That Was The Week That Was
Sheffield derby a fortnight ago, which stirred my soul as a football
fan, just as much as any from the enthralling encounter between Real and
Athletico Madrid from the Bernabeau just a couple of evenings later.
For one reason or another I have an ever so slight bias towards the
'Blades' when it comes to the battle of the 'steelmen' and I thought Utd
thoroughly deserved their 3-1 victory over their neighbours on the night. But it
wasn't so much the football, as the scenes after the match that made the hairs
stand up on the back of my neck.
It would appear that Utd's club anthem as such, is the old Pirhannas
instrumental 'Tom Harks' (or whatever). As the cameras panned round the
three-quarters of the stadium filled with Utd fans at time up, the
happiness of the 'Blades' was very much in evidence. They were all doing the same wee dance with their arms waving up and down in time to the tune. Their
excitement and happiness was just superb to behold. Without being
patronising, it is obvious that Utd fans have not had all that much over the
years to crow about. In fact manager Neil Warnock said as much at full
time. So here they were milking success for all it was worth.
But there was one image especially, which will remain. One camera kept
panning into these two beautiful, young blonde lasses. It looked to me
as though one was about 16 and she was with her younger sister. Their
faces truly were a picture and captured to perfection what football should be
all about. It's hard to try and put their emotion into words. But the pure
unashamed joy of these two youngsters brought home once again that
there really is not another sport in the world can compare with the beautiful
game, especially when it comes to the elation of putting one over your
main rivals. And in Sheffield we were witnessing the good without any of the
badness that corrupts us up here.
Sadly, it cannot be disputed that the beautiful game will forever be
scarred here in Glasgow because of other peripheral issues. But thanks to those two young ladies, and of course the rest of the Bramall Lane crowd, I was
reminded once again about how good and how innocent football can
actually be. And amen for that.
Forgive me if I don't go into any great depth about a kickabout in the
Last week brought us all some light relief in the shape of the Lisbon
Lions' benefit match. (Hope you've got the word count on Gay_Bear) Before we
go any further, let me state that I couldn't care less if the yahoos hold a LL
night every bloody year. After all, that is their prerogative. No, what
I object to is the condescending, kow-towing codswallop from our
So called serious typewriting tinkerers like Alan Davidson for
instance. He came out last week with the following classic; 'Every one of them (the Lisbon Lions, that is) could have played on ANY stage in the world and
commanded wages of 30k a week'.
Oh really Mr Davidson? So a part time dentist who hadn't made his mark
at the munky-hoose before Stein and whose career didn't amount to a hill
of beans when he left the toilet, would have been worth 30k a week? You
would have paid 30k a week to a guy who wasn't even considered the best right back in a country that wasn't exactly spoiled for choice in the position?
It get's better. The Billy McNeill of back then, would have been worth
30 grand a week nowadays? But what Billy McNeill of back then are we
talking about here? The young, strapping officer-like McNeill, who was
regularly taken to the cleaners by Jimmy Millar and then Jim Forrest? Or the
centre half who could give Alex Ferguson a run for his money? I think we
should be told.
Alan Davidson, would have us convinced that Bertie Auld today would be
worth one and a half million pounds a year to his employers? But which
Bertie, is that Bertie? The conniving, dirty, wee, sleekit over-the-ball merchant
that Davie Provan was up against at Ibrox in 1967? Or the same wee
'midfield maestro' who soiled himself when Harold Davis had him by the throat at the munky-hoose seven or eight years previously?
Charlie Gallagher who was supposed to be the best ball player at the
munky-hoose at that period in time? He was that good his next pit stop
after CP was erm, Dumbarton. And so it goes on. I give you Ronnie
Simpson for example? A seasoned, footballing nomad who was brought to the
munky-hoose to pass on advice and experience to the young uns and no
But in Davidson's world he would be the highest paid goalkeeper in the
world? You just couldn't make it up.
One last point here about the LLs. Why is it that they do not appear
have a previous footballing history or CV before Lisbon? For instance,
everyone and their granny knows that Ally McCoist was once a target for the
Ibrox boo-boys. But how come no one ever tells us that Billy McNeill was the
subject of ridicule from his Chairman in the official Celtic matchday
programme because he was Jim Forrest's bitch? In saying that, when you
read the tripe from Davidson and Co, the answer is staring you rather
A very solid and professional performance at Gayfield ended up with us
feeling glum at the freak clash between Amoruso and Ricksen, which resulted
in the Italian Stallion on the receiving end of a very nasty head injury.
There are those among us who are saying we should sell Amoruso at the
first opportunity. I disagree and we can only hope that he is back playing
within a very, short space of time. A defence with too much Malcolm or even
big Bert back in the frame doesn't bear thinking about.
The Rangers away support had me in stitches with the new ditty that
informs us that 'Martin O'Neill's - taking the piss.' A superb performance
that was matched only by Brian Scott's article in 'The Mail' earlier that day.
Scott told us that Martin O'Neill threw himself down on to the ground and
kissed Jimmy Johnstone's feet the first time they met after MON had been made
manager at the munky-hoose.
Honestly, I was by turns blushing and then feeling quite nauseous
reading this nevertheless quite illuminating wee tome. I mean, when it comes to
dignity and decorum there has always been a dramatic gulf in difference
in the way both sides of the OF behave. But O'Neill's kneels take us onto
another lower level entirely. Let's put it this way, if our manager was
on the phone too much to his former mentor down at Old Trafford most of us
would not be too happy about it. But throwing yourself at someone's
feet and kissing them? Embarrassing or vomit inducing? Take your pick. They
are not normal toe tonguers!
Monday night's 'Offside' programme offered us another glimpse into the
all consuming hatred that is the yahoo's whole reason for being. There we
were watching Ray Wilkins being introduced to general loud applause. But
among the cheers you could hear booing from assorted yahoos. Honestly, no
matter the occasion the poison will seep out. Truly they are not normal free
audience pass ponces!
While we're on the subject of this fetid bunch. Surely no one out there
is surprised that in Wednesday's Evening Tims, Phil Differ made a joke of
Amoruso's head injury at Arbroath four days previously. Still it's only a
bit o the 'craic'. Just like Tom Shields and the one about Rangers fans
and another Munich Air Disaster. It's what they do.
Midweek saw the league title kick start back into action. And I do mean
kick, as the Hivees aided and abetted by another atrociously lenient
performance by referee Kenny Clark, set out to do what they always do
against us. That is, kick us off the park.
The Hivees' Gary Smith was red carded against us for the second consecutive
time at Fester Rd this season and as another FFer pointed out, that's now
FIVE times this scumbag has been sent off against Rangers. Surely that
has got to be some sort of record? Still no doubt that means he'll be
awarded hero status up in Dollywood. Something he couldn't quite manage to
attain as a player.
Barry Ferguson gave us another performance, which underlined his worth
to us. As Peace Process Provan said in commentary at Gayfield four nights
previously, Barry Ferguson just doesn't play bad games now. I've got a
few things I want to say about Barry Ferguson in a coming edition of the
fanzine, but I'll give you a taster right now. Bazza is the best
Scottish midfielder seen at Ibrox since Jim Baxter's heyday. He has grown up and matured visibly in the last twelve months and the transformation has
been not only remarkable, but also an absolute joy to behold. And to think,
his best days have still to come.
HOORAY FOR DOLLYWOOD
Getting back to the subject of Dollywood. I see the Northern Shites
are back in town this weekend. After surpassing all expectations against
Timmy before the break, their performances have been back to normal, and by all accounts they were lucky to escape with a draw against Queen of the
South last week in the cup. As we all realise, last weekend's performance and
attitude will be a thing of the past and on Saturday we can expect this
lot to fight for everything in a manner they haven't since erm, the last
time they played Rangers.
Which leaves just one question. If we all know what's going to unfold
on Saturday in terms of Dolly's commitment and fighting spirit, then
surely our players must realise this also? It really is time we gave this lot a
going over and this Saturday will do me nicely.
Just do it Rangers,
The Govanhill Gub.