Saturday, December 29, 2012

We are Celtic supporters



I feel, as someone who doesn't wet the bed every time someone else sneezes, I should say a few things just now. After the hysterical reaction to Dens Park, and the army of do gooders trying to tell everyone else how to run their lives, a few things need said. First of all, let's get the easy stuff out the way, people like John Hartson are paid to put their name to an opinion. Therefore it is not a worthy opinion and can be dismissed immediately.

Now, the Celtic supporters in Dundee, most of whom would have paid around £40 just to be there, got a bit lively. Wow. That's what happens when you're in the boozer all day. It's been happening since Moses wore short pants. The same way folk go out on work night's out at Christmas and get hammered.

Funnily enough, no one gives a toss about that.

So if we are really going to have a national debate on folk having a drink before the fitba, that's my ten cents.

"Some of the folk at the game on Wednesday were arseholes" Really? I was at the shops earlier today, some of the folk in there were arseholes. No one wants to close down Morrrisons.

Then, of course, we get the desperate race to somehow pin all this on The Green Brigade. Like they are an outreach of Opus Dei and have plans of world domination and sit in some underground bunker, plotting and scheming.

Here was me thinking they were just Celtic supporters who like to give the team as much support as they can.

As far as the songs go, I say again, you want different songs? Go to the game and sing them. You want folk to stop singing certain songs? Then let's have a proper debate but don't insult my intelligence by telling me that rebel songs haven't been part of fan culture since time immemorial. Similarly, don't even try to convince me that you're striking a blow for the Republican Movement by drunkenly chanting "Ooh-Aah Up The Ra"

Now, can we all get back to hoping Celtic win every game please?

PS
Like Celtic, I need a winter break. So I'm taking a couple of weeks off from blogging, tweeting and so on. Hope you all have a happy, healthy and zombie free 2013.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Let them know it's Christmas time



A horrible thing happened in Edinburgh this morning. A man jumped to his death off the North Bridge, a well known "Suicide spot".

Whatever went through his mind, it's probably safe to say he felt he had no one to turn to.

I know this blog won't be universally popularwith  people and will be met with derision by a lot but if it helps one person, I'll be happy.

It can be hard to be alone at any time but, at this time of year, it really hits home. You see lots of people out enjoying themselves, having that lovely family Christmas or wishing you "All the best" "Have a great Christmas" and so on.

You see it and experience it and it crushes your soul.

When you think of all your friends and relatives right now, are you 100% sure they have someone on Christmas Day?

Are you?

I've had my fair share of terrible Christmases, if I think about them since 2008, that day I sat alone in a flat in Leith with a Chinese for company, 2009 was a family one and was good, 2010 a house that didn't feel welcoming, 2011 an airport hotel room in Queens, 2012 with eldest son in morning then on my own for rest of the day. So that is one good one in five.

If you're out on the piss or with friends and/or family, I hope you're having a great time, I really do. I like to hear of people doing well and having fun, don't mind a bit of it myself now and again.

If you're alone on Christmas though and despair washes over you, remember, you are not alone.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Juve or not Juve



Ooh, a tough one. Wait a minute, they all would have been tough, scratch that. A blockbuster of a tie for Celtic then, Juventus home and away. You know what, I kind of like that. It seemed to me that, had we drawn either Malaga or Schalke, a lot of supporters would have seen this as a virtual bye through.

Not Juventus though.

Focus will be needed and that's good because that is when we are at our best. Ooh, I'm also glad I've got ESPN and by February I can go on shows and write blogs pretending to be an expert on the Serie A.

I may even learn Italian, well, a few words, and dazzle you all with my intellect.

What a fantastic two months we have ahead of us.

As George Bailey says, "It's a wonderful life"

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Some strange goings on down Sevco way...



Despite what they might think, not everyone is overly keen to have Sevco anywhere near the SPL. The witch hunt against Steven Thompson, for going with both the moral and legal argumments against Sevco being invited to the SPL back in the summer, is not going down too well with some of the movers and shakers in Scotland.

Indeed at the Hibernian AGM on Monday, Rod Petrie was heard to say along the lines of "It took us six months to get rid of them and four weeks to find them a home"

You see, just because Keith Jackson cannot stomach his beloved Rangers going down the swanny, doesn't mean everyone is sick about it.

No matter what the dark arts tell you.

What does seem to happen though is a state of amnesia sets into folk who go near Ibrox. Richard "The club I loved is dead" Gough was there last Saturday to celebrate 140 years of it. In fact there were 39 Ibrox legneds there (Supposed to be 40, Bert Konterman couldn't make it) including that man of God Marvin Andrews who may have read and believed about the resurrection, but not the ten commandments.

These are some strange times.

Oh, one final thing, Talkpsort's own Andy Gray was there on Saturday, giving a rousing speech to the troops at half time saying "They said this club would die, look at it now"

Aye, it's deid Andy and Sevco will not be far behind them.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Sevco Pantomine




Most journalists in Scotland had a sense of either bewilderment or resentment when they heard the news that Jim Traynor was to the be new Director of Communications at Sevco. If ever there was a case of poacher turned gamekeeper, this was is it.

Of course Traynor was Murray's poodle for years but he was shrewd enough to get into a trading of information relationship with Murray that helped further his own career and, for a while, boost the circulation of The Daily Record.

Traynor visited Ibrox yesterday, to meet backroom staff and so on, but there was nothing really to report save for the stale mince pies they were serving at half time.

Traynor is there as a lightning rod.

The idea that this guy will lead some sort of social media revolution at Ibrox is similar to that of Rod Stewart becoming celibate.

Traynor is there to take the pressure off Green and fight all the battles that Sevco have coming at them. He was doing it for Rangers for decades, so he has plenty practice.

