Tales From The Crypt: Charles “Integrity” Green

crypt green

 

PUBLIC NOTICE

The Curator of the Crypt hereby gives notice that CHARLES INTEGRITY GREEN is hereby interned in the Crypt forthwith. For services to haute couture, financial probity, giving jobs to grotesque hacks from Airdrie, construction in Qatar and being such an all round bloody good bloke even the Curator himself wouldn’t wish on his worst enemy.

Abandon all taste ye who enter here.

Signed

The Curator

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The curator will have to watch what he writes here. Charles is a lovely man of that I am in no doubt. His dignity and his natty sense of dress make him an admired man – nay, a respected man – throughout this land and beyond. And yet wherever Charles goes trouble seems to follow.

From Sheffield to the Middle East, from Qatar to Bonnie Scotland this well meaning fellow just seems to attract trouble.

I first became aware of Charles Green when I was heading over to Celtic Park to watch Celtic’s final match of the 2011-12 season. Rangers – then merely in Administration- had for the previous three months been for sale. I don’t need to remind you of the various people who had shown interest in buying that club following the St Valentine’s Day 2012 incident.

They came from Bonnie Scotland, the came from Singapore, they came from Dear Old Sharks of Sale and even from New York (well actually Charlotte, North Carolina but bear with me) and all walked way or were rebuffed by Duff and Phelps. Rangers spent more time in the insolvency Last Chance Saloon than sailors on shore leave do in brothels.

Even the dimmest of dimwits on Radio Clyde (Gordon Dalziel) suspected that the game was up. And then here is this Yorkshire accented fellow called Green speaking on the radio announcing that he was looking to tie up the purchase.

Stuart Cosgrove – who was presenting the show and, unusually for Radio Shortbread, he was not a man in thrall to the then dying club – said he liked the sound of him. To Cosgrove he seemed like the epitome of good honest Yokshiremen with their good honest broadband and their Indoor League presented by Fred Trueman (before he snuffed it).

To me, though, he reminded me of another Yorkshireman, albeit not a real one. One George ’Integrity’ Whitebread – a Harry Enfield character of the early nineties – who said what he liked and liked what he bloody well said.

crypt enfield
A parody of a rude, crass and egotistical money-grabbing bullshitter from Yorkshire: not to be confused with Harry Enfield’s George ‘Integrity’ Whitbread pictured above.

 

So who was this caricature Yorkshireman who wore the stylish beige suits and the hangdog expression?

Well he’d been a professional footballer right enough. For Sheffield United and Doncaster Rovers. He was so good he never got a game in the first team for either. A drop into the lower leagues with Alfreton Town was followed by a return to the big time of the Football League Division 4 with Barnsley where he made no first team appearances. His career finished at Cheltenham – not then a Football League Team after a big money transfer of £500 from Goole Town.

Having conquered the world of professional football on the field, Green, the man of Integrity, turned to the less murky world of venture capitalism before he returned to the Football World as Chief Executive of Sheffield United in 1996.

The Blades had played in the first couple of seasons of the English Premiership before slipping back a tier in 1994. They were ambitious and so was their new Chief Exec. A share flotation was launched on the Alternative Investment Market ( AIM) in London and some money was spent on players. Fancying himself as a football coach and not just a philanthropic entrepreneur Green involved himself in team selection and eventually sacked Dave Bassett. The parting of the ways was so amicable that Green offered to settle matters in a nearby car park. When Bassett agreed Green developed a touch of the vapours.

By 1998 he’d irritated Bassett’s replacement, ex Ranger Nigel Spackman, with his continued tinkering in team affairs as well as the decision to sell a couple of players, including club talisman Brian Deane, without the manager’s consent. No money was earmarked for replacements and the club was bleeding cash.

