with a blistering header crashing into the goal-netting.

Quite often the ball would be wrecked. For each game he appeared, match officials ensured an adequate reserve of replacements were available.

Despite being a player in teams that won many competitions, smashing through records with headed-in goals, he did not accept medals or trophies.

Within his stone-head logic such things were demeaning. “Why,” he said when quizzed on the matter, “do human-beings fixate so on recognition?”

“I don’t know,” said the interviewer, “because we are weak?”

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