Whatever you think about the appointment, there is no need for us to worry.

You don't bring in a firefighter when things are going well.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chests, Tests and Rest



I've been ill this week. Actually started feeling a bit ropey late last Saturday night and by Monday my voice was gone and a chest infection had taken a grip of me. Ideally a week, minimum, in bed would have been the ideal tonic, alas, I've got so much work on, I had to grin and bear it on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. And grin at Tynecastle on Wednesday.

I do think part of the reason I fell ill was the release of adrenalin from the last few weeks. Promoting the book, being available constantly for folk and doing anythng you can to get the word out does take its toll on you. It was funny looking back at the @carlukeshamrock video of the night,  and thinking "Who are these folk?" I'm kidding, and seeing the night from the perspective of someone going to it. I increasingly feel that all the parties I go to are the ones that I am organising!

Still though, three book launches in a year, each one with it's own unique character, has been great. 's also nice when folk ask when the next one is. Well, all I can say now is that it will be next year, at the end of a month and it won't be announced til February.

I'll be taking a bit of a back seat soon, once I finish the new novel which, all going well, is a fortnight from completion.

It's hard slog for the people who make these work and to ensure you get people there, timing is everything. There are a number of issues which arise out of these things, before, during and after. The biggest problem you have before it are people who start making demands about the night. They put their name down and start telling us when they will arrive, where they want to sit etc or they ask you to "sell" them the night to justify their attendance at it. That always gives us a chuckle. Occasionally, after all the work is done, you will get someone who decides they want to be a part of it all and want to change this, this and that. Still chuckling. The other main problem you encounter pre the event is the place that you are hiring start dictating to you two days before the event. That's you who is providing them with 200 folk to drink them dry. Oh, how we laugh.

During the event is the easiest, never had an issue from the last three in Scotland at all. The only problem you get, although this has only happened at one venue, the staff can start getting cunty. Never had a problem with any punter, although it is on the night when you realise that someone, who has had four names down for two months, hasn't shown up and hasn't let anyone now. Has to be said, that gets us all down.

After the night is generally fine. It warms the heart when you read that folk have enjoyed themselves, especially as you see bonds forming and friendships made between folk all because they met each other at one of these nights.Of course these type of comments can lead to the odd cyber sniper, the type that can't see anyone happy, come out and try to put a blot on your landscape. Bless.

These might sound like moans, they're not, they are just reality. The good stuff far outweighs the bad. Meeting fellow Tims and having a great craic is when I am at my happiest.

At one point last week I saw young, old, old media, new media, Celts For Change, The Green Brigade, Homebhoys, Lostbhoys, Temprorary Stand, Celtic Graves, Maleys Bhoys, Hail Hail Media, Celtic Network, Manchester Tommy Burns CSC and many others all under one roof and all being filmed by The Carluke Shamrock Bhoys.

It was wonderful.

That's what it's all about.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Oh, what a night





As you can probably tell by the time, my head is still in the clouds. Of course this is the same head that decided to give me migraine on Friday and shows no sign of leaving yet. As Bampot nights go, this was the best. Everyone was on top form, from the Rebel MC @aupaceltic, to @chibchenko and Frances selling the raffle, to @machrie72 and @madameking with the buffet, everything just clicked into place.

I should say now, the reason I was sat at a table with glamourous women like Paula, Angela, Steph, Frances and Lynn all night was to cover up the bromances I was having all night!

I was humbled to talk to so many people, old friends and new, and it was just one of those nights where the atmosphere was crackling all night, even despite the result.

There are so many people I could menton that I met last night that I don't want to list them all and risk offending anyone but I must mention some folk in particular.

Harper and Joe
This was actually the first time I'd met both in the flesh and, of course, both were fantastic and lived up to their reputations. Joe as a fantastic singer-songwriter and Harper as the guy who drank the most on the night by miles.

The Carluke Bhoys
I wish I could have them follow me round 24/7.

Chris McGuigan
Legend. Cannot stress enough how much of a great guy Chris is, full of the craic and completely on my wavelength. No mean feat given that I am about three feet taller than him.

Mr and Mrs Simmy
Look up "Lovely People" in the dicitionary and you will find these two, proud to call them friends.

Brogan Rogan Trevino
The sort of guy you could sit and listen to all night. Celtic coarsing through his veins.

Liam Power
Your erstwhile bouncer, I was delighted to see him getting a good drink last night and enjoying himself. Liam and I are the ones who go through all the behind the scenes stress but I can say now, there would not be any Bampot Nights were it not for Liam.

I met lots and lots of fantastic people, and am ashamed to say I didn't get the chance to have a proper craic with people like Kim, Sam, James Cameron and many others,  who were so very kind to me and it makes me very humble. Anyone who writes a book will tell you, it's a pretty lonely experience for the most so to be exposed to the people you are writing about can be very daunting, or at least should be, except you folks who come along make me feel so happy, even with a migraine, that it's why I am sitting here at 5.07am, still on a high.

Slainte.

Monday, November 19, 2012

You are free to do what we tell you




I find myself wondering more and more these days when everyone will wake up to the kind of country Britain is. For years we were told that the UK was the good guys and everyone else were the bad guys. It was in TV shows, films, books and on all our news stations, we were the defenders of all that is good.

In the last few months, the bubble has been burst more times than an Amsterdam mattress.

MP's expenses were the tip of the iceberg, where the good and great of the country, stop laughing at the back, were seen to be earning fortunes off the back of taxpayers by filling in forms and claiming for anything from pens to moats.

Then came the hacking scandal. News International, as if we didn't know already, were found to be hacking the phones of anyone they deemed newsworthy. No one was off limits, celebrities were paid off but the general public simply had to take it.

After 23 years, the victims of Hillsborough were finally allowed to hear the truth about the massive cover up that was put upon them after years of lies by the establishment.