Green quit in 1998. The World of Football and the fans of Sheffield United wept at their loss.

crypt truemanAnother straight-talking Yorkshireman, the late Fiery Fred Trueman, fast bowler for the England cricket team and presenter of Indoor League, a show that featured lots of Yorkshiremen playing popular indoor sports from the region such as darts, shove ha’penny, bar billiards and asset stripping distressed companies by organising share issues, trousering large amounts of money and buggering off to a chateau in France bought with the proceeds. “I’ll si’ thee.”

 

Green decided Yorkshire wasn’t big enough to contain his now legendary acumen as his empire spread. It got to Qatar via Jersey and a construction company called Panceltica of which Integrity Man was Deputy Chairman and chief mouthpiece.

Floated on the AIM in March 2008 the company was promoting a new technology using lightweight, steel framed buildings for houses and apartments. Boasting to the Daily Telegraph that the new technology was ’like putting together a Meccano kit’ at the time of AIM placing the contract couldn‘t fail, could it?

By July 2009 the company which had contracted Panceltica to do the work had terminated the contract and a month later the Qatari operation went into liquidation with those who’d bought the shares now holding nothing but worthless share certificates.*

What Green did next isn’t known to me but by the spring of 2012 he had become interested in the ailing Rangers company. What his relationship was to Craig Whyte, Duff and Phelps, Ticketus and various unnamed ’backers’ from the Middle East, Malaysia and Singapore in that time few know- whether we ever will is I think open to debate. But by the end of May Green and his droning voice, bad suits and dreary coupon were familiar as he tried to arrange a CVA to prevent Rangers being placed into Liquidation – all history of the gallant boys in light blue being lost in such an eventuality.

When the company did go into liquidation Green in the first of many amazing volte faces confirmed that the history had been saved. A gullible press – perhaps convinced that John Brown couldn’t be right – ignored their own prophecies of doom and swallowed every morsel from Green’s truculent gob as though it were nectar.

It was hard not to laugh at Green when he claimed that Rangers were victims of bigotry, that Manchester United and other EPL sides would welcome the now Zombie Rangers into their league, that Real Madrid and Barcelona were similarly in thrall to Green’s new plaything and his toe curling Christmas broadcast on Rangers TV.

But there was something altogether less palatable about his decision that his club’s fans should boycott their Scottish Cup tie with Dundee United, his buying into the less savoury aspects of the original Rangers’ history and his use of what could at best be described as Politically Incorrect and at worst racist language to describe a black footballer from Green’s earth shattering playing career and a Pakistani business associate.

When Craig Whyte revealed that he had evidence that Green had been involved with Whyte during the period when Rangers had been in Administration Green’s defence was a curious one; he’d lied to Whyte to get what he (Green) wanted.

A few days after promising ‘No Surrender’ Green resigned and it was reported that he would be selling his shares to a convicted fraudster.

On the day he resigned from his role as Rangers Chief Executive a concerned ‘Born on Shoreham Street’ posted on the Blades Mad website, ’He isn’t coming back here is he?’.

No need to worry Born my old mucker. He’s in the crypt. Possibly at some stage in the future he’ll be confined to its naughty step as well.
JIM PAYNE
*See page 32 of Private Eye 1315 of June 2012

 

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Earwig on El Bungalow, Psychics and Respectful Pasta

The price of Alfredo Morelos is going up at a weekly rate of inflation not seen since the days of the Weimar Republic…

earwig bungalow 1
… partly as a result of joining this motley crew honoured in a tweet by Bet 365. Which prompted this reply from Noza Render…

earwig bungalow 2-1
Yes, dear reader, I am gutted that the likes of Bobby Lennox and Henrik Larsson cannot find their way on to a list of Rangers strikers. Indeed, even the mention of their current hero’s nickname strikes fear into my soul. El Bungalow (followed by several exclamation marks), so called, perhaps, because, like Mister Render, there’s nothing up top?

At least Noza seems to understand that 25 is quite a high number, a talent for numeracy that isn’t shared by everyone who cheers on El Bungalow on a Saturday.

