Author: Mark

Tottenham Hotspur: Goodbye To The Lane

There was a neat personal symmetry to Tottenham Hotspur’s farewell afternoon to what is already the “old” White Hart Lane. My first-ever trip there was my first-ever football match. 10th November 1973. Then, as now, it was Spurs v Manchester United. Then, as now, Spurs went two-up. Then, as now, United pulled one back. Then, as now, it finished 2-1. So, while Sky Sports were doubtless desperate to for referee Jonathan Moss to award a penalty when Dele Alli was tripped as he entered the penalty area with stoppage-time about up last Sunday, I was pleased that the next...

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Infantino Trumps FIFA

Among the millions of words from American political pundits and satirists about Donald bloody Trump, NBC’s Saturday Night Live broadcast the straightest-to-the-point, last… well… Saturday night. The previous Thursday, Trump told NBC journalist Lester Holt that he fired Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director James Comey while thinking about “this Russia thing,” the Comey-led FBI investigation into the nature of the Trump’s presidential campaign team’s links with Russia, and their role in Trump’s election victory last November. (NB: “The nature” of those links, not “if” they existed. One for the politicos there). On SNL, Michael Che’s “Holt”, got Alec...

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West Bromwich Albion’s Real McClean

I am not one for “unfriending” people on Facebook. But I made an exception in March when an ex-friend charmingly captioned a photograph of Irish international James McClean and former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness “a stupid c**t and a dead c**t.” I entirely accept that many people would echo the comment about McGuinness, given his pre-political life in the Provisional Irish Republican Army. But the comment about McClean was not acceptable in any sense. McClean the footballer has done many stupid things, for which he has received yellow and red cards. And, while not excusing my...

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Old Firm? Still “No Thanks”

OK. I laughed…and laughed when Celtic’s Mikael Lustig slalomed through Rangers’ traffic-cone defence and plonked a 20-yard effort into the corner of the net at Ibrox the other Saturday. And Celtic’s dominance of the two recent meetings with the post-liquidation Rangers has, not before time, reflected the gulf in class between the clubs, on-field and off. But I am as unenamoured with the “Old Firm” fixture as ever, thanks not only to fans’ behaviour but also Sky Sports’ continuing insanely unprofessional coverage of it. Whatever your views on Rangers’ existing after liquidation, the “Old Firm” itself, an alleged mutual...

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Kingstonian & Kingsmeadow: Get Me Out Of Here

Tuesday’s Guardian newspaper contained a terrific double-page article by Nick Ames on Kingstonian’s last-ever game at Kingsmeadow Stadium, where they had played since 19th August 1989. Nick covered almost all the bases; the history, the politics, the possible impact of an immediate-term move out of Kingston borough, the raw emotion, my mate Phil’s bobble hat. And the piece wasn’t harmed by… OK, it massively benefited FROM… the absence of any of my ten-minute chat with him. Because I was, in equal measure, without a bobble-hat… and any emotion worth including in a national newspaper. I recall missing only one...

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