These things go on every day and they affect you, me and everyone not on their side.

So it comes as no great surprise when you hear about the harassment of The Green Brigade and the dark arts being used against them. As it is an ongoing legal situation I can't say too much but the fact that Celtic suporters feel the need to boycott Celtic Park means they have gotten to a point of no return. I know how that feels, I was at that point in 1993/94.

It seems there is a concerted campaign against Celtic supporters, the only question remains is, by whom? I was in Aberdeen on Saturday and saw no bad behaviour at all from any Celtic supporter. I'll tell you what I did see though, eight policemen come into the Bishop Crosas CSC do on Saturday night and shut it down early. As I left the premises, I saw two additional police vans full of back up.

Now, I was at the do from 7pm-1130pm and saw nothing that could lead to a do being shut down. I was on stage a lot helping with the hosting and raffles etc and had a clear view of the whole venue a lot of the time and saw nothng other than people having fun, singing and dancing.

What kind of country is this when the police can just decide to shut that down? The same country that oppresses people who want to support their football team?

Or is it that they just want to oppress people who support a certain football team...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sevco are an open book



If you came to Scotland today, for the first time in your life, you'd probably get a picture of it that bore no resemblance to the actual reality. With Walter Myth joining the Sevco board, we are now at a stage where even Monty Python would reject the idea.

Mind you, I feel a bit like that too. The new book, above, has obliterated the likes of Alex MacDonald and Leggo's books and I find that hard to get my head round. I hope Johnny Doyle is smiling down.

See, because Walter Myth is untouchable in the MSM, no one will mention the fact that just a few short months ago, he did anything and everything he could to stop Charles Green's Sevco apply for a place in the Scottish League.

Except divvy up money of course.

So his appointment is portrayed as a masterstroke and not the desperate move it actually is.

I'd love to be in Phil Mac Giolla Bhain's position, the sequel to http://www.amazon.co.uk/Downfall-How-Rangers-Self-Destructed/dp/1904684262/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352715066&sr=8-1 is writing itself.

*Speaking of divvying up money, I can't tell you how proud I feel that folk are buying my new book. It is very humbling and inspiring. I know in these harsh economic times how little money there is around and from the bottom of my heart, slainte.

Monday, November 5, 2012

For the love of Kindle




http://www.amazon.co.uk/Means-Necessary-Journey-Celtic-Bampots-ebook/dp/B009XDKEQK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351634518&sr=8-1

A lovely little boost on Saturday came when @btwcelticshow let me know that the new book was No1 on Amazon's hot new releases.

On top of that it was beating the likes of Richard Gordon, and all the free publicity he gets, Alex MacDonald, that darling of the Celtic support, and, of course, Leggo.

This is all down to Kindle sales.

All joking aside, this is very humbling for me. The MSM are never going to touch this book, two journos even told me that, so all the PR is done by myself and The Internet Bampots.

In particular @shoegirl1881 has been superb with this and I pay tribute to her right here, right now.

However the biggest component is YOU. The folk who buy the book.

I can't thank you enough.

If my Father knew we were beating Alex MacDonald, I'd probably still be drunk.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/paul-larkin/by-any-means-necessary-a-journey-with-celtic-bampots/paperback/product-20416792.html

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Sevco MacGuffin is over



A MacGuffin is a little tool directors use in films. Put simply it is "a plot element that catches the viewers' attention or drives the plot of a work of fiction".

That's what we have all been subject to from Sevco, Charles Green and all, this notion that Rangers were still alive, the fans were still supporting the same club and it was still "No Surrender".

On Halloween, Lord Hodge was the pin that burst that bubble.

This is a nghtmare for Charles Green as he tries a "share issue" to raise £20m. He wanted to be portrayed as their saviour, the man with a plan and all that. Sadly for Charles, reality is a bitch.

As he sat at Ibrox on Wednesday, in the knowledge that his work of fiction had been seen for what it is, his Sevco team were being obliterated on the park by Inverness Caley Thistle. It was the worst day in Charlie's shakedown and he knew it.

Until today that is.

The tax man is now sniffing about him and Zeus Capital, or the off shoot, Zeus Partners, the company he used to finance Sevco, and who own two million shares in Sevco as well.

Sound familiar?

Zeus, described as "The primary advisers on the deal" by Sevco Chairman, Malcolm Murray, it is safe to say that the Sevco house of cards just lost one from the bottom.

And not even Alfred Hitchcock could convince you otherwise.





Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bampots 1 Zombies 0



Yes, it's another new book and the closure of the series that started with From Albert, With Love, through Wim's Tims, onto Poles 'N' Goals and Hesselink and now finished with By Any Means Necessary-Journey with Celtic Bampots.

It's a book I've worked on for a year and has more twists and turns than Tommy Burns.

Packed full bampots, it also brings my life full circle and, without blowing my own trumpet, makes Fifty Shades of Grey look like a Harry Potter book.

You will read the story of a Grade 1 Referee and how institutionalised the hatred of Celtic is within the SFA.

You will read about the rise of the Internet Bampots and how the mindset of the Celtic support changed.

Plus you will tour a world populated by La Cosa Nostra, Beautiful women and seedy hotel rooms in Atlantic City.

Well, no one said I was Mother Theresa...

To buy on Paperback

http://www.lulu.com/shop/paul-larkin/by-any-means-necessary-a-journey-with-celtic-bampots/paperback/product-20416792.html

To buy for your Kindle

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Means-Necessary-Journey-Celtic-Bampots-ebook/dp/B009XDKEQK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351634518&sr=8-1

If you would like a copy for your iPad, it is £7.50 via Paypal to wimstims@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Eyes on America, Eyes on Sevco



It can be both staggering and infuriating to try and follow the thought process of your average American Republican. When your brand is all about hate, when you refuse to accept change, you regard anyone who doesn't look or sound like you as a threat, then rational thinkers are going to have a problem with you.

Similarly when you have a guy at the top who can go on national television and smile his way through telling lie after lie after lie then don't be surprised if people, who don't rely on a biased mainstream media for their information, take issue with your propaganda.

Whilst I'm here, if you are a TV channel, and you propagate this stuff without ever challenging it, don't run crying for your mother when folk say you are as complicit as the people spouting these lies.

This is 2012, people can think for themselves and you're accountable to them. Remember that.

I can't think why all this came to me today, perhaps it's because I lived in America and there is an election coming up and I am desperate for Obama to win again.

Or perhaps it's because we in Scotland see this shit every day and you think we don't notice...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Sevco Rentaghost




Ghosts aren't real. There is no evidence anywhere that proves they have ever existed. Further more, it's actually true that ghosts were manufactured. Why? After World War One, people could not cope with the enormous loss of life. There was a very real possibility that the world would never get over this war that was supposed to end all wars.

So plans were hatched.

Suddenly, mediums were appearing everywhere, reassuring the grief stricken that their loved ones weren't gone and, for a price, they could speak to them once again.

They bought it.

Charles Green launched a share issue this week to raise £20m for working capital. Amidst a campaign of fear and intimidation against anyone who speaks out against Sevco, aided by a media still asleep at the wheel, a media who will go crazy if you call Inverness Caledonian Thistle "Caley" but plead stupidity when pulled up on calling Sevco "Rangers" and a media who don't see a problem with anything Charles Green says despite almost all of it being blatant lies.

Green has managed to convince the hard of thinking in Scotland that Sevco are debt free and that he "saved them", three months after saying a failed CVA meant the end of Rangers. A brass neck that even Mitt Romney would have problems with.

Funny thing though, the Zombies are realising that they are just that. After all, why would they be offended at one being shot?

The problem Green has, like the people grieving their loved ones after 1918, is that another war is just round the corner.

That's because, like mediums and Derren Brown types, it's all a load of bollocks to appease people at their weakest.

BOO!

Friday, October 5, 2012

From Malcolm X to Lovely Anita




Well, a new book is approved and pre orders will begin in two weeks. This is the book I worked on when I was doing other books. If that makes sense. Partly because I was living the life anyway and partly because it's only now I could bring a book like this out. Coming in at 406 pages, far more than I thought it would be, this is a look at what has happened with Celtic supporters in the last four years, the rise of the Internet Bampots and what has happened to me in the last four years. That last part isn't a vanity thing by the way, when you read it, you'll see why it took me ages to reveal most of the stories in it.

The book is my point of view so you may think some things are missing but it's from what I saw and experienced and I also never want you to open a book of mine thinking it is new material when it's something you've read 100 times before.

We start with the story of a former Grade 1 Referee and how he progressed through the ranks and what he saw was the norm in the SFA.

That will blow your mind.

This attitude within was the pre cursor for what made the Internet Bampots finally say "Enough".

After this, we go through my world, from the summer of 2008, as it completely collapses, the spin offs from that whilst interspersing with looks at some of the Internet Bampots we see today. I talk to people like Chris McGuigan, Graham Wilson, Phil Mac Giolla Bhain and Richard Swan, some in interview format, others to write about as they share things about the parts they played in the Bampot revolution.

All the while you will travel, fall and rise with me as some incredible situations are played out in my life, involving police, The Mafia, The Latin Kings, strange landlords and a lot of doctors.

There are laughs aplenty as well, with stories from early 90's Leith and late noughties Atlantic City.

There are encounters with gorgeous women, uptight cops and reunions at Yankee Stadium.

There will be drinking sessions aplenty from The Bronx, NY to Whitehall, London.

You'll go behind the scenes with the HomeBhoys, LostBhoys and Beyond The Waves as well as reading my take on why some people amongst the Celtic support hate me.

There is then an expert analysis about Rangers dying and what the impact was across the board.

There are many, many more things as well.

I hope there is something in it for everyone and that you'll get what the overiding message of it all is.

So on Halloween, dont go trick or treating until you buy...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pay it forward



I had a really nice email this week from Keith McKenna @snash67 .  Keith won a signed John Higgins snooker cue at the book launch for Poles 'N' Goals and Hesselink and asked me if I had would have any problem with him donating the cue to a charity called www.walkingwithgiants.org

You see to give you a bit of background, last year on holiday Keith met the Connerty family from Liverpool. Their son Alex suffers from primordial dwarfism. Keith got talking to them. They were telling him they run a charity called the walking with giants foundation http://www.walkingwithgiants.org/ to provide a support systems for other families, and also to raise awareness about the condition in the hope of attracting more funding for research.

This year they noticed a marked improvement in Alex that just goes to show how the hard work and love all of the volunteers put into it, especially the Connertys'. Young Alex is an Everton fan so it's coincidental that John and his brother Jason are also blues (well their English team anyway)
 
Of course neither myself or the Higgins crew had any problem with this and it's a tribute to the kind of guy Keith is that he is making this fantastic gesture.
 
 

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Generation




Is life bad or was it just Celtic?

I often find that if Celtic are playing well and winning, everything in life is good. When we lose, I start to notice everything shit around me.

Saturday was an awful, inept performance. Our worst since Ibrox almost a year to the day.

There is no doubt in my mind that, along with a great St Johnstone performance, a huge contribution to our defeat was one eye on Wednesday.

Ony Scott Brown, from the players who played on Saturday, has represented Celtic in the Champions League before and it's all new for the rest of them.

Ditto there is a new generation of fans who have never seen Celtic play in the Champions League, not live anyway.

I don't take Neil Lennon seriously when he says "If I hear Champions League once more..." When he has been as guilty as anyone in terms of talking about it and perhaps being part of the loss of focus.

For me, my biggest concern for Wednesday isn't the players ability to raise it again, it's the defence. Our priority has been two good centre halves since time immemorial and we still don't have them. We may have one in Ambrose, we don't know and won't now know on Wednesday either.

It's clear that a lot of players are either off form or, for whatever reason, believing their own hype. Izzy remains a complete mystery. He hasn't looked close to the player he was and it's worrying there are no signs at all of a proper comeback.

Lustig has been ok in some games and awful in others. To be fair, he's at a new club and already played three different positions. The defence is chopped and changed far too much.

Gary Hooper isn't at the races just now and, it has to be said, doesn't look like he is giving his all. If you look at the performance of Jermaine Defoe against Reading on Sunday, that's the type of performance we expect from Hooper and we know he is more than capable of it.

Finally, there is the Victor Wanyama problem. For someone with so much talent, he is not having the impact on games he should have. On Saturday I put it down to him never really knowing where his midfield partner was.

Celtic have played well once this season in the SPL, at Inverness, yet very well in four European wins, so it's clear that the talent is there. We clearly have the best squad of players in the SPL and matching other teams committment should see us win most of our games but it's not happening just now,

Europe last season was the launch pad for our season and you have to hope that this will be the case again. The experience gained from last season will be vital and as supporters we expect performancs to dip after Champions League games.

We will never accept anything less than 100% effort though.

I hope everyone who is going to a Champions League game at Celtic Park for the first time has the time of my life. Despite my opinons here, Celtic have good players capable of great things and three points on Wednesday will launch us into an orbit where anything is possible.

Your generation deserve that.

My generation need it again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Justice for the 96



Watching the recent documentary on Hillsborough, I think I cried at least four times. To watch the shocking images of fans being crushed at football match will strike right at the heart of any fan who watched football in those days because you know that it could have been you.

Like a lot of Celtic supporters that day, I was listening to Radio 2. We were playing Hibs the following day at Hampden and Dundee v Hearts was the game on Radio Scotland. It became apparent pretty quickly that something was happening at Hillsborough. Peter Beardsley has just hit the bar for Liverpool and the crowd had spilled onto the pitch. What first was reported as crowd trouble quickly became a disaster. My father and I then put on Grandstand and watched, numb, as it became apparent that people had died.

The enormity of it all is still overwhelming for most. It makes me immensely proud that it was Celtic Park where Liverpool played it's first match after the tragedy. That said, I cannot speak about that day without crying again.

None of this is about football rivlary, it's about 96 people dying because of the incompetence of a police force at the top level (some of the junior ranked police were heroes that day) and the subsequent cover up designed to protect a Tory government on the slide, with that enemy of the working class people, The Sun, as main cheerleader.

Today is a day fans of every club in the world should be behind those 96 families.

As Jim Garrison once said, "May justice be done or the heavens fall"

Monday, September 3, 2012

Go raibh maith agaibh, Bampots


Another Book Launch done then. You can never really prepare for them as there are so many variables involved. The person who is faced with the brunt of these is @brummiebhoy . Liam is the unseen hero of these things. He is the one who puts in all the hard work behind the scenes, he's one doing the door, booking the venues, hiring the band, running the night and having to put up with panicky bar owners(of which there are plenty) He does all this with minimum fuss and, speaking personally, I could never thank him enough.

We try to keep everything ticking over with as little financial outlay possible to the people we want to come. Buyng a book and a raffle ticket is the maximum we expect. We have no real budget ourselves and this why you rely so much on others. With that in mind, tribute has to be paid to @luxmonty, @btwcelticshow and @bronxbhoy . Their sponsorship ensured that you could listen to a band and there were books there if you wanted one. The fact that they come from Luxembourg, Philly and The Bronx, tells you all you need to know about The Celtic Family.

The raffle was good. It could not have been done without the hard work of @chibchenko and @weekates who hopefully got round everyone in the venue and ensured that some people went home very happy with their prizes.

Then we come to the Rebel MC, @aupaceltic , again, nothing could really be done without his input and support. He probably doesn't even realise how important tose things are. He should now.

The platform for my stuff, in terms of  my website, is all done by @gaffney67, a brilliant talent and very good rates for all your web and design needs.

The professional video you can see here www.lovestreet86.com is down solely to the guys @carlukeshamrock A fantastic keep sake for me and a unique window for people who couldn't make it. I'm indebted to them for bringing the night to the the Bampots worldwide.

Another person who has to be named is @madameking She was the lady selling the books on the night and a grand job was done. Her and her husband Tim also gave me a lift home, which was greatly appreciated!

One of the reasons nights like these run so smoothly is often because of the help of someone who most folk didn't realise had a role. That was because of how well he performed it. This was @machrie72 who adopted a "Head of Security" type role and ensured all of you had a safe and fun night.

That band I mentioned earlier are called The Amadans and they should be hired for any event you are having. @johnjo1888 and crew always put on a storming set and really create the vibe around our events.

Finally, to all the Bampots I met on the night, some again, some for the first time, you are the reason these things are possible. None of the above could do any of the above if you weren't interested. So if you turned up, bought a raffle ticket, asked a question or just said Hello, you'll always be in my heart.

That also goes for each and every one of you who buys a book, you mean the world to me.

The new book, cover at top, will be out on Oct 26th and there will be a Bampot night attached to it, probably at the end of November. It will be slightly different to the last two but the Bampots will still be the main stars.

Watch this space...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book Launch Raffle



For those of you who cannot make the book launch, you have an opportunity to support it and the causes benefiting.

We are having a raffle on the night and the main prize is a new Celtic jersey signed by the whole current first team squad. It's a superb, unique prize and one I'd love to have myself!

Other prizes include an older celtic jersey signed by Henrik Larsson and variois books signed by their authors.

The causes that proceeds will go to are mental health charities in Scotland and Ireland.

To take part, it is £5 a strip and you can buy them by paying to wimstims@gmail.com on PayPal.

@lauren_mcclos will look after your tickets on the night.

If you read this and take part, GOOD LUCK!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Keep an eye on the storm

A year ago today I sat in my house in New York as scared as I've ever been in my life. Hurricane Irene was going to hit us that day and we were told to expect the worst. People, literally, battoned down the hatches and the sense of impending doom was enormous. Celtic played at St Mirren that day and I watched on the laptop as you couldn't leave the house, never mind there being any notion of anything open.

As it hit lower Manhattan, we all looked at each other like "this is it" and then a miracle happened. It was veered away from us about 15 minutes before it was meant to hit us head on. We still got hit, and it was horrible, but nowhere near as bad as it could have been.

It's with this in mind I think of my friends in New Orleans today, particularly @bayoubhoy, who have, yesterday, evacuated their homes, with horrible irony, at the same time they had to when Hurricane Katrina hit 2005.

Except in 2005, @bayoubhoy couldn't evacuate. his wife was about to give birth, they had to stay and it was worth it, they survived, and baby Zoe was born.

These people don't deserve this again but the knowledge that The Celtic Family is with them once again, will help them immensely.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Only the lonely



Writing can be a very lonely pastime. Whatever you put in a book, it's you and only you will be liable for it when folk, hopefully, read it. I find it impossible to second guess anything that folk will mention once they, hopefully, read it.

Thing is, we get prepared for this with life which is often a lonely experience and always full of uncertainty. Take Saturday as an example. With me moving back and forth over the Atlantic, two kids, a new house and attempt to add another string to my bow, in terms of career, I've had to sacrifice going to Celtic away games. That will never sit easy with me but needs must. I'd never subscribe to SKY so it was a case of "Find a pub". Trying to be smart, I jumped off a bus on Ferry Road in Edinburgh and headed for "Spiers" drawn in by it's signs that they show all games. I went in, ordered a Guinness and enquired about the game only to be met with "Eh, we dinnae show games on SKY here noo"

Quickest Guinness ever, I hot footed to Canonmills and saw that McClachlans had the SKY sign. Walked in, not a soul in the place, and the bar man had a country and western channel blaring. I ask again and am met with "Naw, we dinnae show SKY games noo" FFS.

Over the road to The Stag's Head, they will be showing the game it's just the guy who knows how to switch the SKY on won't be in til the back of 1.

Christ almighty.

Finally I made it to the Cask and Barrell who has loads of TV's showing the game. I can honestly say, not being used to having to look for pubs showing Celtic, I spent most of that time in a panic befote sitting down to watch the game on my own. Occured to me how helpless I was at the time and completely frustrated to and how often that seems to apply in life and how crap it is.

Then Celtic put in a great performance and all was well in the world again.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Confidence and Paranoia



There is a great episode of Red Dwarf called "Confidence and Paranoia" where Lister's confidence and paranoia take human forms. Everywhere he goes, he has each of them behind him telling him how great/crap he is and he ends up getting rid of both of them.

When you write a lot of stuff, it takes a long time to have the confidence to express yourself properly. For me I did not do this until Poles 'N' Goals and Hesselink. This was by far my biggest selling book and is still being bought and commented on now.

I thought about this when bringing out Albert, Dougie and Wim. When I started writing again I had little confidence in my abilities as a writer, or even wasn't sure I had any. By the time it came to summer 2012 and bringing out Albert, Dougie and Wim I wanted to put out a message that no matter how  low you feel, things can get better. So I came up with Channeling Charlie Mulgrew which is a 15,000 word story that is really about my lack of confidence in myself at the time.

The worrying thing was that everyone thought it was literal! There is of course a lot of truth within but I'll leave you guessing as to what...

For my next book, By Any Means Necessary-A Journey with Celtic Bampots, I've, what they would say, pushed the envelope and written a story that is about new found confidence that can turn into ego called Projecting Paddy McCourt to have a bit fun with what happens when suddenly folk start telling you you are good.

In life we often have lows, so much so that you think they will never end. Indeed a very good friend of mine, someone most of you will know, is prone to days like this and I bet none of you would guess who. The key isn't confidence or paranoia, it's just being yourself.

As they say in The Bronx, Keep it real.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

How not to write a book



A week today for the Book Launch. It still amazes me that we're at this point. I started writing about Celtic again in a small apartment in The Bronx in December 2010. To think that hundreds of people are coming to a launches for books I have written is very humbling. The thing is, the way I write books is very unconventional, not in terms of the style, but in terms of the actually sitting down and writing. I've never had a computer chair, only recently got a desk (which I used whilst sitting on the side of a bed and the springs are fucked because of it) and I've always, always, always got something going on in the background, almost always kids running riot.

I watch the film As Good As It Gets and dream of a huge apartment with my own desk, chair and huge computer set up with, the most important thing, peace. Kevin Smith, he of Clerks fame, will often go to Las Vegas and lock himself in a hotel room to finish a script. It's rumoured that Tarantino likes the company of several members of the opposite sex whilst writing and Hunter Thompson wrote Fear and Loathing on The Campaign Trail in 52 hours, with five grams of Cocaine and 12 tins of Pineapple chunks.

My books will be written in the backdrop of demanding kids, I Carly and detailed lists of what shopping is needed.

The glamour.

I've taken steps to try and address this, no I've not disposed of the family, such as I have bought a laptop table (£4.99 from Discount UK) which allows me write from the couch, in actual comfort.

See, one thing I've noticed is that writing is totally mood dependent. I was writing a piece for my forthcoming book about Easter Road in May 2009, the horrific 0-0 draw, and about an incident that still makes me mad now. When I was writing it, I was getting a lot of grief indoors and poured it all onto the page. I'm still not sure if that's a good idea or not but then my rationale is that I'd rather not write anything than write stuff that wasn't real.

A lot of folk think you make fortune from selling books. This is only true if you're someone like Irvine Welsh or Dan Brown. Leaving aside any donations folk make from sales, you don't make much. Take Albert, Dougie and Wim as an example. It costs £15.99. It's not a price I'm comfortable with, although it was only mentioned to me for the first time yesterday, these journos eh, so I made it a limited edition, one month only thing. Now, I'm sure folk look at that and think I must be making about £12 a copy from that. It's actually around £4 a book. Because it's a huge book with over 500 pages, that's where most of the cost goes.

I'm not complaining though, I love writing and whilst there are pitfalls of putting your head above the parapet, the joys far outweigh them.

Just get yourself a good chair.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book Launch and beyond



With just over a week to the Book Launch, we are at the stage now of mapping out the night to make it as fun as we possibly can. The night itself is now full. @brummiebhoy will be on the door and will tick your names off as you come in. Hopefully the place fills up quickly after the game and we get cracking. There will be a few words spoken, some questions, a raffle and the band will be playing a rocking set.

In amongst that, there will be book signings and 20 for sale. If you have a book already and want it signed, please do bring it.

The raffle will be drawn at the end by a special mystery guest.

There are lots of aims for the night and all of the above covers it.

My role has been minimal thus far, all the behind the scenes work is done by @brummiebhoy and these nights could not happen without him.

A fun night with a serious message and serious cause benefitting.

After that, I'll be finishing off my new project, my last Celtic book in a long time, and I hope to have that out on October 26th.

Not including the Albert, Dougie and Wim trilogy, that will be my fifth Celtic book in two years and a break is needed. As some of you will know, I have a novel out next March and, although it has a huge Celtic theme, anyone who read the preview in Albert, Dougie and Wim will know it is a break from the norm.

This will be my third Book Launch, first was in The Celtic House in The Bronx, second in The Admiral in Glasgow and now here we go again. For the next book, I'd like to try something different to launch that, watch this space.

Until then, hope all of you who bought Albert, Dougie and Wim enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to meetimg you all, quite a few again, next Saturday.

In the blogs leading up to the launch I'll try to provide as much insight into the books as possible.

Speaking of books, Albert, Dougie and Wim is only on sale until Sep 3rd. So if you want to buy, the links are:

Hard Copy
http://www.lulu.com/shop/paul-larkin/albert-dougie-and-wim/paperback/product-20266211.html

Kindle Version
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Albert-Dougie-and-Wim-ebook/dp/B008N88C1U/

You're twisting my melon, man



Happy 50th Birthday Shaun Ryder!

A hero of mine for about 23 years now, who thought he'd reach this age...

Let's face it, if he can do it, anyone can, right?

The focus of my next book, is two themed, my own story in the last four years and that of the internet bampots.

Like the Book Launch next week, focus will be on mental health charities in Scotland and New York benefitting.

I've had my own struggles with mental health issues, every day I fight Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Recently that fight has been harder than ever, can't explain why, it's just, as The Shamen would say, coming on and coming on strong.

People suffer in silence every single day with mental health issues, the stigma is huge and can often create a scary, lonely place where it seems you have no voice. What I am trying to do and will continue to try to do, is give those people who need a voice, some sort of hope and support.

Whatever health issues you have, if think you're alone. In fact, if you're part of The Celtic Universe, you've got an army behind you.

Remember that.

You should keep that in mind always, as should folk who may lose their temper or get their melon twisted for a bit.

At the Book Launch itself, I will be talking about mental health and we will be running a raffle in that respect, to both highlight and help. I'll also be telling stories and taking witty questions, hey, it's not all serious.

So if your name is down for the launch and you in any way are shy or worried about anything, you don't have to be.

You're not alone.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Book Launch details



Last night we finalised the Book Launch. It is now completely full with a reserve list in operation. There will be a lot of differences from the last time, but hopefully still as good a night.


5-530pm-Meet and greet as people arrive at the venue.

545pm- Night will be officially opened by The Rebel MC.

6pm- Introductory talk then a Q&A with Paul Larkin

7.15pm- Start of selling raffle. Raffle prizes include, shirt signed by Larsson, Retro Lisbon Lions print, various football books signed by the authors and a special mystery prize... £5 a strip and proceeds to mental health charities in Scotland and New York. Tickets on the night will be sold by @chibchenko and @weekates If you cannot make the night but wish to participate in the raffle, you can by paying to wimstims@gmail.com via PayPal

7.30pm-Live Set from The Amadans, for your entertainment pleasure.

9.15pm-Raffle draw, drawn by a special mystery guest...

10pm- Away hame ya bassas

See you there!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Songs are sung but arguments are wrong



It is said that the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

I didn't think of anything yesterday when certain songs were being sung in Dingwall. There are two reasons for this, the first is I'm too intense about the actual game being played in front of my eyes and the second one is I don't ever recoil when I hear a rebel song.

There are arguments put from both sides on the issue that need to be moved on. No one who is a supporter of The Republican Movement will seriously argue that singing songs at a football match will further the cause. Similarly, for folk to suggest that it is a minority of Celtic supporters who sing and like rebel songs is, frankly, ludicrous.

I'll state my opinon clearly, I have no problem with rebel songs.Whilst people claim, wrongly for that matter, that Irish Republicanism has never had anything to do with Celtic, can anyone seriously claim that rebel songs have not been a part of Celtic fan culture since the year dot?