Like Duncan here, who thinks that the expression “We Are The People” consists of three words. Three words that he would ejaculate should El Bungalow ever invite Duncan to have fajitas with him.

earwig watp

Imagine the confusion should ever Duncan, El Bungalow and Born a Blue Nose here ever dine out at a fajita restaurant and then have to split the bill three ways. Born a Blue Nose is evidently under the impression that an eight point gap can be closed in two games. 2 x 3 = 8 you see.

earwig 8 points

This Orwellian doublethink maybe helps ease Born’s angst, an unease that disappears during the week but resurfaces whenever results don’t go the way of El Bungalow and his team mates. The slightest hint of a reverse sees Born and his brethren, such as Bluethruandthru surfing their sea of sludge with advice for their rookie manager. For who else but a rookie would have failed to go for the juggler in order to strengthen the team during the transfer window?

earwig jugglerAnd as if not pairing the juggler with El Bungalow wasn’t a hanging offence in itself, along comes Connor to hit the nail right on the head…

earwig chant
I’m not entirely convinced by the argument that speeding up the chanting will necessarily bring success. That said, it might get the pulses quickening, and that’s very important when you’re dealing with a reanimated corpse of a football club.

earwig seance

So it’s either chant things quicker or let’s go down to Ibrox, hold hands and try to get in contact with the dead at one of the occasional Psychic Nights they have. I might suggest that Dave King and the concert party are actually trolling their own supporters but no, it’s a serious thing and not a suitable subject for parody. Not least because I wouldn’t want to bring religion into it. Amy here might think I was using a sectarian slur…

earwig parody

For in Amy’s dimwit world there are Kaffliks and there are Parodies, and she probably thinks that all the Kaffliks support Celtic and all the Parodies support Sevco – and when you put it that way there’s a germ of truth in that statement.

As I’m sure the Parodies would agree as they gather round for their seance to get in touch with their dearly departed share certificates and debenture seats, death is no laughing matter, so thank goodness your humble correspondent has discovered a wordsmith to rival the Sevconian loonball I featured in a previous column who gave us these immortal lines in his ode to the Ibrox manager: “There’s something about both your eyes that are blue”… “You are like a grandson from the World war that Rangers won, we will get the battle fever on and build those ships to sail you to the Somme.”

Here is the one and only Melody Beckford to offer some words of comfort should you ever wake up in the night and weep softly into your can of export thinking about the brave angle above – whether concave or convex – Princess Di. Take it away Melody:

earwig di 1

Be like Melody, dear reader; move your mashed potato or spaghetti out the way when you’re eating from you Diana plate.

earwig di plate
Toodloo the Noo
The Earwig

 

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The St. Patrick’s Day Massacre

rangers-massacre-1991-record-back-page

Scottish Cup 3rd round, 1991,  and there we were in Forfar, up to our armpits in bridies muttering, “Haven’t we been here before??” It wasn’t the only similarity we would encounter on this cup run.

Happily Forfar didn’t cause any problems this time round and an easy 2:0 victory was recorded. The main talking point after the game was the Forfar fans’ (or should that be “fan’s”?) constant chanting of Terry Hurlock’s name. Rather than admitting to being Huns without the bus fares the locals would doubtless claim that they were just winding us up. Aye right!

St. Mirren were the opponents in the fourth round (a young Paul Lambert featured on the bench). The tie was moved to a midweek slot to accommodate TV – a rare event in Scotland at the time – and first half goals from Coyne, Miller and an o.g. from McWhirter were enough to see Celtic through safely to the last eight.

So, the quarter final draw, and more deja vu as the audible gasps together with the thud of SFA officials hitting the deck in fainting fits could only mean one thing; the big Glasgow teams had to play each other in an early round for the second season in a row.

Rangers, at Celtic Park, with the tie due to be played on St. Patrick’s Day no less.

The build up to this one was naturally very subdued with no one being too bothered about who was going to win… Oh all right. Everyone was going mental!

