Tag Archives: #ThirdLanark

…the Lionel Messi route to footballing fame?… yeez don’t know the half of it…


 …spot the footballing whiz, Master Gallacher…

…any Scottish sports fan will understand the meaning of the WURD, ‘Junior’ as it relates to the Leagues’ set up in Bonnie Scotland… it certainly does not refer to the relative ages of the players who participate, but merely that the Junior League is a level down from the Premier League and its partners, the Championship, and the other Senior Professional Leagues north of the border… as a ‘feeder’ league for the ‘big lads’ in the paid ranks, it has a terrific mixture of professional and amateur players in its roster… back around half a century ago, when this ol‘ Jurassic was a budding Maradona with a funny accent, and before I signed-on ‘upstairs’ with the redoubtable Third Lanark F.C., I played with a local Docklands Govan team in Glasgow, called Benburb F.C. (the ‘Bens’)… the mixture of men who had played in the senior leagues and we young studs coming through full of wind and dribbling skills (with the ball, that is, Mabel) made for excellent paying fans’ entertainment… the changing rooms in that league were of the finest (not!)… some clothes hooks pinned against the wooden shack walls, and if yeez were wise, yeez took yer belongings with yeez out to the field and handed them to a non-playing mate to hold until the end of the game… latrines (generally in the singular) had buckets of water at the side to use post-lavatory activity … and the finest sheets from the local newspaper hung on an adjacent nail as toilet paper… the Lionel Messi route to footballing fame?… yeez don’t know the half of it


…my first ever goal scored for the Bens was a thing, not of beauty, but more of wondrous accident… during my debut League appearance, our captain blootered (Eng: kicked very hard) a shot goalward which the opposing keeper had well covered… I happened to stumble in the way of its flight and the ball bounced off the inside of my boot to loop majestically out of the goalie’s reach and into the top corner… of course, in long-standing Scottish footballer’s Flashman fashion, I claimed the strike to great acclaim from my team mates… the Bens captain even said (unsarcastically), ‘nice intervention, that man, great placement skill’… the local newspaper, the Govan Press, had a sports journalist at the match, and the headline, ‘Gallacher’s superb strike, first of many?’ greeted me the next day… how to become a legend in yer own lunchtime… magic stuff… on another occasion I’ll share with yeez the unreported incident of my being hit full in the face by a half-eaten mutton mince pie whilst racing down the wing in a Cup tie in Ayrshire… ah, the mem’ries, Mabel… betcha a young Cristiano Ronaldo never had any of these glorious moments… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…I wonder what today’s 100 grand a week pay-packet prima donna footballers would have done?…


…it’s not sum’thing that the World’s Footballing generalissimos, FIFA, have mentioned much in the past fifty years, but this ol’ Jurassic at one time was signed for a Scottish First Division football team as a lad… the body mass has expanded fully 50 percent since these more athletic days of my youth… some promise apparently had been ‘spotted’ in my soccer outings with Glasgow United, one of the best ‘bringers-on’ of young football talent back in the day… my instructions were simple enuff… get yerself down to Cathkin Park, the home of Third Lanark F.C., for a bit of training with the squad… for a lad of fifteen, it could not have felt much more exciting… opportunity knocks to get into the professional ranks… I even polished my boots for the training night… and splashed out on a new pair of football shorts… whatever else was gonna happen on my first evening’s training appearance, this boy was kitted out to look the part… shootsnag number one leapt out in the dressing room… the new shorts were a size too tight, and gripped my legs like bluudy elastic… undaunted, I managed to trot out for the warm-up and the exercise routine… snag number two followed soon afterwards… the grass pitch at Cathkin Park was kept for the match days, and we lads were doing our training stuff instead on a nearby practise pitch, which was not covered in grass, but with burnt ash… a not uncommon surface in Glasgow pitches… still not a real problem, until…until… until… the coach declared we were gonna warm up with a series of short sprints… on yer marks… set… go!… I came flying out of the blocks like a bullet, arms pumping, and legs… well… legs tried to pump… but the tightness of the new shorts resulted in what started as an amazing five-yard sprint and instantly transformed into a passable imitation of Superman… a new definition was born for The Flying Scotsman… I landed arms outstretched, legs trailing behind me in midair… and came to an excruciating slide on the ash… my bare arms and legs were cut to bits as the ash bit into the skin… my reaction?… yeez would’ve been proud of me, Mabel… instead of bursting into tears as I prob’ly might have done on a different occasion with the combination of pain and humiliation, in red-misted rage, I ripped at the sides of the offending shorts, loosening up the cloth, and my legs began to move freely… the next series of sprints were mine.!.. all mine, I tell yeez!… the coach put me into the first team the very next Saturday, and I’m not sure if it was because he felt he had  a new ‘flying winger’ in his squad… the ash burns took considerably longer to heal… and even now on a cold day… I wonder what today’s 100 grand a week pay-packet prima donna footballers would have done?… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff