Jump to content

Leggat Speaks Out


Recommended Posts

WHEREVER you are, whatever you are doing, and whatever opinion you are free to express, we are once again approaching the time of year when we remember those whose sacrifice grants us the freedom to do all of those things.

Of course chosing what football team to support and going to watch them and encourage them in their efforts is just one of the many freedoms - however trivial - we and the people of so many other countries enjoy. And take for granted.

Which is why it is correct that as a week of Remembrance approaches and we prepare to wear our poppies, not only with pride, but also with humble gratitude, football should play its part in giving thanks.

In the past though, any request for a simply act of Remembrance and homage to the fallen, has somehow sparked off controversial debate and protest in Scotland.

No wonder, as some of my buddies will testify, I often refer to my homeland as a dark wee country.

South of the border they do things differently, and in England football joins the rest of this nation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in remembering the fallen.

Television pictures from all the matches in the Premiership show crowds of up to 75,000 falling silent for a minute.

Up here though, that is not always the case. Four years ago, when Celtic played St Mirren at the old Love Street on Remembrance Sunday, there was no silence. The St Mirren chairman, Stewart Gilmour later said it was an oversight.

Let us just think about that crass admission for just a moment or two. A quiet moment or two. In the midst of all those poppies, the night after the Festival of Remembrance from the Royal Albert Hall had been shown live on television, and following the Queen leading the nation in an act of Remembrance at the Cenotaph - also live on television - Stewart Gilmour forgot it was Remembrance Sunday.

Clearly, by his actions, we will FORGET them is Gilmour's mantra.

Celtic are due to visit St Mirren's new ground on November 14this this year, Remembrance Sunday, in a match which will be broadcast live by ESPN. Gilmour remains the St Mirren chairman. Perhaps this year someone will remind him of the day's significance.

There have been other occasions too when things have not been right. Such as two years ago when Celtic played at home and, according to the club tannoy announcer, the crowd were asked to show their appreciation in what he described as the "Celtic Way" by joining in a minute's applause.

Let me state right here, that I was not the only journalist in the press box who chose not to applaud, but to stand in bare-headed silence.

And let me also make it clear also that there were plenty of Celtic supporters in the areas around the press box, season ticket holders and corporate backers, who did likewise.

Maybe their personal memories were off a dad or grandad, an uncle or brother who, had first taken them to watch Celtic when they were small, and who had fought in either of the 20th century's two world wars.

Or perhaps they were thinking of a son or a daughter, a nephew or niece, a brother or sister, a friend, or the son or daughter of a friend, Celtic fans all, who have fallen more recently, or who are still serving on the front line.

Or maybe they were just giving their own quiet thanks for their freedom to be at Parkhead and support Celtic. A freedom won by the fallen they were honouring.

Whatever their personal thoughts, they vastly outnumbered the small group of protestors, away to the right of the main stand ,who had objected to Celtic, in common with all other SPL clubs, wearing a poppy on their shirts.

Both sections though were even more vastly outnumbered by the 50,000 or so who followed Celtic's official instruction and applauded.

Last year, on Remembrance Sunday, Celtic travelled to Falkirk, and according to one highly informed source, who is close to the Falkirk boardroom, chairman Martin Ritchie understood Celtic would have liked Falkirk to ditch their preferred minute's silence in favour of a round of applause.

It is to his, and his club's eternal credit that Falkirk chose to attempt to honour the fallen in a quiet and dignified way.

That they could not, and that the silence was broken by booing and singing from travelling supporters, was Scotland's Shame, and one of the reasons why I often despair of the land of my birth as a dark wee country.

It was also Sky Sports' shame that they masked the sound of this shameful episde by muting the it, though the booing could be clearly heard on foreign channels and on BBC Radio Scotland.

Sky then tried to explain this piece of blatant censorship by claiming they did not want to offend anyone. Sky Sports and Sky News are both in the business of journalism. Censorship is what all news organisations and all journalists should fight against, not collude in applying.

Remember the horrific picture from the Vietnam war of the little girl running naked and in pain and terror from wounds from the napalm bombing?


It was offensive, but it did much to heighten people's understanding of what was going on, giving power to the aruguments of those who wanted it stopped.

Therefore, should the silence be broken at any ground this year, we, the nation, have a right to hear it, and all media organisations, be they television, radio or newspapers, have a duty to report it.

However, let us hope that on Saturday November 13 and Sunday 14th, when at Ibrox, where Rangers meet Aberdeen, at Tannadice, where Dundee United face Kilmarnock, at Hamilton, where Inverness are the visitors, at Easter Rd, where Motherwell visit, at McDiarmid Park, where St Johnstone face Hearts, and in Paisley, where Celtic travel to play against St Mirren, in a match beamed live on ESPN throughout Britain, silence falls for a minute for an act of Remembrance.

It would be Scotland's Shame - yet again, - if anything other were to happen.



Link to post
Share on other sites

We are above how they act, and our club will always be more illustrious, more successful and more dignified and they will always jealously hide in our shadow.

Well said Sam, and the thing is, deep down they know it, that's why they're so insecure.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Their shame speaks for itself, we should not have to point this out or make a big deal about it. Point scoring over this is disrespectful to those we intend to honour.

As I said if they shame themselves then so be it. It's not for us to point it out, nor for sky tv to cover up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That 666fc could bend, will bend, to accommodate this hateful, rotten filth in their support, rather than face them down tells all you could ever need to know about that darkest of clubs.

And St Mirren didn't become known as 'rasellik reserves at Love St' for nothing.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have i missed something? What have St Mirren done wrong?

Did you not read the Leggat article - a good place to start.

An old pal of mine used to follow St Mirren through thin and thin for years until they infamously and shamefully lay down to rasellik to let them win the league.

Celtic won the League and became champions in one of the closest finishes in League history. On the final day of the season Hearts were leading Celtic by two points - a draw against Dundee would have been sufficient to see them win their first League title since the 1959–60 season. Hearts lost 2–0 to Dundee at Dens Park thanks to two late goals by substitute Albert Kidd, while Celtic beat St. Mirren 5–0 at Love Street. As a result, Celtic won the league on goal difference.

Everyone knew what had happened at Love St that day - he has not once returned to see them.

And more - I hate St Mirren.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Celtic and their fans seem to take for granted the very freedom given by brave men and women fought and died for, Leggat is correct, unfortunately he is being what appears to be ostracised for being a Rangers man, when others around him in the journalistic field shy away and give in to their masters.

One of these days those shameful bastards will get their cumuppance, i just hope it is very very soon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

they are the scum of world football without doubt. the men and women that have died for Great Britain, died for us, the people that reside in England, Scotland, Wales and N.Ireland, allowing us to live the lives we live today. If THEY are going to ruin minute silences a la falkirk last year, they should be shown for what they are. Sky turning the sound off is just another sweep sweep. When will the media actually change?

I wish more folk could read Leggats articles as always such a good read and most importantly correct, something to hard to find in modern day media.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...