It all started one peaceful afternoon in the college common room 1994. You see I knew that there was going to be a rugby cup final, but I didn't expect to be going. That was until big Nick arrived in the common room and read the list of the spectators. Nothing unusual there you might say, but when he read out the squad names and I was on there well I was what you might call shocked. You don't see many prop forwards in a wheel-chairs do you?

Only joking, only joking. But I was still shocked to find my name was on the spectators list. How did it get there? I asked myself. I thought, "I bet that bloody Julie has put it there." I knew she wanted to go and told me that I had to as well. Sod that I thought. Until that day. That fateful day when I found my name on the list.

However I discovered later on it the day that a well wishing friend had put it there. Andy was his name and boy did he owe me one now. (thanks pal)

I only had a week to think of an excuse. But I really couldn't think of a good enough one. So short of actually coming down with chicken pox (which I've already had) or mumps (which I didn't want) I was fated to go to the rugby match, and according to Julie I was going to enjoy myself, and even if I didn't at least she would. (Thanks Julie)

On the day itself, I really didn't know what I was letting myself in for. I'd always been a quite, stay at home type. Quite shy really. (alright, so I'm lying a tiny bit.)

I was helped onto the bus by Nick, and another burly rugby player. (better than letting them weak women struggle with a big tough guy like me)

On the way there I had to put up with verbal abuse from Julie, Melanie, and Michelle. Who were sitting in front of me and Michelle was behind me. To cap it all I was sat beside a very quite reserved young man. I bet he wondered what he had let himself in for sat beside these reprobates.

As we were travelling along, as you do, I felt this very warm feeling on my leg. I looked down and expected to see my leg on fire. (good job it wasn't a false leg it could have melted) I realised it was the heater. I told J, M and M that I felt like I was burning. But they told me to stop complaining, and enjoy myself. "But I'm f****** burning," I kept repeating. At this point they just kept laughing at me. They thought it was a huge joke. "I'm not sitting here when we come back," I protested.

Just then I saw a glimmer of hope. Nick was going round asking everyone if they were okay. I'll tell him about my problem, I thought. I will also tell him that my so called friends were been cruel to me.

"Alright Karl, are you comfortable enough?" Right, I thought here's my chance. Tell him the truth.

But did I? Did I? No I didn't. Like a prick I just smiled and said, "Yes, yes I'm fine," just like that. Can you believe that? My big chance to get away from the towering inferno and I said that I was okay. As he disappeared up the stairs of the bus I muttered, "No I'm f******* not okay, I'm burning me leg off, okay." To which I was met with laughter, by my so called friends, and of course my leg feeling like I was some kind of Guy Fawkes.

Right, I thought, I'm going to have a bit of comfort, "open them windows," I shouted to Michelle. Relief at last, at least I was getting a breeze so that I could cool down. There was only one snag, as I was cooling down everyone else was freezing. I could hear people muttering, "by hell it's got cold on this bus all of a sudden, who's opened the bloody windows?" But at that point I didn't care, at least I felt cool, sod everyone else. Lee Pound, who was also sat with us, had to move, he'd had enough. (He couldn't take it) Me, I could because I'm tough.

In the meantime things were so exciting on the bus journey, that we spotted some rabbits in the fields, and Melanie swears she saw the Bertie Basset factory, God this night was just filled with excitement. I found myself thanking God when we eventually got to the Rugby ground. At least now I would get to see a decent rugby match, and be cool as well. (definitely better than looking for rabbits, and frying your limbs off)

By this point I just had to go in the pub to have a drink to cool off some more, (It's the truth) I was sitting near the women's toilets, (for no particular reason you understand) I was just dumped there. (honest) "We'd better hurry up, the rugby is about to start," I said. So everyone got their things together and rushed to the pitch that the match was to be played on. In all the hurry I got away from Julie, Melanie and Michelle (yes) great I thought, they won't be able to moan at me now. (little did I know, they were thinking the same about me) Anyway I didn't care I was with the real women. Whom I didn't realise could shout and scream worse than any man. (no sexism intended)

At half time Me and some of the lads went to the pub. We were running, really fast, (well I was been pushed really fast by Andy) and as usual I ended up in a hole, and nearly fell out. But fortunately I didn't, so we carried on running to the pub. Well we didn't want to miss anything did we. (the rugby I mean) So in the pub we had a quick one, and then ran back for the second half. You may now be thinking, how was the rugby match going. Well I'll tell you, it was great, we were winning, what more can you ask for? The second half was even more exciting. The other team came back and the last ten minuets were more exciting than any rugby I'd seen for a long time. The reason been that towards the end it was anybodies game. (but really it should be ours) At long last we scored a try that clinched the match. Everyone jumped in the air (I think that a few people were close to heart attacks, including Julie I found out later, trust her)

With that the whistle blew, and once again people were jumping up and down and running on the pitch, sort of a pitch invasion of sorts. I was pushed onto the pitch by my friend. The team was presented with the cup, and the medals. The way was now open to have a little celebration. (alright, alright, a lot of a celebration drink) However I didn't realise that our drink was going to be in something that was not much bigger than a dolls house, and beleive me you don't get many wheelchairs in a dolls house I can tell you, especially when there are more than 100 people trying to cram into one.

