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I was the leader of a hooligan firm in the 90s. Now I’m cursed for life.

I was the leader of a hooligan firm in the 90s Now I’m cursed for life

Estimated reading time — 20 minutes

I awoke upon a field of frozen ground, shivering in the bitter cold as I tried to find my way in the darkness, and stumbling across the pitch while my eyes tried to adjust. It was almost pitch black, the only illumination coming from a pale orb in the sky above. My whole body ached as I crawled pathetically along the grass.

I was half naked, vulnerable and scared – not a natural position for me as I’d built my entire life on the pretence of being a hard man. But now the truth was laid bare, and I couldn’t hide behind my tough front any longer.

Suddenly, a burst of light near blinded me as two dozen floodlights switched on all at once, covering the pitch in light.


Once I regained my senses I found myself in the centre circle of a football pitch of frozen and dead grass – a wasteland with goalposts and nets at each end and even flags on the four corners.

Glancing up, I saw the stands overlooking the dead pitch surrounding me on all four sides. The rows of seats towered high above me, ascending into the black skies above. And behind the glaring lights sat thousands – perhaps tens of thousands – of ghoulish spectators staring down at me with their cold dead eyes.

I was paralysed by fear as I surveyed the terrifying crowd, noting how they wore clothing from all periods of history. I saw Romans dressed in white togas, medieval knights in suits of armour, twenties gangsters in pin-striped suits, eighties guys wearing shiny shell suits, and countless others.

All sat quietly and motionless upon their cramped seats, saying nothing but glaring at me with a barely concealed hatred. I scanned the area, desperately searching for any means of escape, but the pitch was sealed off on all sides with a twelve-foot barrier between the grass and the stands, making it impossible to climb.

Nevertheless, I tried to stand up on my two feet, only to discover that my legs wouldn’t take my weight. I screamed in angry frustration as I collapsed onto the cold ground and buried my head in my hands.

Moments passed before I was brought back to my grim situation as a high-pitched noise assaulted my ears. A whistle. I looked up, stunned to see the two figures that had suddenly materialised on the pitch about 20 yards in front of me. On the right was what appeared to be a referee dressed in a black uniform and with a silver whistle in what passed for its lips.
I say lips because the ‘referee’ had no skin on its face, only an ugly skull with gaping black holes where its eyes should have been. And to the left of this ghoulish skeleton stood my old nemesis, his skin a deadly shade of pale and his hair matted with dried blood.


He wore a read and white jersey and ripped jeans with heavy DM boots on his feet. I could barely bring myself to look into his eyes – now inhuman and burning with a fiery, all-consuming hatred. I watched fearfully as Tommy slowly lifted his right hand, running his finger across his throat as he glared at me with a sadistic smile on his lips.

And in that moment the previously silent crowd suddenly came to life as thousands stood all at once and cried out in a mad fury, glaring down upon me as they screamed – “KILL HIM! KILL HIM!”

A wave of pure terror ran through my paralysed body as once again I tried to stand, only to find I couldn’t. The skull-faced referee blew his whistle for a second time – the high-pitched din so loud and piercing that I could hear it even over the hateful roar of the crowd.

Then he raised his bony finger and pointed towards me. Tommy took this as a signal, his cruel grin widening as he charged forward with a righteous fury. I couldn’t run or hide. I couldn’t even avert my gaze from the approaching attack.

Tommy covered the gap quickly, tearing across the frozen ground, his feet thumping as he came. I braced myself, watching helplessly as Tommy raised his right boot and kicked me in the head with a mighty force. The pain reverberated inside of my skull; my brain was pulverised as I fell backwards onto the rock-hard pitch. The sound of sadistic cheers filling my ears before my whole world went black.

I woke up screaming, my body covered in cold sweat. The lights switched on as my head shot up from the pillow and I turned to see my Sally’s face, her blue eyes full of shock and concern as she spoke.

“Jesus Carl, what the hell?”

Suddenly I heard the sound of crying from the adjacent room.

“For God’s sake, you’ve woken up the baby now!” Sally exclaimed as she angrily jumped out of bed and went to see to our infant daughter.

Meanwhile I was left feeling ashamed, muttering meekly as she slammed the bedroom door.
“I’m sorry. I’m really sorry love.” I repeated.

This certainly wasn’t my first nightmare and probably wouldn’t be my last, but no-one other than Sally could ever know, otherwise my entire reputation would be in tatters.

