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.