Last lesson on a Friday is woodwork. In the workshop, thick with sawdust and the piercing whine of a circular saw, my heart is jumping. I am thirteen and have a date. Lisa is in my English class. She looks a little like Clare Grogan and that’s all I ever want in a girl. I watch the woodwork teacher and wonder what plans he has for the weekend and how dull they must be compared with mine.

In 1983, if you have a date with a girl who looks a little like Clare Grogan, you dress like this: Sta-Press trousers, chunky digital watch, button-down shirt and (fake) Sergio Tacchini jacket acquired from my dad’s mate, George. The aftershave doesn’t sting, because no shave precedes it.

I meet my mates first. We stand at the edge of the school fields, sucking on Marlboros and planning the weekend. We chat about our first love, football. Tomorrow morning we have an important game against Doddinghurst and our season hinges on its outcome. We walk slowly to youth club, not saying much, nervous and chain smoking. We understand the idea of arriving fashionably late and measure our step.

I scan the faces but Lisa hasn’t arrived. I think she has mastered this fashionably late thing. The room smells of its daytime function, all burgers and chips and grease. We hang around the DJ. The cool kids dance to the Selector and my polished brogues tap along, although really I prefer Haircut 100.

“There’s Lisa,” says my mate, nodding towards the Galaxian machine. Our eyes lock and I look away. In fact I take this aloofness thing too far and ignore her until the end of the evening. Then Lionel Ritchie comes to the rescue, and I pluck courage from the depths of my soul and ask her to dance to his crappy ballad. We shuffle around and touch lips. My first kiss. Hmm, feels OK. Euugh, she just put her tongue in my mouth! The lights come on and it is over too soon.

In the morning, Doddinghurst beat us five-nothing and I can’t care less.