(Christmas Day, 1914. No Man’s Land, The Western Front.)
Benson skilfully kicked the heavy leather football past his man, but an outstretched German boot caught his khaki shin. He fell onto the hard ground.
The laughing corporal helped Benson back to his feet, then offered him a swig from his hip flask. Not strictly within the rules, but well within the spirit of this impromptu kick about.
This England v Germany game was friendlier than most, helped along by the shared cake and alcohol. Helmets for goalposts. Men on both sides sang Christmas Carols…
Then officers barked orders. A bigger game was about to restart.