Not only was our season on the line again, but Rangers were going for the treble. Celtic were due to play them twice in two weeks and recent form suggested that the Hoops were in for a hefty beating – in some cases quite literally.

The more superstitious among us were dismayed to find out that Celtic’s lucky mascot in the Scottish Cup, Chris Morris, was injured. He’d never lost a game in this competition in regulation play. The more football minded among us were dismayed because this meant that Mark McNally might be involved. In the event the more experienced Grant was picked in defence.

If there was any hope to cling on to it was the fact that Rangers hadn’t won a cup tie against the Hoops at Celtic Park since 1905. They also had Scott Nisbet playing in defence.

The game itself started in an unusually quiet manner, both teams dispensing with the traditional early practice of blootering the ball – or the nearest opponent – as far as possible in the direction one happened to be facing at the time. But it wasn’t long before the shrill tone of the referee’s whistle was announcing the first episode of that afternoon’s foulfest as Walters got to show off his silky skills by dextrously clattering Joe Miller into the stand.

Andrew Waddell was that day’s man in black. A pathologist by profession, he was officiating his first Glasgow derby and was about to witness some pretty pathological behaviour from Souness’s stiffs.

Six minutes in, Celtic took the lead when Wdowczyck lofted a free kick to the far side of the Rangers penalty area. Gough was odds-on favourite to get it but his former Dundee United team mate Coyne got the vital nod. The ball broke to Gerry Creaney who managed to blast a shot past Woods and into the corner of the net. It was one of the best goals he ever scored for Celtic and truly typical of the player. Give him an impossible angle and an awkward bouncing ball and he’d fire it in almost every time; give him a one-on-one with the ‘keeper and he’d fall on his arse.

Rangers were not impressed by this unexpected turn of events and came roaring back. Bonner had to come for several dangerous crosses and Trevor Steven saw a header float just wide.

Things took a turn for the worse for the silenced blue hordes shortly after that. Steven, the man Rangers looked to in midfield, caught his studs in the turf while attempting to foul Joe Miller, who was having a rare afternoon of good form on the right wing.

Steven was carried off to a sympathetic chorus of “Dig a hole and bury him” from the Jungle. On the way up the tunnel he passed assistant manager Walter Smith who was sporting a ghastly blue shell suit and white trainers ensemble that made him look like a pensioner who had been adopted by the Aberdeen casuals as a lucky mascot. His loss took the creative thrust from Rangers and Celtic, with McStay in top form, took control of this crucial area.

The answer from Souness was to trundle Big Bertha out and begin the aerial bombardment. The contrast in forward lines took on a familiar look. Predating Blackburn’s SAS (Sutton and Shearer) Celtic were fielding the MCC (Miller, Coyne and Creaney. Rangers were relying on the HUB (Hateley’s an Ugly Bastard).

In truth the game was one for the Doug Baillie raw meat enthusiasts rather than admirers of the Dutch national team, due largely to the interminable stoppages for fouls and injuries, but just before half-time Celtic got another break. With the clock ticking down to the interval Celtic were awarded a foul after Hurlock – the kind of player that often had opponents reaching for the garlic and crucifix – had grounded Creaney for the umpteenth time.

The kick was dead centre of the pitch but a good 35 yards from the goal. It seemed obvious that Wdowczyck would float it into the box just as he had earlier in the game. Not a bit of it.

The distance he took for his run up would have done justice to a fully laden Jumbo jet on the runway at Glasgow Airport. Starting from just outside the centre circle he raced up a leathered the ball with everything he could muster. Instinctively, Hurlock put out a leg which succeeded in sending it in a majestic arc over Woods and into the net.

Celtic Park went into full-on berserk mode. Poetic justice had been meted out to a player who should never have been allowed out onto the same pitch as the likes of McStay and Collins.

Hostilities paused briefly when Maurice Johnston, who until this point had given us very few chances to hurl abuse in his direction, slithered his own way into Waddell’s notebook for dissent, which matched his descent the year before.

