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‘Bad taste’ does not deserve the sack!

By Mike Cunningham On June 17th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

It is a strange truth about this strange nation which we have morphed into, that a young man can be sacked for speaking his mind, and telling the truth as he sees it.

A civil servant in Liverpool has been fired for using government computers to post abuse about the Hillsborough disaster on the Wikipedia website following an investigation by The Telegraph.
The Whitehall official used the government intranet to mock the 1989 tragedy in which 96 Liverpool fans died at Sheffield Wednesday’s football ground. An inquest into the deaths is being held.
The man, an administrative officer, edited the phrase “You’ll never walk alone”, the anthem of Liverpool FC, to read: “You’ll never walk again.”
The 24 year-old later added the phrase “This is a s—hole” to the Wikipedia page for Anfield and “nothing for the victims of the Heysel disaster” to a section of the site dedicated to the Liverpool ground’s Hillsborough memorial.

As with the ‘Sacred Inquiry’, as well as the ‘Holy Inquests’, the truth about what happened at that football ground will never really be established, mainly because the thousand-odd drunken Liverpool ‘fans’, and their truly disgraceful conduct of swarming the gates; which ended in the death by suffocation of their compatriots at the front of the enclosure, will be either disregarded, or passed over, and the police will be blamed for everything.


inappropriate, or what?

By Mike Cunningham On May 18th, 2014 at 1:29 pm


Knowing little to nothing about Sport in general, and football and its management in particular, I was surprised to learn that lesbians took any notice at all of the writings of various football executives.




and on, and on, etc.

By Mike Cunningham On April 15th, 2014 at 10:43 am

I have written before of grief, of remembrance, of a loss so sharp that it seemed to cut through the wind; but I get just a little tired of the professional blame bunch, especially from this lot.

They blame the design  of the grounds.

They state that the ‘visitors turnstiles’ were old, decrepit, and continually jammed.

They blame the ground’s owners for not remodelling the entire stadium for better access.

They blame the police for not supervising crowd control.

They blame the police for the lack of co-ordination between gates.

They blame the police and the Sheffield club for anything they had previously forgotten to include in their litany of blame.

Strangely enough, not a word is laid; not a finger pointed; not a single utterance of condemnation is made at the Liverpool ‘fans’ who made their final heave to get in to see their sacred ‘club’ play a game of bloody football; and in doing so helped crush ninety-six of their fellow supporters to death.

Once again, the serial champions of the British Cities Victimhood trophy gather to allegedly mourn those who died; the solemn ‘minute silence’ echoes around their silly minds, the bells toll continnually; and we are supposed to feel; What Exactly?


To pause, to Splash: or just pass by?

By Mike Cunningham On February 15th, 2014 at 3:48 pm



Reading and hearing  of the death of Sir Tom Finney this morning, I was reminded, once more, of our shaky grip upon this existence that we cling to. As most ATW readers will be aware, Sport holds very little sway upon my mind and thoughts, as I consider most of the proponents of modern sports, and just about all the so-called ‘stars’ and ‘slebs’ to be a pack of self-promoting, addle-pated, selfish prima-donnas, whose ability in their chosen sport has been parlayed into a huge money-making machine.

Role models? Heroes? When the likes of Ryan Giggs, a footballer whose ‘clean-living’ image was parlayed into a huge array of sponsorships was found, after the removal of not one but several ‘super-injunctions’ was found to be leading such an amoral lifestyle as to have sex with his brother’s wife over an eight year period is portrayed as a role-model; no wonder men of my generation shake their heads in silent sorrow.

Travel Pictures Ltd

When still quite young, my brother’s heroes were the likes of Jackie Milburn, whose statue bears the statement, “A Footballer, and a Gentleman” and such an accolade was deserved. There are very few public figures whose funerals have stopped a City, but Jackie’s did, for it was the biggest display of public emotion ever displayed within Geordieland’s capital city, and deservedly so. But men, who could be addressed as men, such as Milburn, Matthews and Sir Tom Finney, took their work seriously, and their fame lightly, and perhaps that is the real difference between the heroes of my generation, and the slack-jawed clowns who pirouette on Premier and Championship grounds up and down this land. They who, if scoring a goal, which is after all what they are paid to do, go running and sliding around, waving their arms and literally stating ‘Look at me, how clever am I? How wonderful it is that I have scored. Aren’t I a genius?’


The shades of Finney and Matthews would surely be slowly shaking their heads in disbelief! Those two men, who after scoring, would trot back up towards the centre-line, perhaps nodding at a fellow player who had aided their goal, are giants compared to the pygmies who inhabit the cluttered spaces between the goalposts today, and the world is just that bit sadder for the passing of another of those legends who have simply, gone before!