Just before I went into the (small) club house, I was desperate for a jimmy riddle. But like many places they did not have a disabled toilet. So we had to improvise, in the field behind the club house, where cars were parked, and houses backed onto the field. (private eh!) As luck would have it (or not as the case was to be) There was an old shed made of metal, with the door swinging open, so I decided to go behind the door, with Melanie as a look out. God knows what people going to their cars were thinking. Me, I couldn't care less at least I was feeling a bit better, (apart from nearly freezing my bits off) After finishing waht seemed like a flood, I headed straight for the clubhouse, and some serious drinking. (and I mean serious)

I had nearly forgotten to mention that I had taken some packing up with me. You know, the usual, salmon sandwhiches. However, I in my infinate wisdom thought that everyone got the pie and peas supper. Wrong! Only the team got this, so completly forgetting my sandwhiches, I continued merrily drinking. Never thinking of how it may affect me later. By the time it came to get back on the bus things were becoming a little bit hazy. I am told that Melanie and Michelle put me back on the bus, and guess where they put me. Yes, straight back against the towering inferno. (I think that they were trying to melt me once and for all) "I don't want to sit here again," I protested. But once again nobody took any notice. (some friends) Julie and Michelle went to do the usual phoning of parents (taxi services in other words) to tell them what time we would arrive home (or not as the case may be) Melanie sat beside me whilst all this was going on, just in case I fell off the seat, (as if I would)

Just when I thought I was doomed for a journey home sat near the witches of eastwick, Julie, Mel, and Michelle, my best friend Andy Pandy came down and saved the day. "coming upstairs Karl, with the lads?" "yes," I replied. "I think you'd better check with Nick first," Julie chipped in. "Don't worry, It'll be okay," Andy answered. The next thing I knew, I was on the top deck at the back with the lads. How Andy got me there I will never know, he'd had a good drink as well. When I look back now it was either fry or be dropped, I didn't really care that night.

We had a few cans of beer on the way home, (okay more than a few) and we were singing songs all the way home. Some of us were budding Freddie Mercurys, and the girls were budding Olivia Newton Johns. I can vaguely remember at one point the lads singin "there's only one Karl Dean," (of course)

I was standing up at the back holding onto the seat in the front of me. I don't even know why I was standing up, I just did it. I thought It was a miracle, but it was not to be. Something else that was not to be was, me getting the opportunity to have a pee in the field that the bus driver had stopped near to let anyone who needed to go. Nobody told Julie that I may need to go, and by that time I don't think anyone cared. (except me) I suppose I should have told someone that I needed to go but me been me, I just didn't think, because I thought we were at home. It wasn't until the bus driver pulled away again that I realised we weren't, and I had missed an opportunity.

As the bus gradually dropped people off at different stops, the urge for a pee began to get stronger. How much longer would we take?

Just as I thought that I could hold on no longer, we were back home. Now for the big event. How was Andy going to get me downstairs? How would anyone? Everyone was drunk. Including me. I had visions of sliding down on my bum. Suddenly I felt movement, Andy picked me up and God knows how but carried me down the stairs. But the exertion proved too much for him and he dumped me on top of everyone's kit bags. There I was, laid spreadeagle on top of everything with everyone looking and laughing at me. I think the bus began to spin, but I can't be quite sure about that. The next thing I knew I was been lifted off the bus by God knows who. No sooner was I off the bus but my body just seemed to slip down onto the pavement. I thought, "what am I doing down here?" I can remeber seeing a crowd around me laughing (again) I also remeber a shadow looming over me, and when I looked up I could make out that it was in fact my MOTHER. She just looked down at me. Oh! Oh! I thought. but couldn't say anything because I was just laughing too much. Unfortunately she was not laughing. One minute I was on the ground, the next I was back in my wheelchair. (I know how they feel in star trek now when they are been beamed back and forth) I also was transported rather quickly to my car, and whisked off at high speed. Whilst we were driving home (in silence) It came back to that I wanted a wee wee. Great, I thought. "I need to go to the toilet," I announced. "You can wait," she replied. "No I can't" I shouted. Suddenly she stopped the car. I thought that I was going to get my wish. But no, can you beleive that SHE was only going to post a letter. I couldn't beleive it, what did she think she was playing at?

Finally we got home. Thankfully I was allowed to have my wish and emptying my bladder. (such a relief) After that I eat my packing up (you can't waste good salmon) I went to bed. (sure that room spun too)

By the way it took a good 24 hours before my Mam would talk to me properly. And to cap it all I had an interview the very next day for a place at University. And guess who was taking me there. Yes you guessed it. My Mam.

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