Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category


May 23, 2018 1 comment

If I ran a multi-million pound business that traded exclusively in England, and sought to maintain the goodwill of the customer base and the media, would I appoint a chief operating officer whose command of the language was limited at best? No, I don’t think I would.

Categories: Sport


Categories: Sport


Being a Man U fan has been tough since Fergie left, but may his retirement be long and happy.

When Mourinho arrived he promised joy, but he always does. It hasn’t happened: two years in and he hasn’t a clue what his best team is. Okay, he’s won some silver but he’s been embarrassed by Guardiola. Being second in the league doesn’t cut it when United is also the second best team in Manchester. Lately he’s shown an aptitude for demotivating and ruining very good young players. To cap it all, two games left in the season and it’s clear that he still doesn’t have a clue about what his best team is.

The one thing he does know is that the face he sees in the mirror every day makes him very happy.

Categories: Sport


March 15, 2018 3 comments

Yesterday I attended the first of what we all intend to be a series of lunchtime gatherings. Eight survivors of the Thursday Legends (check-out the Skinner title of that name) got together in the Nether Abbey, North Berwick, for the senior citizen menu, a few beers and a general update. Great time, great times, and we are agreed that our successors aren’t a patch on us.

Categories: General, Sport

Abuse of privilege

I don’t know what happened with the Sky cycle squad, nor do I care too much. But I do care that any body or anybody can be pilloried by a group of MPs without any obvious form of legal redress. Commons committees are meant to scrutinise Government, not to throw rocks at national heroes from a position of safety.

Categories: Politics, Sport

There’s not a team like the Progres Niederkorn . . .

I had no idea that Luxembourg football had advanced so far.

Categories: Sport

Alves: Barca still in my blood

Read this and share, please. Inspirational.

Categories: Sport


Read what’s on this link and tell me if you’re as disturbed as I am that a professional body that oversees as much wealth as the European Tour should operate a system that appears to give free rein to any nutter with a grudge.

Categories: Sport

Fall of the dinosaurs

Time to stick my head above the parapet, re Muirfield.
First, I’m pleased the HCEG has reached the decision it has, for its own sake. It’s the people who know least who have had the most to say about the issue. Ignorance is never a good a starting point for a debate, but much of what’s been written on social media has been mere abuse. Even in the wake of a positive vote that hasn’t changed.
I don’t know the whole story but I know some of it, having lived more or less next door to the place for 46 years. In that time I’ve played the course twice, but I know several Muirfield members and none of them are dinosaurs. Today is the second occasion on which theyve voted to admit lady members, having been hangstrung by their constitution first time around.
Golf is a competitive game played largely by men against men and women against women, so it’s not unnatural that separate men’s and ladies’ clubs have evolved over the years. They were what they were but some were more exclusive than others. In the case of Muirfield, when the first lady member tees off she will not be the first lady to have played the course, not by a long chalk. There’s a legend of another club where ladies were not permitted to walk in front of the clubhouse windows.
As for the Open, Muirfield doesn’t need it financially, and I’m told that many within the club would prefer if it remained off the Championship rota. But it will be returned, and every twelve years or so Muirfield’s members will continue to enable the substantial contribution to the Scottish economy that it brings.
Categories: General, Politics, Sport

FA and Gambling Commission probe Sutton goalkeeper Wayne Shaw’s pie-eating

February 21, 2017 1 comment

‘You fat bastard,’ etc. I hope SunBets were hammered on that one.

As for the big lad, he’d do well at a few Scottish clubs I can think of.

Categories: Pics, Sport


February 5, 2017 4 comments

Watching US golf on Sky, play-off between US and Japanese golfers. Half the crowd seem to be bevvied. 

I’d like to blame it on Trump, but these guys were arseholes before he arrived.

Categories: Sport


January 21, 2017 1 comment

Match of the Day: Gullitt and Shearer side by side in the studio? Remarkable given their history.

Categories: Sport


June 14, 2016 5 comments

In two years, the FIFA World Cup is scheduled to take place in Russia. 

Should it? 

Categories: General, Sport

The Greatest

I was fifteen when I saw Cassius Clay on television for the first time. He put on a masterclass in the Olympic final in Rome, dismantling the best opponent Europe had to offer. And he was only three years older than me.