As the half-time whistle blew we could scarcely believe what was happening.
The second half started with Rangers playing in predictably determined fashion (wouldn’t you be determined if you had to pick bits of tea cup out of your head following a Souness rant?) and after a torrid eight minutes Johnston was put through on goal only to be hauled back by Grant. Referee Andrew Waddel, not a renowned Celtic sympathiser, duly awarded the free kick but let Grant off with a yellow card, judging that Elliott was the last man rather than Pointy Pete.

It looked like being a vital break until Grant lined up in the defensive wall for the resultant set piece before charging at the ball like someone rehearsing for Pamplona. It was another bookable offence and he was promptly dismissed.

Calamity.

Rangers squandered a number of chances in the following ten minutes, most notably a sclaff by Huistra from ten yards out, before Celtic steadied. Paul Elliott typified Celtic’s attitude on the day when he stopped a Ferguson shot with his face and slumped to the deck spitting out teeth, blood and the remains of his half-time pie and bovril. A rub down with Brian Scott’s magic sponge and he was back on the pitch a few minutes later looking for Soapy with an ominous glint in his eye.

Then the real fun started. Tommy Coyne, dropping back to help his beleaguered team mates, clipped Hurlock, who clearly didn’t subscribe to the old adage that if you dish it out you should be prepared to take it. He lashed out at Coyne with his elbow – he was approximately three feet away from the referee at this point – and got a straight red for violent conduct. Incredibly, he hadn’t even been booked until then.

At which point the roof fell in on Rangers and their players seemed to lose whatever sense of self-discipline they had.

If Hurlock had been contemplating a quiet fifteen minutes in the bath playing with his rubber duck he was in for a surprise. Coyne was involved in the next incident as well. He tackled Walters and won the ball. The Rangers winger, who had been well shackled by an unusually sure-footed Anton Rogan, had two good attempts at removing der Bomber’s kneecaps before finally settling for a well placed elbow in the teeth. Walters had been booked for yet another foul on Coyne in the first half, but there was to be no second yellow. Once again it was a straight red.

Next to go was Hateley, at that time almost as much of a hate figure among the Rangers supporters as he was with us. He got himself involved in a handbags sketch with Rogan. Both were shown yellow cards but as it was Hateley’s second he too took the long walk towards what was becoming a busy Rangers early bath tub.

With their opponents reduced to eight players Celtic threatened to run riot but unfortunately Creaney was unable to convert two great chances; a header from six yards or a one-on-one with Woods. It would have been a memorable hat-trick.

However, spirits weren’t dampened in the slightest. A famous victory had been achieved, one that we imagined would surely give Celtic the heart to march on and claim the Scottish Cup for the third time in four years. (1)

As if to emphasise the turning of the corner the Hoops won against Rangers again a week later, this time by the even more convincing margin of 3:0 in a match that was also shown live on TV.

In anticipation of Rangers being unable to drastically alter their style of play NTV gave out 6,000 red cards to be waved at offenders.

Nesbit duly obliged.

It was the last time Celtic faced a Rangers team managed by Graeme Souness, or as one of his players affectionately called him, The Beast (copyright Jan Bartram 1988). He walked out on them shortly afterwards to take charge of Liverpool after Kenny Dalglish decided he’d had enough.

 

(1) How wrong we were!

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Get the full story of season 1990-91 through the jaundiced eyes of NTV. Free PDF file from ntvceltic@hotmail.co.uk if you make a donation to a foodbank.

10 Interesting Facts About Kilmarnock…

kilmarnock huddle

1. Kilmarnock were founded in 1869, an event which led directly to the 1st Vatican Council proclaiming the doctrine of Papal Infallibility. Sadly the Pontiff’s efforts at predicting that weekend’s fixed odds coupon only went to show that the doctrine was fundamentally flawed as Kilmarnock lost at home.

