Monday, 27 February 2012

Me and Piers Morgan

My Herald colleague (and friend) Susan Swarbrick has sent me a picture of Whose Side Are You On? on her bookshelf. It's nice to know someone has not only read the book but decided to keep hold of it too. Not sure about the company I find myself in. I suspect that she's deliberately manipulated it so that the likes of Piers Morgan and Toby Young are also in the frame,probably because she knows how much I hate them - the kind of  irrational hatred you can have for people you've never met.

Morgan of course is a Gooner and that smarts all the more today after yesterday's debacle at the Emirates.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Ibrox Blues

I was at Ibrox on Saturday for the Sunday Herald. You can read my report here:
A couple of days on I've been thinking a bit more about the afternoon. There was something impressive about the Rangers fans' response, the scale and noise of it. But it was tarnished by the singing of sectarian songs. It was as if in their anger they lashed out. Only they lashed out in the wrong direction.
I noted lots of Northern Irish accents before the game, a reminder that the Old Firm hold a strong hold on the hearts of many in the north. That said, growing up I didn't know anyone who supported Rangers or Celtic. In the 1970s we watched English football on the telly and pretended to be English teams in our kickabouts on the local green.
I don't know if anyone has calculated the number of travelling fans who make the journey across the North Channel on a Saturday, but I would have thought as many of them head to Old Trafford as Ibrox or Celtic Park. Certainly when I lived in Northern Ireland the majority of people I knew were United fans.
Going home in the last ten, fifteen years, though, I have noted more and more Rangers and Celtic tops on Northern Irish streets. It's a mark of identity of course. It says whose side you are on. Me, I never could afford a Spurs top when I was young and I don't think I'd look good in one now that I can.