“We regret any offence these chants may have caused”.

Apparently, during yesterday’s game between Manchester City and Liverpool, chants were heard from the home fans about Hillsborough. Fucking morons.

Not that United fans hands, or rather throats can in any way be said to be clean: morons come in red shirts just as much as sky blue.

But this is not about the fans, theirs or ours. The title of this short piece comes from City’s official statement on the matter. Can you spot the word that’s caused my gorge to raise, my blood to boil? It’s the ‘may’. A chant about Hillsborough, directed at Liverpool, its club and fans, and you think it ‘may’ have caused offence? That’s there’s a possibility, an outside chance, that chanting obscene hatred about the death of 97 people, could be considered offensive? To someone who’s a bit hyper-sensitive, maybe, who takes things too much to heart.

Whoever wrote that line, whoever sanctioned it as the Club’s official statement on the matter, go look at yourself in a mirror. Recognise that you are dead to all human feeling, to morality, empathy, understanding and decency. Then flush yourself down the pan like the shit in human form you are. All of you.


And then there were two: George Cohen R.I.P.

George Cohen, the Fulham right back who George Best described as the best full-back he ever played against, vice-captain of the Boys of 1966, has died aged 83. That leaves only Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Geoff Hurst who shared that sunny Saturday afternoon. I remember when Alan Ball died, the youngest man, the first to depart. I remember when all our heroes, even the unsung and humble, were still here to remind us that there once was a day. Sadly, such people are immortal only in the minds and hearts of we who cheered them.

The Greatest of them All

In the battle over just who is the Greatest Footballer Of All Time, we’ve spent years on the argument as to whether it is Lionel Messi or Christiano Ronaldo without coming to any conclusions, nor will I weigh in with my opinion. How do the Argentinian and the Portuguese match up against the Other Argentinian or the Dutchman? Should we broaden the category to include the German? Diego Maradona, Johann Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer. Do we argue for Michel Platini or Zinedine Zidane?

If you’re of my generation, there is no question. We were brought up to believe that the Greatest Footballer Of All Time had but one name, one that the whole world knew him by. His real name, which I could only ever guess at pronouncing, was Edson Arantes do Nascimento but the world knrew him as Pele.

No, he’s not died, not yet. But it is only a matter of time, and maybe not a lot of that, and for once I wanted to say these things whilst the hero I’m talking about is still in the world. Not for him to read them because he never will. But because I want to speak them into the world whilst he is part of it, and because he was, is and always will be Pele, and he needs no other words, just Pele. And because for once I want to salute the light before the world is dimmed unmercifully forever.

The Man of the Big Moment: Ronnie Radford R.I.P.

He was what you’d call a journeyman footballer but he made himself immortal on a muddy Herefordshire football pitch one February afternoon in 1972. People like me don’t need the clip below to remind us, we read the name and it flashes across our memory, paying no royalties to the BBC. Fifty years on Ronnie Radford is gone, but his name will never disappear.

Crap Lawyers

Read this.

This arrogant, puffed up, snobby, supercilious twat thinks he knows better than an inquest and a jury. He can’r resist slandering Liverpool on top of that. And his profession clears him of breaching Professional Standards. If I were still, in any way, connected with the Law, I would be quitting on the spot.

The utter shit.

Crap Journalism

It’s been a long time since I last out up something from The Guardian, which is a combination of my decision not to read the writers most likely to talk bullshit and a growing mellowness that is less spiritual progression than inertia in the face of so much in the world that is rotten that I can’t cope with the sheer multifariousness of it.

Take a look at this piece, in particular item 7. This is the Guardian‘s reguklar Ten Things To look Out For about this weekend’s forthcoming Premier League programme. Note that this is a weekend where five games (so far) have been called off due to COVID.

Let me take a step back. I’m a Manchester United fan, have been for over forty years. I’m biased towards my club, of course, but not fanatically so. I like to think of myself as being decently objective, not paranoid.

But the Guardian has been conducting a campaign of… let’s be polite and call it denigration… towards United for some time, especially towards Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. So much so that it has become a vendetta, especially from two members of their football writing staff, who lost their neutrality ages ago. It actually got to the point, not so long ago, that I stopped reading anything the paper said about United that was not an actual match report. Opinion pieces at least five days a week, all negative, all one-note, all of them exaggerated in one form or another.

Now go back to that item 7. Five matches have been called off, one of them United’s. Yet they feature in the weekly Ten Points. For no better reason, it would appear, than to aim a nasty crack at United – that bit about thinking and trying. Sure, the tactical aspects are intelligent, and would have remained intelligent if the writer could have refrained from the gratuitous kick in the cobblers, which would have made the piece into what it’s supposed to be and not yet another shot in the ongoing vendetta.

And they keep appealing to me to pay money to read this Crap Journalism online.