2. Kilmarnock were originally founded as a cricket club… which explains a lot.

3. Rugby Park was one of the first grounds to have experimental floodlights installed. On 8th November 1878 a match was played under the illumination of three spotlights. During the game one of the lights failed and two of the players were so badly injured they never played again, which suggests that a young Graeme Souness was guesting for the home team that night and used the cover of darkness to perpetrate his ghastly fouls.

4. During the Second World War the army converted Rugby Park into an oil and coal storage depot due to its close proximity to a railway line. The club kicked up a fuss when the pitch was dug up. Disgruntled supporters kicked up an even bigger fuss when it was relaid after the war and they were forced to watch the team again.

5. After the war a group of Italian POWs helped to dig the foundations for one of the terraces. Supporters were able to use the resultant tunnels to escape from mediocre games during the Seventies.

6. In the late Fifties and early Sixties Kilmarnock used to keep three sheep as mascots. The sheep were kept locked up during games, much to the annoyance of visiting Aberdeen fans who would regularly be driven to paroxysms of frustration.

7. The last of the three sheep to join the great Aberdeen supporters club in the sky died in 1966. Her name was Wilma (the others were called Ruby and Angus) and she was reputedly fond of eating fences (a pre-Taylor Report protest perhaps?) and the doubts from filter tipped cigarettes, many of which were to be found in the opposition goalmouths as keepers invariably had a relaxing afternoon in those days.

8. One of the roofs of the old Rugby Park was sponsored by Johnny Walker whisky and the scoreboard by John Barr whisky. Supporters of Kilmarnock will testify to rumours that during the Seventies and Eighties the first team were suspected of over-indulgence in the sponsors’ product, especially on a Saturday afternoon.

9. In 1990 Kilmarnock were the first team to lose a Scottish Cup tie on a penalty shoot-out when they bottled it at the hands of mighty Stranraer. Both teams had played for 120 minutes without a goal being scored. Following the game the Stranraer fans went on the rampage when they discovered that Wilma had passed away some 25 years previously. The thought of a good time sheep had been the only reason for their journey.

10. That’s enough facts – ed.

Tales of Jimmy Mallan

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Jimmy Mallan played centre-half and full-back for Celtic between the years 1942-1953. In this interview for Charles Buchan’s Football Weekly in 1955 he recalled being capped for the Scottish League against England as well as a Victory Cup semi-final at Hampden that ended in him being sent off and the club fined £100 as a result of an honest mistake by referee MC Dale.

I had been seven years in senior football with Celtic when I got my first national honour. It was against the English League at Ibrox in March 1949 and I must have been the most surprised player in the country when they told me I was ‘in’. I was especially pleased that I had made the grade at fullback. Celtic had only recently converted me from centre-half to right-back. I had always regarded it as a stop-gap measure which would end as soon as the management found a replacement. Yet here I was. being picked by the Scottish League at full-back.

Most players know when they have had a bad game and I am no exception. I thought I had had a good match and was shocked and bitterly disappointed when I read the papers the morning after the game and found the critics almost unanimous in singling out left-back Frank Mennie (QP, Kilmarnock and Clyde) and me as being the weak elements of the team. One writer even claimed that George Young (Rangers) had almost run himself into the ground covering up for his full-backs. We’d been beaten 0-3 but I still (1955) feel the critics were unjust to Mennie and me, and above all to Frank Mennie. He was facing Tom Finney and Stanley Mortensen.

To add insult to injury, every time Wilf Mannion got the ball on my side (Mannion’s left), he cut over to the right. Consequently, the English attack was seldom functioning on my side of the park at all. This meant that Frank was under pressure from three top-ranking forwards, not to mention an occasional raid by Jackie Milburn. That we were beaten by only three goals against such opposition speaks volumes for the hard tackling and shrewd positioning of the Clyde left-back.

For my own part, I can remember being beaten only twice by Bobby Langton on my side of the field. As I said earlier, Mannion did not operate against me throughout the game. We were also unfortunate when George Young hit the post with a penalty and Frank Swift beaten.

