‘They Think It’s All Over.’

I’m a wee bit Reginald* tonight.

On the evening of 16th December 1964, I was part of a crowd of just under 5,000 which crammed itself into Muirton Park (record attendance 29,972 when we were robbed 1-3 in the Cup by one of the teams from the Armpit of the Universe which is rightly reviled  throughout the civilised world). Also known as Dundee.

Where was I? Oh yes, 16th December 1964. We had  finally managed to afford floodlights, thanks to selling Jim Townsend to Middlesbrough  for £20,000  and we had invited a top team for the official onswitch.  It was the FA Cup  holders, West Ham.

They beat us 3-4 but we clapped them off the park and felt a warm glow of affection  for them. Bobby Moore was injured and in the stand but Hurst and Peters both played.

1966 et subsequens, that flame of affection flickered bigtime, given the players to whom I have referred. No problem with England actually winning the World Cup that year. Cheered them on in the Station Bar, Perth as it happened. Just wish you lot could finally get over it after all these years.

So, West Ham were iffy for me for a long time, particularly given the fact that I gave my English top division-supporting heart to Chelsea after I was at Stamford Bridge to watch Charlie Cooke roast Leeds United 1-1.

Anyhow, tonight for me is all about one of our former Cherished Authors. I know full well that he was not everyones’ cup of Marmite but I will always maintain that The Bulletin was one of the best posters that I ever enjoyed on MyT.

Ozymandias-like, little remains of his works after the way he was harried and reported by his non-fans.

But, as the Hammers say goodbye to Upton Park tonight, I hope that there are friends of his sitting in the stadium and blowing bubbles in his memory.

  • For JW to try to demonstrate that I am not snoozing when it comes to allusions and/or double-meanings.

11 thoughts on “‘They Think It’s All Over.’”

  1. Evening JM,

    Was stuck at your first line and went through all the obscure Scottish Reggies before giving up. On reading the full post the Rt. Hon. Reginald connection became clear.

    I didn’t have many interactions with The Bulletin but when I did, usually sporty ones, he was always friendly and funny. I know that he also owned the “bugrit” copyright. Nice of you to remember him.

  2. I never understood why the Bulletin was harried so. His wit was magical – especially since I was never at the pointed end of it!

    As I think I’ve said before – my father was a Hammer fan – his ashes were buried behind one of the goals. It was the only time I ever went to the grounds.

  3. Ruffians marred the gentleman’s game once graced by Bobby, Geoff and Martin. Typically ostrich-like the Hammers’ ownership blamed Man U for arriving late and was sure the bus was not damaged.

  4. Mrs FEEG and number one son are Hammers fans. I can excuse Mrs FEEG as she was born a Northerner (Islington) but number one son…..? In as much as I supported any soccer team, it was Wimbledon, who still played it as a man’s game but then went and reneged on their fans and moved to MIlton Keynes. Cheesh!

    The Bulletin was always entertaining and it is a shame he is no more.

    As regards Dundee being the Armpit of the Universe, it could be worse. There are other, less pleasant, parts of the anatomy they could represent. Also, like Mr Kipling, they make exceedingly good cakes (and marmalade).

  5. JM – and ’62 and ’63 were the years of Ian Ure and Alan Gilzean at Dundee. Didn’t they reach the semi-finals of the European Cup? PS Feeg – I’m a Seville Marmalade fan!

  6. Haw, PNG.

    Fine that! I yield to none in my admiration of Ian Ure. He will forever be memorable as one of the great and, to date, unique triumvirate of national sporting Captains from one class in one school.

    But, that school was Ayr Academy so he wisnae from Dundee at all. He was just passing through on his way to Arsenal.

    AG was pretty special as well but he was from Coupar Angus. As you will know, CA, has, despite its name, been part of Perthshire since 1891 and, it follows, an acceptable place. I feel certain that he resented the years that he had to endure in the AotU before he was translated to glory with Tottingham.

    Moving on, I’m a fan of Seville orange marmalade as well. What’s that got to do with Dundee? Don’t believe their nonsense. They didn’t invent it.

    There are only three good things to have come out of Dundee. One is that James Wolf of MyT fame was born there. I always liked the fact that he acknowledged this but then denied any Scottish, let alone Dundonian, provenance with the statement that a dog was not a horse just because it had been born in a stable.

    The other two good things to have come out of Dundee are, of course, the Tay Road and Rail Bridges to Fife.

  7. JM – you are a scholar and a gentleman. The other thing that came out of Dundee was Desperate Dan and his cronies! (Tip – when I run out of proper Seville Marmalade, I buy Sainsburys Three Fruit Marmalade. I will post a story about marmalade and the human race within the next week. That’s a promise. )

  8. If we are going to argue about the best marmalade, the very best I have ever tasted was Keiller Key Lime Marmalade, which is not even available in the UK but is sold in the upmarket food supermarket Wegmans in the States 🙂


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