By Pete Moore On October 12th, 2013 at 7:42 pm

What a photo, eh? (it clicks big, and should then click bigger)

While looking for something else I came across this wonderful photo. It’s taken at the Arsenal Stadium, what everyone knew – erroneously – as Highbury, a place I know (knew – sob!) so well. The occasion: The Arsenal vs Glasgow Rangers. The date: 17th October 1951. Attendance: 62,000. Weather: Smog with fog, turning to a smokers smog with more fog. Ah yeah, and the result: The Gunners 3:2 Rangers. Go on, click on the pic.

Highbury under lights

For American readers, this was a football (that’s ‘football’) match in North London, back when London was famously smogged out in the immediate post-war years. It was also at the home of the Arsenal, the glorious Gunners, my club, my father’s club, my grandfather’s club and a place I went to hundreds of times before we moved to a shiny new stadium just around the corner. Like countless other Gooners, I think the shiny new home is nice and impressive, but Highbury is Highbury, the place we were baptised into Goonerdom and which will always be home.

Read the rest of this entry »

it ain’t the heat; its the humidity.

By Mike Cunningham On October 4th, 2013 at 7:40 pm



As many may have read previously from my postings, I know very little about Sport in general, football even less; and care not at all.


But even I know that its stiflingly hot in Qatar in summertime.


By Pete Moore On July 6th, 2013 at 6:35 pm



Can I come out from behind the sofa yet? Strewth, that was getting on for being a bit tense. But what a match. What a great game of rugby. It’s painful being a Lions fan. It’s a litany of heartbreak and what-ifs, but today the Lions were sublime. For those not in the know, The British and Irish Lions is an invitational rugby team. Every four years players from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland come together to tour either Australia, New Zealand or South Africa for a three-test series against their national team. For a British or Irish rugby player, there’s no higher accolade than to be chosen, than to be able to say that you’re a Lion. For a few weeks every four years, nationality is forgotten because the Lions are touring.

2013 was Australia’s turn (we were last there 12 years ago), and today was was the deciding test of three after the Lions squeaked the first test and the Wallabies (the Aussie national rugby team) took the second to square it.

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By Pete Moore On May 18th, 2013 at 9:46 pm

What a pleasure this evening to see Jonny Wilkinson lift the Heineken Cup, and what a game it was. He, and the Toulon team he captains, lined up against a Clermont Auvergne outfit in Dublin who were favourites because of a stellar backline that had swept all before them this season. Well he and his team won because of the oldest truth of all on any sporting stage: if you dig in, and if you don’t give up, you have a chance. That’s exactly what they did and they won 16-15 in an unbelievably tense finale, at one stage hanging in by their fingernails.


How good was Jonny? In the QF, SF and tonight he didn’t miss a single kick at goal. Added was his characteristic tackling, smashing into Sivivatu to prevent a certain try and getting there, to put off David Skrela from an attempted drop goal, which would have won it at the death for Clermont.

After all those times his white face grimaced in pain and frustration as another injury struck, this is damned well deserved for one of the greats.


By Pete Moore On May 8th, 2013 at 9:09 pm

At last, at long last, Fergie’s had enough of Manchester. After 27 years at Old Trafford I’ve had enough of him, frankly. Off he goes to his retirement with my very best wishes, as long as it’s permanent.

Alex Ferguson-1533027

Everton’s David Moyes is the red hot favourite to be appointed his successor, which I think is marvelous because I don’t rate him at all.


By Pete Moore On February 8th, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Because Friday night is Music Night: the big one

Week 2 of the 6 Nations is here. Tomorrow Scotland is at home to Italy. After their sensational win over France in Rome last week I fancy a buoyant Italy to do it again in Edinburgh. Straight after is France v Wales in Paris. It’ll be a different French team from a week ago, particularly with Thierry Dusautoir returning. After Ireland’s win in Cardiff last week Wales are on an 8-game losing streak. They’ll make that 9 tomorrow.

Then on Sunday afternoon it’s the big one: Ireland v England in Dublin, which is always a special fixture. It’s forty years this weekend since England played in Dublin despite Wales and Scotland pulling out because of the Troubles. Brendan Gallagher has a nice piece about it in The Telegraph.

When England went to Dublin two years ago we were roughed up, beaten up, pushed back, trodden on, had our shorts pulled down and our arses spanked. Last year at Twickenham a fresh, new look England demolished the Irish scrum. The first one went badly for Ireland and that was as good as it got. It was a crushing, prompting Brian Moore to say that England had manshamed the Ireland pack. Cian Healy, Rory Best and Mike Ross will be thinking “not again”.

So what of Sunday? If England again dominate the scrum then we’ll win because Farrell win kick the points and Ireland will find it hard to retain ball. Ireland is strong of course in the back row, and if they’re sharp at the breakdown (like two years ago) it’ll be very tough for England. Still, England’s back row has been none too shabby for a while now and it could be a right tasty 80 minutes on the deck. England by 1 would be enough for me. Bring it on.

Bring on the music too, I hear you say. It’s been a while since we heard from the great man, so let’s have some Rory –

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