Colin Jackson (1946-2015)

I just read the sad news today that one of my Rangers heroes growing up, Colin Jackson, passed away yesterday. Growing up in Orkney, I didn’t get to many Rangers games. However, one that I did get to was the Scottish League Cup final on 31 March 1979, when we beat Aberdeen 2-1. The winning goal came in injury time and was headed in by Jackson. We came from behind as well and I still remember the goal well. An added bonus to being at the final was that on the Monday, a couple of days after the final, my parents had organised for us to have a tour of Ibrox, which finished off with us watching the players train across the road from the stadium. I got to meet most of the player and had them sign my programme from the final. It was probably the highlight of our holiday. I think the programme is still in a box at my parents house.

Here’s the highlights of that Cup Final. The quality isn’t the best, but it’s still worth watching:


Top Ten Tuesday – Spring TBR List (March 17)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different topic is posted inviting the participants to come up with a list of ten things to do with the topic.

This week’s topic is: ‘Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR List’. These are all books that are unread on my shelf – some from a few years ago, others fairly recently – but they are all ones that I would like to read soon! We’ll see how many I actually do manage to read in the near future.


  1. Blue Gold – Clive Cussler, with Paul Kemprecos
  2. If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life – Alister E. McGrath
  3. Shadows on the Grass – Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen)
  4. Burmese Days – George Orwell
  5. The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming – Henri J.M. Nouwen
  6. Soccer Men: Profiles of the Rogues, Geniuses, and Neurotics Who Dominate the World’s Most Popular Sport – Simon Kuper
  7. Silence – Shusaku Endo
  8. The Last Eyewitness: The Final Week – Chris Seay, David Capes
  9. Spiritual Rhythm: Being with Jesus Every Season of Your Soul – Mark Buchanan
  10. Convictions Matter: The Function of Salvation Army Doctrines – Ray Harris


Teaser Tuesdays – Soccer Men (Jan 13)

teasertuesdays2014eTeaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers for this week:

soccer menWhile other Italian players in Glasgow went around in beautiful suits, he hung around in tracksuits with Scottish players, notes Gabriele Marcotti, coauthor of The Italian Job with Gianluca Vialli. Gattuso left Scotland after only one year, but with a souvenir: his future wife, Monica, whose father owned his favorite Glaswegian pizzeria.

From page 88 of Soccer Men: Profiles of Rogues, Geniuses, and Neurotics Who Dominate the World’s Most Popular Sport by Simon Kuper.

Thursday Quotables – Soccer in Sun and Shadow (July 3)

quotation-marks4Thursday quotables is hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. To take part Lisa shares the following:

If you’d like to participate, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (, if you’d be so kind!
  • Comment on this post with the link to your own Thursday Quotables post. Or… have a quote to share but not a blog post? Leave your quote in the comments!
  • Have fun!

Today was another day without World Cup action, although I caught the end of the Buckie Thistle vs Rangers game. I also got back to reading Eduardo Galeano’s Soccer in Sun and Shadow, which I started earlier in the year. It’s a great read and if I don’t get it finished now I’ll probably take it away on holiday with me. Here are a few of my favourite quotes so far:

soccer in sun and shadowSometimes the idol does not fall all at once. And sometimes when he breaks, people devour the pieces. (p.6)

The linesmen, who assist but do not rule, look on from the side. Only the referee steps onto the playing field, and he is certainly right to cross himself when he first appears before the roaring crowd. His job is to make himself hated. The only universal sentiment in soccer: everybody hates him. He gets only catcalls, never applause. (p.10)

How is soccer like God? Each inspires devotion among believers and distrust among intellectuals. (p.36)

In 1930 Albert Camus was Saint Peter guarding the gate for the University of Algiers soccer team. He had been playing goalkeeper since childhood, because in that position your shoes don’t wear out as fast. Son of a poor home, Camus could not afford the luxury of running the fields; every night, his grandmother examined the soles of his shoes and gave him a beating if she found them worn. (p.66)

I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read of this book so far and am looking forward to getting the rest of it read soon.

A day with no World Cup!

There were no games at the FIFA World Cup today, but at least I got to see most of the TFC game tonight, which turned out to be a hard fought draw following a very questionable first-half sending off. Because there were no games in Brazil today, I thought I’d share one of my favourite football quotes with you, from the late great Bill Shankly:

bill shankly

Bookmark Monday – World Cup (June 9)

bookmark-mondayBookmark Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Aloi from guiltless reading. Take a picture of one of your favourite bookmarks, post it on your blog, and head over to guiltless reading to share a link to your post.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup starts on Thursday and I’m really looking forward to a month of good football. With this in mind, I’m sharing these printable World Cup bookmarks with you. They can be found at Activity Village if you are interested in printing them off.


Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – ’78: How a nation lost the World Cup (May 23)

'78With the World Cup just around the corner, I thought I’d choose a football book for this week’s meme combo. My choice is ’78: How a nation lost the World Cup by Graham McColl. This is the story of the train wreck that was Scotland’s campaign at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina. I was only twelve at the time, but I still have vivid memories of the events of that summer. Goodreads has the following description:

In the summer of 1978, 30,000 delirious fans paid good money to wave off the Scotland team, fully expecting them to return home from Argentina with the World Cup. The whole country was behind the soon-to-be-crowned champions, but eight days later the team was back, having spectacularly failed.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

book beginningsBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of ’78:

There did not appear to be a lot in common between Ally MacLeod and Prince Charles during the late 1970’s. MacLeod, the Scotland manager, was a refined rabble-rouser whose infectious enthusiasm led thousands of people to follow in his wake; Charles, the heir to the British throne, had an uncertain, hesitant presence in public.

An interesting beginning to what turns out to be an interesting book. I read it a few years ago, but I may read it again soon.

Friday 56The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of ’78:

Scotland’s slack performance had not been received warmly by the crowd at a packed Hampden but Ally remained upbeat in the only way he knew how. ‘I know the supporters want wins and not experiments,’ he said, ‘but if we come back from Argentina with that gold cup, everything will be forgotten.’

Needless to say, that gold cup didn’t come back to Scotland that summer, or any other time for that matter, but it was an interesting period of time, that’s for sure. I still remember the sense of numbness and unbelief following the defeat to Peru and the draw with Iran. The crazy thing is that we could still go forward if we beat Holland by 3 goals in the final group match. With a 3-1 lead at one point, it looked almost possible, especially with Archie Gemmill’s goal in the 68th minute coming with plenty of time left to get the result we needed. However, the Dutch scored another goal three minutes later and the dream slowly died.

I’m looking forward to the World Cup in Brazil in a few weeks time, despite the fact that once more neither of my countries – Scotland and Canada – will be playing there. I think that Spain will be hard to beat again, but there may be a few surprises as the tournament unfolds. It will be a great month of football anyway, regardless of who wins.