Mr Sheerin Looks Back

Date: 12th August 2022

Mr. Sheerin Looks Back…

This creative piece is brought to you by Donald Stewart.

“The first whistle of autumn has blown and at the Falkirk Premature Retirement Home, a few residents can be seen looking through the rose-tinted windows at days of yonder passed. Occasionally the monotony of a domino competition day can be interrupted by a visitor or three. Normally the guilt-ridden family send a posse of guilt-ridden members to try and make the residents feel their resentment a little less by staying for an hour or so or with a bowl of fruit which often ends up in the bin.

There is very little healthy about this place…

Picture the scene…

The Brockville Dining Room…

So called because it is the place, according to residents, where dreams come to die. Sitting round the tables are people who used to have glittering careers from a Mr. Miller to a Mr. McCracken to a Mr. McKinnon and the latest to arrive a young-looking Mr. Griffiths.

But we are here to see the man in the lounge area who is pacing up and down and muttering like some demented French singer of times past about having no regrets… Mr. Sheerin.

Sniffing out a story, The Big Levein is watching from afar. His acquaintance with Mr. Sheerin is slight but he is intrigued as his current situation in Brechin appears awfully similar to what befell Mr. Sheerin when he moved from Aberdeen to the Falkirk area. Mr. Sheerin too appeared to be a man with a reputation that had become a little tarnished before an opportunity down the lower echelons of life to rebuild it and prove his worth had seemed too irresistible to … resist.

Mr. Sheerin was, for The Big Levein, fodder. Or at least that was what he thought. He believed he would go, visit, see an old soul and move on with some salient advice. Now he was in the retirement home, it felt all too… comfy.

The Big Levein was freaked…

Just then a nurse spies him and guides him like a lost resident into the room with Mr. Sheerin. “Here we are, Mr. Sheerin, your visitor.”

Mr. Sheerin looks up and spies a man he thinks he knows but knows he does not know him very well. Why is The Big Levein visiting him he wonders? Instantly, like most, who meet The Big Levein, he is on his guard.

“Dae ah know you”” he asks.

The Big Levein is always ready for questions. Apart from awkward ones about formations.

“Only by reputation,” he purrs, hoping that this is sufficiently sinister enough to put Mr. Sheerin off asking any more questions.

It doesn’t.

“Is that a naw?” he asks.

“It’s an aye, but naw,” responds The Big Levein because it isnae a question about tactics and he can answer any other kind of question.

Mr. Sheerin gives up and sits down in an armchair.

“What is it yer after?” he asks.

Mr. Sheerin looks at The Big Levein with suspicion.

The Big Levein tries to reassure him. It’s a bit like a scorpion telling its prey that things will all be fine in a few moments – nobody is fooled. So, The Big Levein just asks.

“I want to know why ye came tae Falkirk,” he asks bluntly.

Mr. Sheerin sucks in a breath. “People keep changing things all the time. I think what they really need is stability. Those in place now need to be given time to get it right. The process of building takes a long period of time.”

The Big Levein leaves a gap for Mr. Sheerin to fill. Thinking that Mr. Sheerin may have fallen asleep he decides to give him a prompt. “But you left a perfectly good opportunity in Aberdeen to come down here and take charge?” he tries to prompt.

Mr. Sheerin looks at him again with suspicious eyes. “Looking back, I am man enough to admit that I just wasn’t good enough. I should have been much more fruitful. I don’t think I ever lost people. I can say that with confidence.”

He was losing The Big Levein, but The Big Levein decided to try one more time.

“Aye, but why did you ever want to come, here?” The last word said with a smidgin of contempt as The Big Levein looks out the window at the town. He looks back at Mr. Sheerin with something close to sympathy. Close, but also nowhere near it.

As if addressing a small child, Mr. Sheerin responded, “I lost my job due to my own inadequacies. You have to get better results than what we did. The board acted and I understand that but, you need time. It was just a step too far at that point for the group. I really wanted to get to January and have really fixed those problematic areas.”

In a way, the universe had given The Big Levein, his answer. Having driven from his summer holiday at the Livingston Lions Holiday Camp, where he had his own summer battle, more of that to come, he had hoped to start the new year with something better to learn from, but a nurse was now hovering in the background. She smiled at The Big Levein; an occasion so unusual he was forced to pay attention to it. He realized that he was being ushered out.

He thanked Mr. Sheerin, who appeared to still be totally confused as to who he is or why he had come. Walking towards the nurse, who was now holding out her hand as if The Big Levein would need support. The Big Levein noticed a chair with a sticky label at the back. Having caught his attention, he stopped and squinted at the writing, a childlike scrawl, across the label. It was drawn with something akin to a crayon.

The nurse noticed him noticing. “Don’t worry,” she reassured. “I don’t think it is your name on it. Unless you are Mr. McGinn”

The Big Levein hurried out realizing that this was a place that had little problem with being a graveyard for people wanting to end their careers. He believed that he, at least was far from being in that predicament…

Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an original tale, there is still no evidence that such a Retirement Home does exist, unless you know differently, so this is clearly a work of fiction, though many of the works spoken by Mr. Levein have been spoken in a recent interview with the Falkirk Herald.

The fact is that in that interview with the Falkirk Herald recently, former Bairns boss Paul Sheerin reflected on his time in charge of the Bairns. Sheerin was in the hot seat for only 23 games, winning only 8 . He left the club in after losing 6-0 to Queen’s Park at Firhill. John McGinn is now the boss. For the moment, but apparently people keep changing things at the club…”

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