I was once put on the sidelines for three months. On Wednesday 5 June 1946, we had a replayed Victory Cup semi-final versus Rangers at Hampden. There was a strong wind blowing that evening and we played into it during the first half. A goal down at half-time was not regarded as much leeway to make up. But things took a disastrous tum for three of our players and for the club.

A long clearance landed in our penalty area. As I saw it, Celtic players Pat McAuley and Matt Lynch were both facing Willie Miller as he came out of his goal to gather the ball. Thornton, the Rangers centre, ran between them and fell. Matt Dale, the referee, obviously did not see the incident as I did. He pointed to the penalty spot.

George Paterson grabbed the ball, marched up to Mr Dale and invited him to stick it. He was the first Celtic player sent to the pavilion.

The penalty spot had been obliterated so the referee was obliged to place the ball where he thought it was painted at the start of the game. I saw Pat McAuley walk into the penalty area to look at where Mr Dale had placed the ball. The referee promptly ordered him out of the box. A moment later, Pat again walked into the area but this time invited the whistler to accompany him. Again he was ordered out.

He came over to stand with me. “There’s no penalty spot there and the ball’s too far forward. Have a look for yourself.”

Like a fool, I walked forward to see and as I turned back, the referee dashed towards me and ordered me off.

Meanwhile, Hampden was in pandemonium. I was so thunderstruck that I did not even protest the ball was not in its proper place.

When I got into the tunnel, I told trainer Alec Dowdells what had happened. He reckoned I had been sent off after two warnings and that M.C. Dale, in a panic to get on with the game, had not realised it was the dark-haired Mallan and not the auburn McAuley who had gone into the penalty box for a third look at the spot.

That was my reading of the situation but not that of the Referees’ Committee. George Paterson and I were suspended, each for three months. Matt Lynch was also reported (for what it is hard to know) and he ‘clicked’ for a month out of the game. The final result was a Rangers victory 2-0, and, as the penalty and the ordering-off incidents had aroused some feeling among the crowd, there was a display of bad temper with bottle-throwing. Celtic were fined £100 (no joke in 1946) and ordered to post warning notices at Parkhead for six months.

I am with St Mirren now and all that is behind me. But it taught me a lesson which I have followed carefully ever since: Play to the whistle. No matter how frayed tempers may become or how annoying an. apparent injustice may seem- especially when a trophy is at stake -my advice to all young players is to accept the referee’s decision without any show of dissent, either vocal or by gesture. And don’t be nosey! Don’t let your curiosity tempt you to investigate problems on the field which are not your concern. Remember, a three-month lay-off seems an eternity in an eight-month season.
(Adapted from Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly September 1955)

The Celt’s View: Rangers booked the wind and despite some great ‘keeping by Willie Miller, Waddell produced one unsaveable. drive (12). Jackie Gallacher was carried-off after the penalty but Jimmy Sirrel limped on to the end with a pulled muscle. Flashpoint was in the 69th minute when Thornton dived. Celtic players refused to let the kick be taken (Jimmy Mallan included). Celtic skipper Bobby Hogg probably stopped his team-mates leaving the field en masse. The SFA deplored his conduct and endorsed his record card.
From The Celt, issue 84, November 2004

Earwig: on Goats, Les Bavoirs Oranges and Sectarian Pyrotechnics

Ah, Christmas – a time for gathering together with the family to eat, drink and be merry and then, once Christmas dinner is over, we can all play a board game.

If you’re part of ‘The Rangers Family’ (think Addams Family without the looks or the refined taste) you’ll watch Betty Windsor’s speech on the telly first, of course, while standing at attention and tugging your forelock at the same time. You might then consider foregoing the traditional game of Monopoly this year on the grounds that 1) you don’t really understand the concept of paying bills and 2) there’s a new version of the game out that’s right up your Copeland Road.

earwig monopoly

The Monopoly Cheaters Edition positively encourages not playing by the same rules as everybody else so instead of the usual chance and community chest cards, players are invited to channel their best David Murray and indulge in nefarious activities such as fake a dice roll, snaffle money from the bank, not pay bills as they fall due and hide side contracts from the SFA while paying players via a EBT scheme.