When he turned pro, I followed his career in the Ring magazine, my monthly read, and on telly when his fights were shown on Grandstand. They thought he’d be lucky to escape with his life against the brutal  Sonny Liston, who would probably have beaten every other opponent that Clay faced in his career. The young man humiliated him.

Ten years later Muhammad Ali faced another monster, someone else who was going to kill him, George Foreman, christened ‘The Mummy’ by Muhammad. The 34-year-old humiliated him.

That was the point at which he should have quit for the sake of his health, and for that of Joe Frazier. But he didn’t. He fought on, too long.

And yet afterwards, when he couldn’t any more, he didn’t drift into a punch-drunk slumber. He went on, as best he could, spreading the word of tolerance and understanding, making people laugh, until they couldn’t any longer, so badly was he maimed by the affliction that followed his career.

There has never been an icon who has transcended his sport as Muhammad did. Yes there have been others; Pele, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, even David Beckham. But when they die, their passing will not dominate the world’s media, or provoke such a wave of love and regret as his does today.

Categories: General, Sport


Some of them may be dinosaurs who may be living in the wrong century, but the members of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers own the Muirfield course and have the right to determine how it is used and by whom. 

As it happened 64% of those proprietors  voted in favour of admitting women to membership of their club. Most people would see that as a significant step forward, but they tend not to be the people who take to the social airwaves, for fear of being pilloried by the politically correct.

The tail wagging the dog isn’t a sustainable situation in the long term. I suspect that it won’t be long before the matter is revisited, maybe with a little gentle persuasion by the R&A, which really doesn’t want to lose the course as an Open venue.

Categories: General, Politics, Sport


‘The greatest story ever told,’ that’s what Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler declared, as the final whistle went last night at Stamford Bridge, and Leicester City became Premier League Champions.

Stand aside, Jesus.

Categories: Sport


April 29, 2016 1 comment

Yesterday I shared on Facebook, with a recommendation, a Guardian piece by Marina Hyde a columnist whose work I enjoy. I did so largely because of her description of PGA tour golfers as ‘tedious evangelical shitehawks’, a view with which I agree absolutely, on the basis of the Sky coverage that I see.

Then I read the extended treatise on which Ms Hyde’s article was founded and realised that she got everything else entirely wrong. In fact, Michael Jordan is uniquely qualified to be Tiger Woods’ friend. In terms of the idolatry US sports can bestow on its heroes, he alone has been Tiger’s equal in the way he transcended his sport in his supreme years. Only he knows what comes after, and can advise on the basis of personal experience.

Where she did her own readers a disservice was in not drawing their attention more fully to the central premise of the ESPN analysis.

Having now studied the extended original, I find myself pondering two questions: 1) Is Tiger Woods, if not bat-shit crazy, at least part of the way en route to that state of mind? 2) Is he a guy for whom the Second Amendment should be set aside, in respect of any arms other than golf clubs?

Read it and see what you think.

Categories: General, Sport


March 27, 2016 1 comment

I watched the first seven rounds of the Chris Eubank/ Nick Blackwell fight last night, but switched off for two reasons: one, an early departure, two, I didn’t want to see the brave lad Blackwell being hurt any worse than he was.

Today, he’s in a coma, and I’m not surprised. It must have been obvious to everyone except the referee andthe lad’s   corner that there was a tragedy in the making, but it took the doctor to stop it.

I’ve watched boxing all my life, but I’ve never had the foreboding that I had last night.

Categories: Sport

Should he be trusted?

November 10, 2015 2 comments

A couple of quick questions about yesterday’s WADA commission report into Russian athletics.

Dick Pound, the Canadian chair of the commission is a past president of WADA. In that post he built a reputation over several years as a fanatical pursuer of alleged  ‘drug cheats’. He enjoyed also a very high media profile.

  1. With such a background, was he the best person to put in a position that demanded an objective and unbiased approach?
  2. Did his commission begin its work with an assumption of guilt?
Categories: General, Pics, Politics, Sport

Claret and granya

October 20, 2015 Leave a comment

I couldn’t help noticing on BBC Reporting Scotland that the kids in the sports centre in Motherwell were wearing Barcelona shirts. Says it all.

Categories: Sport