The year was 1998. I was a young man of 25, recently married and with a newborn baby girl called Alice. I had a decent job as a car mechanic, a good home and a loving family. But this was only the respectable front I presented to the world. During the week I was a hard-working family man, but on the weekends I transformed into a man of violence – a thug, hooligan and scourge on society.

But those who didn’t grow up in the culture will never fully understand. Football is our life and the club means everything to us. I was brought up to love my family, my country, and my club. It was that simple. Our firm was one of several dotted around the working-class districts of London – hard-core supporters with close connections to their clubs and communities.

There were the Head-hunters from Chelsea, The Inter City Firm at West Ham, Millwall’s Bushwhackers, and our biggest rivals – Arsenal’s firm, known as The Herd. Saturday was match day, with our players fighting it out on the pitch while the firms fought on the streets.
Things were different back in my father’s day, during the 70s and 80s. This was the heyday of football hooliganism as pitched battles were fought on the terraces between rival supporters. But deadly disasters such as Heysel had led to crackdowns and the whole character of the sport changed coming into the 90s, as terraces were ripped down and replaced by all-seater stadiums.

Security was tightened up too. Police maintained a heavy presence at the grounds and CCTV cameras were everywhere. The firms needed to change tactics to avoid detection and arrest, arranging ‘meet ups’ by phone and fighting each other at sites far away from the grounds and prying eyes.

My dad introduced me to the violence but he’d long since retired from the life. But I’d proven myself in battle and had risen to the top of our firm, achieving the coveted position of ‘top boy’. We fought our enemies with fists, boots, coshes, and Stanley knives, often inflicting grievous injuries but not killing our rivals. But sometimes things went too far, as I learnt the hard way.

Still, back then I thought I was the business. I provided for my family but lived for the adrenaline rush on the weekends, relishing the opportunity to get tanked up and kick the living shit out of my enemies. I believed I could live this double life without consequences but I was dead wrong. I discovered as much during the grim autumn of ’98 when a ghost from my past came back to haunt me.

My story begins on a dreary Saturday in October. We’d been playing away against Coventry – a dismal nil-all draw on a grey and wet afternoon. The match was tedious and – since Coventry had no firm to speak of – we didn’t even get a good scrap after full-time.

Me and the boys were making the long train journey back down to London, drinking from lukewarm cans of lager as the lads passed the time by playing cards. I was distracted however, feeling low as I sipped from my beer and stared out the window, watching darkness fall over the suburban towns and villages.

Times like this were the hardest for me as the adrenaline rush from the football and fighting faded away and I was left alone with my thoughts and painful memories.

Suddenly I experienced a cold chill as I sat in that dirty train carriage, feeling like somebody had walked over my grave. Next, the lights in the carriage flickered and then cut out completely, leaving us in darkness with the only light coming from the distant houses and buildings we sped past.

The lads complained and swore as their card game was interrupted, summarising sarcastically that this was ‘the perfect end to the perfect day’. I was on alert however, my instincts telling me that something wasn’t right.

I glanced down the darkened aisle and saw the shadow of a man standing at the far end of the carriage. I couldn’t see his face but knew he was staring directly at me, and my sixth sense told me he had malicious intent.

“Who the fuck is that?” I exclaimed to no-one in particular.

“What’s that chief?” answered Dan, my best mate and number two in the firm.

“That prick over there.” I replied while not diverting my gaze from the interloper, “What the fuck is his problem?”

“What are you on about?” Dan asked in confusion.

But I was no longer listening. Instead, I stood up and clenched my fists, marching down the aisle with fury in my heart as I confronted the intruder.

“Oi!” I cried, “You want some mate? Let’s be having you!”

The figure didn’t speak or even move. This was unnerving, but I took a deep breath and stepped forward, ready to inflict violence upon this mysterious figure. At that moment a train passed us going the opposite direction, its headlights temporarily illuminating our darkened carriage and allowing me to see the man’s face for the first time.

I instantly recoiled in horror, my eyes focussed upon the cruel smile of my old nemesis. It was Tommy – no doubt about it. He’d died the year before in tragic circumstances but yet here he was, standing before me and smirking with a sadistic grin as his dark eyes surveyed me.

I stumbled backwards, screaming as I fell down in the aisle. And when I looked up, Tommy’s hideous face was only inches from mine, his blue lips opening as he spat, the cold saliva dropping on my forehead. I screamed again, much louder this time. But suddenly the lights came back on inside the carriage and Tommy vanished into thin air.

Dan and the boys ran over to my side and helped me to my feet.

“Are you alright mate?” asked Dan.

