I usually refer to football related stories on my other blog On the Terracing but this posting will hopefully relate to a wider audience.
Hearts player Craig Thomson appeared in court in Edinburgh last week and plead guilty to two charges of indecent behaviour for lewd and libidinous behaviour towards two girls aged 12 and 14 years over the internet. He was fined £4,000 and placed on the Sex Offenders Register. The player has apologised for his crimes and Hearts said his "grave error of
judgement" was due to "naivety and possible wrong outside influence". Nonetheless, the club have decided not to sack the player and are standing by him. On Friday evening, Hearts issued a statement, part of which read:
"For almost seven years we have been fighting to shield the club from crooks,
criminals and thieves.
Many of the top players at the club have felt the bitter results of the
swindles that have been carried out with them on their own skin. Skacel and
Webster have returned to the club after realising where these 'football
patriots' have led them. Every year Hearts fights to be in the top three, but even last season in the
last 12 games of the season it was almost like someone replaced the team with a
different one. Whose fault is that? Players'? Managers? Or it is mafia.?"
This statement purports to be from the club but it's fair to say this is another rant from Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov.
Understandably, the decision to keep Thomson at Tynecastle - and the subsequent statement - has sparked a furious reaction from the majority of the club's supporters. I have received numerous emails from people wondering asking what my take is on this. My view is you can't defend the indefensible. Hearts used to be a club that stood for
dignity. What Craig Thomson did was wrong and he should have been sacked, no
matter that he has now apologised. Hearts promote themselves to be a family club, the 'Heart and Soul' of Edinburgh. Can they really try and continue to promote the idea of attracting families to Tynecastle when children are watching a convicted sex offender on the field of play? A player who has become - until this sordid incident - a role model for thousands of young Hearts supporters. I took my grandson Jack to Tynecastle last season but will be loathe to do so again knowing he will be seated just yards away from a convicted sex offender - one who has admitted his crimes.
There's now an active and fast
growing campaign by Hearts supporters to have Thomson thrown out of Tynecastle.
A protest is planned for the pre-season friendly in three weeks. As for
Vlad, the Hearts support needs to show that this, quite frankly ridiculous,
statement (and some other Vlad actions and statements) are not in the name of the club's most important people - the supporters. Without us, Hearts are nothing.
Heart of Midlothian FC used to stand for respect, decency and dignity. It presently stands for the exact opposite. No one, it seems, is capable or has the will to stand up against Mr Romanov; to tell the man in Lithuania that his actions and what he wants publicised on the club's website is quite simply wrong. Until someone does, he will continue to make a once famous club a laughing stock.
For me and thousands like me, this is no laughing matter.
An historic occasion. This was the last time I smiled...
18 June 1982. Scotland lost 4-1 to Brazil in the World Cup Finals in Spain. Bad enough, but the following day my days as a free man were to end. In front of a small gathering of family and friends who had come to lend their support, I was shown no mercy and given a long sentence. One that I'm still serving 29 years later. I was getting married to she who must be obeyed.
How depressed was I that night? You may find this difficult to believe but I was not in the pub on 18 June watching Zico and Socrates put Scotland to the sword. Honest, guv, I spent the evening quietly at home with my mother. I knew the significance of the night for her - it was the last evening I would be staying with her in her home. What had been also my home for the past four and a half years. I thought it only right I should spend it with her. I felt a lump in my throat that evening - particularly after the fourth goal went in…
And so it came to pass that Patricia and I got married at Greyfriars Church in Aberdeen. Her grandfather gave her away - I will resist the obvious gag here although he was armed with a 12 bore shotgun. To this day she says I told her that she looked like a princess - and I’ll also resist the obvious gag about ugly sisters. The day itself went as planned. Pat turned up on time, I managed to avoid throwing up and war didn’t break out between the families.
My father made the effort to attend although I liked to believe his ‘she’s too good for you’ comment was made in a congratulatory sense. There was a slight mishap with cutting the wedding cake at the reception afterwards - I just could not cut it, an accusation that has been thrown at me on numerous occasions throughout my life - but it was a grand day. We stayed overnight at a bed and breakfast in Aberdeen before we headed to our honeymoon in Blackpool. No expense spared, eh? Not only that but my father drove us down to Glasgow for the train to Las Vegas of the North.
Meanwhile back in Aberdeen they were taking bets on how long the marriage would last. I believe two years was the 6/4 favourite although there was some money on six months. I suspect my newly acquired mother-in-law had stuck some of the drinks kitty on that. Few, if any, had any money on 29 years.
The above photograph shows me and the missus with Gary, my best man, June the bridesmaid and little Caroline the flower girl. 'Little' Caroline is now a mother herself. I haven't seen Gary since I left Aberdeen in 1989 but we still keep in touch via Facebook. As for June, we've lost touch completely. If anyone knows where she is please let me know as it would be nice to contact her again.
Nearly three decades, two children and three grandchildren later blessings are counted every day. I don't think Mrs Smith realises how lucky she is...
Lesson 1: A man is getting into
the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings.
The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens
the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbour.
Before she says a
word, Bob says, 'I'll give you £800 to drop that towel.'
for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob, after
a few seconds, Bob hands her £800 and leaves. The woman wraps back up in the
towel and goes back upstairs. When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks,
'Who was that?'
'It was Bob the next door neighbour,' she
'Great,' the husband says, 'did he say anything about the £800
he owes me?'
Moral of the story: If you share critical information
pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a
position to prevent avoidable exposure.
Lesson 2: A
priest offered a Nun a lift. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown
to reveal a leg. The priest nearly had an accident. After controlling the car,
he stealthily slid his hand up her leg.
The nun said, 'Father, remember
The priest removed his hand. But, changing gears, he let his
hand slide up her leg again.
The nun once again said, 'Father, remember
The priest apologised 'Sorry sister but the flesh is
Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily and went on her
way. On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129. It
said, 'Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.'
the story: If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great
Lesson 3: A sales rep, an
administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an
antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out.
The Genie says,
'I'll give each of you just one wish.'
'Me first! Me first!' says the
admin clerk. 'I want to be in the Bahamas , driving a speedboat, without a care
in the world.' Puff! She's gone.
'Me next! Me next!' says the sales rep.
'I want to be in Hawaii , relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an
endless supply of PinaColadas and the love of my life.' Puff! He's
'OK, you're up,' the Genie says to the manager. The manager says,
'I want those two back in the office after lunch.'
Moral of the
story: Always let your boss have the first say.
4:An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit
saw the eagle and asked him, 'Can I also sit like you and do
The eagle answered: 'Sure, why not.'
So, the rabbit sat
on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared,
jumped on the rabbit and ate it.
Moral of the story: To be sitting
and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high
Lesson 5: A turkey was chatting with a bull. 'I
would love to be able to get to the top of that tree' sighed the turkey, 'but I
haven't got the energy.'
'Well, why don't you nibble on some of my
droppings?' replied the bull. They're packed with nutrients.'
pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to
reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung,
he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was
proudly perched at the top of the tree. He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who
shot him out of the tree.
Moral of the story: Bull Shit might get you
to the top, but it won't keep you there..
A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird
froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow
came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile
of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing
him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A
passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound,
the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out
and ate him.
Morals of the story:
(1) Not everyone who shits
on you is your enemy. (2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your
friend.(3) And when you're in deep shit, it's best to keep your mouth shut!
Author of Hearts 50 Greatest Games, Hearts - The Diary of an Incredible Season and Follow the Hearts. Reporter for The Edinburgh Reporter. Now a fully qualified Hypnotherapist - bookings being taken now...