Actually I made that last one up, but the spirit of Nimmo Smith, Stuart Regan and Neil Doncaster is definitely alive and well in this game. So much so that you’d be forgiven for thinking that some of the reviews on Amazon were written by one or two of the aforementioned. Take this one for example, from someone calling themselves ‘cheatersdowin’: “My family, like most, could never manage to get through game night without someone being accused of cheating, especially playing Monopoly… Bottom line whoever said “cheaters never win,” was so wrong. Get this game and cheat to your hearts content, you’ll have so much fun.”

However, not everybody is quite as thrilled with the idea of cheating in order to win a game. One reviewer was decidedly queasy at the message the game is sending out: “This game is a stinker. Not much fun at all. And I don’t mean “not fun” as in “playing regular Monopoly with crappy house rules that make the game last 2 days”. I mean not fun as in “traumatic stress” and “betrayal of trust” not fun… There were bruised egos by the end of the game. I feel betrayed by my wife and I don’t think my wife looks at me the same way. I felt weird trying to teach our 7 year old how to cheat successfully.”

Time to invoke the ‘Let’s all move on for the good of the game’ rule there I think.

If you are a Bear and you are thinking of buying the Monopoly Cheaters Edition, perhaps it might be best to avoid trying to purchase it from Fraser’s Department store in Glasgow, now under the ownership if Mike Ashley, as there may be trouble ahead if this tweet is followed through:

earwig ashley

In a move that might have been inspired by the Yellow Vest protests across the Continent, this bear has taken to social media with a few suggestions that could see widespread disruption throughout one of the keystones of Mike Ashley’s business empire.

Ashley might not be fazed by having to face a grilling in front of a House of Commmons Select Committee but he will be shitting himself at the prospect of Sevconians on fake crutches setting off fire alarms in his shops or pulling the price tags off his Slazenger merchandise.

Step aside Les Maillots Jeaune, Les Bavoirs Oranges* are here and they mean business!

earwig hun moron
There is revolution in the air and, like Alan Hunter (above) the Bears are not going to stand for it any longer. They are fed up with being escape goats and are sick of being kicked in the canines.

To be honest I’m not sure what Alan means by that, but then neither does he in all probability. I’m no therapist, but I would recommend that Alan chills out by asking Santa for a harmless non-violent video game. Something like this maybe?

refs goat simulator
Or maybe ‘Escape Goat Simulator’. And in case you think this is a Photoshop effort designed to have a go at Craig Thompson and Company, it is a genuine game where you can “do goat things like run, jump lick and ram stuff” as well as get involved in “millions of hilarious situations” none of which, as far as I can tell, are set during a referee meeting down the ludge.

Between composing what passes for a thought and actually writing it down is a tortuous process for Alan and the rest of the Ken Clean Air Systems (see Earwig, NTV 259). Perhaps he should combine his brain power with that of his fellow spelling and grammar dodger Mike Jones (below).

earwig spelling

Not that being a supporter of right wing arseholes like Steven Yaxley Lennon means that Mike is by necessity a Sevco fan, but anybody who would go the trouble of sending £2.00 then being staunch enough to close his Papal account immediately afterwards would undoubtedly get a sympathetic hearing at Ibrox, not least for causing such financial damage to the Vatican.

Because there’s no doubt that sectarianism in all its guises should be fought against, especially sectarian pyrotechnic displays. One such was spotted by DC who was  watching the Leipzig v Celtic match and spotted a display which he promptly reported to UEFA.

earwig sectarian pyro

Stay staunch and toodloo the noo

Earwig

 

*Orange Bibs