I quickly scanned the carriage, looking for Tommy but not seeing him anywhere. I slowly regained my composure, not wanting to show further weakness in front of the lads.
“Yeah…” I replied, “I’m fine mate. Too much drink I reckon.”

The lads shared a laugh and Dan said – “You been at the magic mushrooms again Carl?”
I laughed nervously, slapping my friend on the shoulder as I took my seat.

“Don’t worry mate.” Dan added, “Arsenal’s in a fortnight. That’ll be a proper scrap. Bloody mayhem!”

The boys all cheered in rowdy agreement and I forced myself to smile, although secretly I was dreading the derby match and the painful memories that would come with it. My friends went back to their beer and cards, while I raised my hand to my forehead to wipe Tommy’s spittle off my skin.

I had another nightmare that evening, awaking in the early hours. Thankfully I didn’t wake up Sally on this occasion, instead rising from our marital bed and slowly creeping down the stairs, pouring myself a glass of water as I sat alone in our dark sitting room.

The visions of that fateful day had haunted me every night for a year and the guilt I carried with me was nearly overwhelming. I swear I didn’t mean to kill him. Sure, I wanted to hurt the bastard but not to end his life. Tommy was the top boy in The Herd, our grudge rivals and sworn enemies.

Our fight with The Herd was always one of the biggest of the season, and all the lads were pumped up and ready to cause mayhem. We’d met the enemy on an abandoned back street, screaming with bloody fury as we laid into them.

I traded blows with three or four Herd members, fighting my way through the mob and going straight for Tommy. He snarled when he saw me, stepping forward with a mean look in his eyes and his fists clenched. I experienced a surge of adrenaline, lunging forward and throwing a punch with my right hook.

My fist made solid contact with his chin and I felt a sweet satisfaction even as the pain shot up my arm. I’d hit him hard – a knock-out blow which threw Tommy backwards. I watched with a twisted pleasure as he fell but experienced a moment of sheer horror when the back of his head hit the curb, cracking open like an eggshell to create a sickening sound.

I gasped as I looked down at Tommy, his body violently convulsing as blood poured from the back of his skull. He glanced up at me in that final moment, his eyes full of shock and fear as he tried to mouth his plea for mercy. But there was nothing I could do but watch as his eyes rolled up into his head and he stopped breathing.

I don’t know how long I stood there in shocked paralysis, staring down at the dead body of my rival. Part of me still didn’t believe it was real. How could this have happened? It was all meant to be a laugh…people weren’t meant to die.

I ignored the fighting around me and even the sound of sirens blaring as they came even closer. It was Dan, shaking me back to reality as he screamed in my ear.

“The Old Bill are coming mate! We need to get out of here!”

He dragged me from the scene and we ran, leaving Tommy’s corpse lying on that dirty back street like he was nothing more than a piece of rubbish.

The police questioned me about Tommy’s death. They could’ve charged me with manslaughter, maybe even with murder. But there was no CCTV, no forensics and no witnesses came forward. I kept my mouth shut during the interrogation and they had to release me without charge.

And so I got away with it. The lads treated me like I was a hero but I secretly carried an immense guilt. Tommy had a family – a wife and kids – and I’d taken him away from them.
I’d had the nightmares ever since that day. It started with flashbacks to Tommy’s death but the dreams became more graphic and frightening, culminating in the terrifying visions of the stadium of the damned.

I didn’t know what any of this meant but reassured myself that the guilt was messing with my head and it would get better with time. But now I’d seen Tommy in real life when I was wide awake. Was I going mad? Or was he haunting me from beyond the grave? I didn’t know the truth, but I was scared as hell and there was nobody I could talk to about it.

Manchester United away. We travelled up north by coach, the boys in top spirits as they drank and sang all the way up the motorway. I tried to join in with the revelry but couldn’t forget about the terror that stalked me through the shadows.

United’s firm was called The Red Army and they were one of the toughest in England. There was a regional rivalry involved too – North versus South…cockney wideboys against Mancunian hardmen. Back during the Thatcher years my dad’s crew waved wads of cash at their northern opponents in open mockery of the economic disparity between the two regions.

Times had changed though. Under the inspired management of Alex Ferguson, Manchester United had become the dominant force in the domestic league, winning multiple trophies throughout the 90s. But, even if our team was outplayed on the pitch, our firm would take the fight to them on the streets.

Sadly, the match was all too predictable. We were outperformed by our opponents and United looked very comfortable with their two-nil win. The boys were thoroughly pissed off by the full-time whistle and eager to take revenge upon United’s firm.

We meet the enemy in an empty carpark off the Salford Quays. The Red Army were buoyed up by their win, taunting us as we approached. Our boys worked themselves up into a frenzy as we swore and threatened our opponents across the dead ground.

Suddenly a shot rang out and a projectile tore across the gap. It was a red flare, fired by the United supporters in our general direction. Luckily, the flare missed our boys, smashing into an abandoned car behind us and setting it alight.

My crew was beyond furious now, charging forward like a band of berserkers as they set upon the enemy. Bloody violence ensued as men punched, smashed and stabbed one another, transforming the suburban carpark into something close to a medieval battleground.

I had little appetite for violence on that afternoon and so hung back, throwing the odd punch when required but otherwise staying on the periphery and watching the bloody battle play out. Meanwhile, the car continued to burn behind us. I could feel the heat from the flames against my back, but there was something else too.


I experienced an icy chill creeping up my spine as I slowly turned around to face the inferno. There was a figure sitting in the driver’s seat, the flames all around him but somehow not engulfing him. The man turned his head to face me and I realised it was Tommy taunting me once again – his eyes full of hatred as he began to laugh maniacally, mocking me as the fire raged.

Suddenly the door opened and the ghoul stepped out – the flames parting to clear a path for him. His cruel laughter grew even louder, audible even over the din of hand-to-hand fighting all around me. I didn’t utter a word, simply stepping back as he approached, using all my strength to stop myself from screaming.

But then I heard a new sound in the distance – the familiar din of police sirens. Next, I felt a firm hand upon my shoulder, swinging around to see Dan – his face bloodied and eyes wild following the pitched battle.

“Come on mate!” he screamed, “Let’s go!”

I turned back around and saw Tommy was gone, the flames receding as the car was burnt out to a blackened shell. And a moment later we were running, once again fleeing the scene of violence before the police arrived.

Arsenal at home. The big one. This was the match I’d dreaded all season because I had a good idea what was coming for me. My whole life was falling apart in front of me. I couldn’t focus on anything – my family, my job or even my beloved football club. When I closed my eyes all I saw was Tommy – the ghost of my enemy, come back to the mortal realm for vengeance.

But, as much as I feared that Saturday afternoon, I couldn’t walk away from this. There was nowhere for me to hide.

The firm met in our local pub – the Headless Horseman – where we drank for hours before kick-off. The lads were tanked up and tooled up – armed with knives, screwdrivers and coshes. Violence was inevitable but my heart wasn’t in it.

I drank pints at the bar, trying to drown out the chants and war cries from my comrades. This proved impossible however. Making my excuses I went to the toilets, the unpleasant smell of stale piss filling my nostrils as I took my place at the urinal.

I was in mid flow when I heard a sound which made my blood freeze. Laughter. A cruel and all too familiar cackling emitting from one of the cubicles. I turned around and looked under the toilet door, seeing a pair of black DM boots belonging to the figure standing on the far side.

I’d reached my limit as my fear was replaced by anger and I decided to stand my ground.
“What the fuck do you want from me?” I screamed, “Come out and face me like a man!”

The figure behind the door didn’t answer, but his twisted laughter grew even louder. I swore, fury overcoming me as I charged forward and kicked the door open with a single movement, only to discover there was no-one inside.

I felt like crying out in angry frustration but instead I retreated from the toilets, fleeing back to the bar where I ordered another drink. Dan came over to me, recognising that something wasn’t right.

“What’s up mate?” he asked as he pulled up a stool, “You look like you’ve seen a ghost!”
He smiled, but I didn’t appreciate the joke. Instead, I grabbed my friend by his shirt, pulling him close so I could look him in the eye.

“Tell me the truth Dan. Has one of the boys been spiking my drinks?”

My friend was shocked and baffled. “Spiking your drinks mate? What are you on about?”

“I’ll gut the cunt who’s done this to me!” I spat back.

Dan pulled himself free from my grasp, placing a firm hand on my shoulder as he replied.
“Listen Carl, we’ve known each other since school. All the lads here are your friends. We all have your back mate!”

I shook my head, feeling embarrassed by my outburst. “I don’t know Dan. I think I’m losing it mate. I’m seeing things, hearing things…Do you ever think back to that day? To what I did?”

Dan frowned, his expression turning deadly serious. “Listen Carl. What’s done is done. Sure, its sad he died, but he knew the risks going in. It was an accident mate…You can’t keep beating yourself up about it.”

