The Absolute Game Remembered – 16

April 24, 2011


Hat-Trick 16

League reconstruction, as ever, is on the agenda. This time its purpose appeared to be to save Dundee from relegation – it turned out that nothing could save Dundee from relegation, least of all Dundee themselves. This is the cue for an in-depth look at the Dens park club and their ‘flamboyant’ Chairman, Angus Cook. Cook was a self-proclaimed messiah, and indeed not long after he took the helm at Dens “two big triumphs followed : The Forfarshire Cup was captured in Mid December. Amidst emotional scenes, Bobby Glennie lifted the Bacofoil covered trophy while ecstatic fans, Sid and Doris Bonkers, danced up and down the Gayfield railway sleepers…..

Who was to know that a mere 15 years later Cookie would find himself appearing on Indictment at Dundee Sheriff Court pleading guilty to a variety of colourful charges involving fraud and false accounting? A benevolent Sheriff declined to send Cook to the jail, confining the penalty to a combination of fines and compensation orders amounting to the best part of a million quid.

League reconstruction proposals from an earlier age throw up a delicious irony – in 1964, a domestically dominant Rangers attempted to force through proposals to axe 5 clubs from the Scottish League, because they were pish. Four of the clubs for the Ibrox chop were Albion Rovers, Brechin City, Stenhousemuir and Stranraer, and Rangers went as far as the Court of Session in their efforts to have them ejected.

The irony? The fifth club was Berwick Rangers. Rangers were still engaged in the Court of Session on 28 January 1967 when Berwick Rangers beat them 1-0 in the first round of the Scottish Cup.

tagclip1There are still pertinent full-scale reviews of a book about John Barnes and another two about football hooliganism, along with brief looks at some other publications including “The Book of Football Quotations” (example – Everton manager Gordon Lee, asked his impression of Africa on a tour of Morocco said, “Africa? We’re not in bloody Africa, are we?“).

Part 2 of Protest and Surmise looks again at supporter power, while there’s an article telling you more than you want to know about Norwegian football. Inverness Clachnacuddin are the subject of a Mad Mac 2 page special.

There is the first appearance of ‘Scotland’s favourite world-weary, haute cuisine loving, jetsetting Italian journalist’, Bruno Glanvilla, “….my job does not involve me in a round of glamorous footballing junkets, with first class travel and accommodation. I personally have slept the night on an Edinburgh to Polmont sprinter and have waited 13 hours for a connection to Kirkcaldy while en route from Genoa to Dundee“.

George Best was still in life at that time, and was earning a crust on the after-dinner circuit, and we have an account of one such appearance in Australia – there was a question and answer session, “…….jabbing the air with a can of Fosters a balding Mancunian said he had two ambitions in life:  “To see Manchester United win the League again and to be George Best’s dick“. Amidst the laughter George said he had a chance of one coming true“.

tclipArbroath come under the spotlight in an article entitled ‘A Decade In The Doldrums‘, while elsewhere there’s an introduction to Charles Reep’s Performance Analysis for beginners.

As it’s approaching Christmas, there’s a Yuletide quiz – eg “Liverpool Manager Kenny Dalglish has been capped 100 times. But for which country?” and Which Scottish clubs have never won the UEFA Cup?

The letter writers are revolting – “All right, you tight Scotch bastard, where’s my copy of the Aug/Sept copy of TAG?………..” and “I am writing to complain about…….



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