‘When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.’

Ah, Eric Cantona. Those were the days of proper football: cult heroes; muddy pitches; crumbling stadiums and playing for the love of the game. Then the money men came and ripped the soul out of the sport he loved.

The sport of the working-class man, escaping life’s woes for a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon, was now the ultimate corporate millionaire’s playground.

He’d been in the stand when Cantona had kung-fu kicked the supporter. Nine months he was banned for and still the fans loved him. A genius, an eccentric, an artist.

‘Dad, stop staring at the seagulls.’ He woke from his reverie.

He turned and smiled. ‘Go on then, your turn to try and score a goal.’

In the distance the huge gleaming stadium dominated the city skyline while the father and son, using goalposts for jumpers, played football in the park until it was time to go home for dinner.

Copyright Wildverbs

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story or poem in around 150 – 175 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

For those not familiar, read more about the legend that is Eric Cantona. And yes, for those in the US, I’m writing about proper football, or as you call it, soccer.


  1. Say ooh ahh Cantona…I remember those days.
    He went on to become an Actor, I seem to remember him in Elizabeth as the French Ambassador. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He did indeed. A true, unique character- and an easily memorable song to chant! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The sport of the working-class man (…) was now the ultimate corporate millionaire’s playground: I’m not a football person and never thought about this before. Thank you for showing me something new today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome. It is true, it has changed a lot since it first became an organised sport, and many have been left behind.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s almost a kind of rule, isn’t it? Some people start something out of love, then some other people come around and turn it into a money maker.

        Nice talking to you, Iain. Have a great rest of the day.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I take it this has something to do with the World Cup. I’ve never been a fan of organized sports on either side of the pond, so it’s hard for me to keep up. Oh and yes, I don’t care much for a bunch of millionaires chasing a ball around, no matter what the shape of the ball.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not directly related to the World Cup, although the sentiment is the same. Wouldn’t it be nice if all sport went back to an amateur status and people did it for sheer joy instead of money…


    1. Thanks PJ – I appreciate those in the US may not have a clue what it’s about 🙂


      1. Yes, I am one. LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Despite my dislike of football and I suppose footballers, Cantona became almost a hero to me overnight and his deeply meant line was a work of art. So against the stereotype I wish him well. Good little tale.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bobby. He is one of the exceptions that proves the rule that most footballers are pretty dull, among other things!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I must admit that I had no idea who Cantona is before I read this, but I whole-heartedly agree with your sentiment 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I get lost in memories like that.
    Eric Cantona was what we call in the States – a Bad Ass 😉
    Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He certainly was, and with style 🙂


  7. King Eric! I learnt recently about him from my son, who is a football enthusiast. But did he show his back to the stadium because of the gloss that got attached to the game courtesy deep pockets? Or was it the call of the hour, I wonder.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A lovely tale of ordinary life – family kick-abouts are far more fun and important than all the world spectacle. And you’ve got to love Eric 🙂


  9. Nice thought. Brings back memories when we used to enjoy playing sports with the family instead of just sitting in front of the TV to watch others play the same game.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Interesting.
    Expectation makes us do so much!
    Seagulls expect sardines & humans expect so much more!
    – Anita

    Liked by 1 person

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