I nodded my head, trying to think of the words to reply. But suddenly Dan’s mobile phone started to ring and he held up a finger while he took the call. The conversation was short but Dan’s reaction was instantaneous.

“Jesus mate! That was one of the youngsters on the street. The Gunners are coming for us…They’re right around the corner!”

A spike of panic hit me as I realised I faced a new threat. But I wouldn’t do so alone. Dan rallied the troops as our lads downed their pints and pushed over tables before they made their way out onto the street.

We arrived just in time to see The Herd coming around the corner. Clearly, they’d planned to ambush our firm inside the pub and so were surprised to find us waiting for them. They soon recovered however, laying into our boys in the middle of the street, although we gave as good as we got.

I watched as men punched, kicked and stabbed each other in a now all too familiar orgy of violence. Something marked out this fight from the others however, as I noted half a dozen Gunners tearing their way through the crowd and heading straight for me with hatred in their eyes as they cried – “Kill him! Kill him!”

Suddenly I understood what was happening here. These were Tommy’s mates. They knew I’d killed their top boy and now they were out for revenge. I realised then that I needed to fight, otherwise I’d be going home in a box.

I clenched my fists and prepared for battle, fully prepared to fight as one against six, but I didn’t need to. Dan was as good as his word. He and the boys moved in to protect me, throwing punches and thrashing out at the six attackers, making them pay for their foolish assault.

The Arsenal men were badly beaten, slowly retreating under the relentless attacks. Only one man made it as far as me – a middle-aged thug wearing a surgical mask and armed with a scalpel. He screamed in fury and charged, but I got the better of him – dodging the attack and lunging forward.

I knocked the knife from my attacker’s hand and laid into him, punching the bastard again and again until my fists were bloody. My enemy knew when he was defeated as he stumbled back down the street, leaving a trail of his own blood as he went.

By now all The Herd members were in retreat, the hard men reduced to crying cowards as they fled from our fists and blades. A cheer went up amongst our crew. The enemy had come here to our home turf and we’d beaten them back, humiliating them.

I joined in the celebrations in that moment, crying out in triumph whilst raising my bloodied fists. But my joy didn’t last long. I didn’t see the projectile until it was too late – a glass bottle flying through the air, thrown by an Arsenal supporter as he fled.

There wasn’t time to dodge and so the bottle landed on my head, the glass smashing as the shards cut into my skull. I screamed in pain, falling to my knees as the blood poured down my forehead.

Falling down to the roadside, I looked up in time to see Tommy standing there on the pavement, seemingly invisible to everybody except for me. The twisted smile was still on his lips and he cackled loudly, taking a perverse pleasure in my suffering. I knew this wasn’t over however. Tommy wasn’t done with me – not by a long shot.

The derby match was one of the most exciting for years, culminating in a 3-2 victory for our boys after an injury time winner. I missed it all however as I need to go to A+E to get the broken glass removed from my head and stiches put in.


The medical staff did their job and fixed me up, but they had little sympathy. The NHS had little time for hooligans who clogged up the system. But that was nothing compared to my wife’s reaction.

Sally came to see me in the emergency room but didn’t stay for long. She was as mad as hell and I couldn’t blame her.

“Look at the bloody state of you!” she screamed, “What the hell happened?”

I couldn’t bring myself to look her in the eye and my bandaged head still ached as I muttered my response.

“Just some trouble at the match love. Nothing to worry about.”

“Bollocks!” she exclaimed angrily, easily seeing through my lie. “You’ve been running around with those morons, behaving like a thug as usual! I thought you’d grow out of this crap, that you’d start behaving like a grown up when your daughter was born…What’s the matter with you Carl?”

I shook my head, unable to find the words to reply. I couldn’t think of any way to explain any of this to my long-suffering wife.

“Cat got your tongue?” she asked sarcastically, “You haven’t been yourself for months Carl, and you won’t talk to me. I’ve tried being patient Carl, but enough is enough. I’m taking baby Alice and going to stay with my mum and dad. You can call me when you’re ready to start behaving like a real man.”

I gulped, raising my head to meet her eye for the first time during our one-sided conversation. I saw nothing but disappointment in her face and I felt deeply ashamed, my tough exterior melting away as I stuttered my inadequate reply – “I’m sorry love…”

She rolled her eyes, tutting loudly before storming out of the hospital waiting room, slamming the door behind her.

I returned home alone, unable to face Dan and the boys or anyone else for that matter. My head was still sore and so I lay on the bed, but I didn’t want to close my eyes or fall asleep, because I knew he was waiting for me in the darkness. But it was futile, as eventually my strength failed me and I drifted off into the realm of nightmares.

I was back in that hellish stadium, blinded by the floodlights as the ghoulish crowds bayed for my blood. Next I heard the high-pitched whistle, looking up to see the skull-faced referee pointing his bony finger in my direction. I didn’t even try to flee or resist as I saw Tommy charge down the pitch towards me, his sick grin widening as he lifted his heavy boot and kicked.

I felt the sudden, sharp pain as his foot connected with my skull, but something was different this time. Usually I would wake up after the kick, but not this time. To my utter horror I realised my head had been kicked clear of my body, now severed and flying through the air.

Somehow I was still conscious and aware of my surroundings, spinning uncontrollably as the sadistic crowd cheered in sheer ecstasy. My decapitated head hit the rock-hard ground with a heavy bump, but my ordeal wasn’t over.

Tommy sprinted down the pitch and kicked me again, using my head as a flesh football as he dribbled along the pitch. And when he reached the box he gave me another mighty boot, sending my decapitated head flying into the top corner of the goal, smashing into the back of the net as the crowd screamed in joyous celebration.

That’s when the nightmare ended, but my hellish night was only beginning. When I woke up I realised I couldn’t scream or even move. I was paralysed, lying upon my bed with the covers off, my breathing growing heavier as the panic set in.

But it got worse. I soon realised I wasn’t alone as I managed to move my head just enough to see the shadowy figure standing in the corner. I knew exactly who it was before I saw his face – of course I did. Tommy had come for me and I was totally helpless before him, unable to resist or even flee.

He walked over to me, his face illuminated by the dim light to reveal pure evil. I didn’t believe this was my former nemesis, not anymore. Whatever had overtaken him had surely risen from the depths of hell. His dark, demonic eyes glared at my paralysed body like I was a piece of meat. And then he opened his filthy maw, speaking down to me in a deep, inhuman voice.

“Evening guvnor. Long time no see…Sorry to drop by unannounced.”

He paused, reaching into his waistband to withdraw a sharp blade which he dangled over my head. I tried to scream, to shout out all the obscenities under the sun, but I couldn’t utter a word. I was completely at the demon’s mercy and he knew it.

“The thing is mate,” he continued whilst still holding the knife, “You thought you had me beat…but you’re forgetting it’s a game of two halves. You had a good run, but now I’m hitting you on the counterattack.”

Slowly he pulled up my shirt to reveal my bare chest underneath. I was shaking uncontrollably, my brain succumbing to blind panic as I struggled to breathe. All my strength and power was gone and I could only watch on in impotent terror as he lowered the blade and started to cut into my exposed skin.

I couldn’t scream but I did feel the pain as Tommy – or whatever the hell this was – carefully continued to cut deep into my flesh. I thought I was going to pass out, but somehow I kept my eyes open, witnessing my own mutilation in its entirety.

Finally it ended and I was forced to look down at my bloody chest, horrified to see what the beast had carved into my skin. And it read 1-1.

“There you have it mate.” Tommy said with a twisted satisfaction. “All square at the final whistle. Looks like we’re going to extra time. Don’t you just love the beautiful game?”

At this moment I suddenly regained control of my vocal cords and I wailed like a banshee as the full horror hit home. The demon in Tommy’s form merely laughed cruelly, saying – “I’ll be seeing you again mate.”

And then he stepped back, disappearing into the shadows in the corner of my bedroom.
It’s been 25 years since that hellish night but I still bare the scars from the attack and the chilling nightmares continue to haunt me.

I’m a shadow of the man I once was. Sally never came back and my daughter grew up without having me in her life. I didn’t go back to the firm after that – how could I, when I’d been humiliated and emasculated so completely? I’ve not even been to a football match in a quarter of a century.

My life has been miserable in the many years since – an existence marked by fear and shame. Everywhere I go I fear I’ll see him – the ghost of Tommy or whatever demon has taken over his form. He’s watching me always and he can enter my nightmares whenever he wants, bringing me back to that vile stadium of the dead – a sick parody of the game I used to love.

My life is one of pain and misery and a part of me wants it to be over…But yet I fear death, because I know Tommy is waiting for me in the next realm, just itching to use my head as a human football for all eternity. I can still hear his ominous last words to me – ‘We’re going to extra time. I’ll see you again mate.’

I know what’s waiting for me after death and it scares the shit out of me. My only hope is that there is a God and he’ll have mercy on my sinful soul. My fate is in his hands now.

Credit: Woundlicker


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