Guilt is a heavy emotion that does not always subside with time. The mind keeps ruminating on the old trigger, and one’s conscience can encourage us to rectify a mistake.
Graeme Jones, a former Royal Navy training instructor, organized a rematch between two primary schools 50 years after he scored an unfair equalizer. This rematch was a way to clear his conscience that kept him up for far too long.
Jones was guilty of shoving a goalkeeper with his hands on the ball five yards over the goal line to earn a controversial draw in a game in September 1972.
The negative impact of his actions on his sports rivals felt unsettling and he put in the effort to change things around at the age of 60. Jones spent 18 months assembling an identical line-up from the Gayton primary school team who took on St Peter’s C of E school in the Wirral.
Seniors still have a good memory and can hold a grudge. Jones was shocked when his neighbor Craig Allen, who scored the competitor’s single goal, said that he not only remembered the match but had never forgiven him for the unfair play.
He managed to track down their former PE teacher, Alan Jones, who is still alive and healthy in his eighties. Alan awarded his team the winning equalizer and decades later, he had the honor of flipping the coin toss before officiating the beginning of the match.
Jones’s opponents took the win and settled the score with a 6-2 win. Although his competitors may have aged in the past 50 years, they were still able to give a tough fight and emerge as champions in the game.
Jones may have lost the match but it’s still a win in his books. He said: “We got stuffed because they had to bring on a couple of ringers. But my demons have been put to bed, and my conscience is clear now. As I said before, if we lose, we lose, and I wanted to turn a wrong into a right.”
The fit seniors are done with the sports games as they are too old to risk any falls. They are more interested in maintaining healthy relationships out of the stadium as the grudges are no longer holding them back.