That said, I do not like drunken idiots singing about people who laid their lives down for Ireland. The parenst and family of those volunteers do not deserve that. We have all seen them, we all know them and, let's face it, most of us have been them.

There has to be a proper debate around this issue, one which protects the identity and culture of the Celtic support whilst at the same time being aware of the fact that it's 2012.

Celtic has a fanbase which is unique because of the number of variants in it, no one has the right to change the identity of Celtic nor indeed the support. If you want the idenity of the support to change, then you go to games and be part of it and it will evolve with who is attending games.

I'm not a person who really gives a monkeys chuff about what people who have never paid into a football match in their life have to say about people who do pay into football matches. Politicians are quick to make a career move on the back of a football issue so their opinion is entirely irrelvant.

What is needed, in my opinion, is some common ground, that supporters can be both respectful of and comfortable with.

We all know that as well.

Friday, August 10, 2012

EBT? No problem for the BBC.



You will have noticed an increasing willingness on the part of the BBC to spend money paying beneficiaries of Rangers, now deceased, EBT scheme which they ran illegally.

One of the voices that we have been hearing more and more of is that of Ian Murray, he of the year long testimonial.



It was revealed recently that Ian Murray received £95,000 illegaly from Rangers, now deceased, and when questioned on this he stumbled and stuttered his way through his answer. Or was that the answer to "What is your name?" It's hard to tell with Ian.

Then there is good old Billy Dodds. Has there ever been a man so thick, given so many platforms in the Scottish media. Ok, don't answer that. Coincidentally Billy was given these platforms after he was caught out lying live on BBC Sportsound.

When Billy appeared again on air, after gardening leave, one listener wasn't having it and complained, here's the reply:


Reference CAS-1610531-MJH8Q2

Thank you for contacting us. Your comments were passed to the Head of Sport, who has asked that I forward his response as follows:

"I note your comments regarding Billy Dodds.

To the best of my knowledge, prior to the edition of Sportsound broadcast on March 2nd, Billy Dodds had neither been asked nor commented on whether he had ever received a payment by way of an EBT.

On Sportsound on March 2nd he was asked by Jim Spence if he had ever benefitted from an EBT. He avoided answering the question and Jim Spence did not ask him a second time.

Choosing not to answer a question is not the same as lying. Billy went on to say that he had always received his wages as a conventional payment and that during his time as a player at Rangers he had never heard any talk of EBTs.

He stands by this assertion and is adamant that he first heard mention of an EBT when Rangers FC asked him to accept his severance payment by way of an EBT.

His position is that this resulted in him receiving no more and no less than the sum that was due to him after the deduction of income tax. Rangers FC provided him with a letter confirming that any tax liabilities lay with the club.

It is worth noting that EBTs are not in themselves illegal and a result is still pending in the appeal tribunal case involving Rangers."

Thank you, once again, for taking the time to contact us.

Details of the BBC complaints process are available online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/handle.shtml

Kind Regards

Philip Boyce
 BBC Complaints
 www.bbc.co.uk/complaints


Most Internet Bampots will see more holes in that than a goal net and it's frankly laughable to suggest that as EBT's are ok, Billy is fine. Given that Rangers, now deceased, ran the scheme illegally, That's like saying murder is ok because people die.



Albert, Dougie and Wim is available on the following formats

http://www.lulu.com/shop/paul-larkin/albert-dougie-and-wim/paperback/product-20266211.html

http://www.amazon.com/Albert-Dougie-and-Wim-ebook/dp/B008N88C1U/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1344625825&sr=1-1&keywords=Albert%2C+Dougie+and+Wim


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Philly's Most Wanted


After telling you who to look out for in the parking lot, I thought I better redress it a bit and tell you who to look out for in downtown Philly at the weekend. You know all about Phil Mac Giolla Bhain already and if you don't know Seamus Cummins is at the epicentre of everything, where the hell you been?

First up, driving down from Toronto, is the inimitable Deco.

One of those guys with an infectious personality, Deco will be heard as much as he seen due to the fact that his craic will be ninety. This trip is even more of a labour of love for Deco than normal as snow prevented him driving down to Philly last Christmas and it feels like the Gods were shining on himto put Celtic there again in the summer. And who can blame them?

Next up, is The Rev

Don't be alarmed by his picture, The Rev is a big, cuddly sort. He's the sort of guy that you'll be in a pub, turn round and see him there, and it will feel like he lives there, such is his ease to blend and mix with Tims. Coming from Perth Amboy, that's incredibly admirable. The voice of "Hoops Scoops" on @btwcelticshow , do yourself a favour and check out his latest. In the flesh!

Mentioned before, but worth another, is the King of Queens, Frankie Fraser

What can you say about Frankie? The embodiment of Celtic in America, I ask only one thing, if you see him, buy him beer, he deserves it.

Finally, the voice of Ameirca, Graham Wilson

(pictured after I told him he would be a main feature in Channeling Charlie Mulgrew)

I love Graham. I've never met anyone not from any type of Celtic background as knowledgable and passionate as Graham is. There are very few people out there who can dissect a Celtic game better than Graham can which is why @btwcelticshow is a must listen.

(Graham after he starts reading Channeling Charlie Mulgrew)

There is a,live @btwcelticshow in Fado at 5pm after the game and,having been part of the last live show the guys did from Fado, this is something that you won't want to miss at all.
(Graham after finishing Channeling Charlie Mulgrew)

Of course these are just a sample of the many great Tims that will be in Philly but I can guarantee you won't go wrong with any of them.

Enjoy yourselves.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tailgating-New York Style, In Philly.



Tailgating is as American as apple pie. You load your car up with booze and food(food optional) and head for your sporting event.

On Saturday morning, before the Celtic v Real Madrid game at Lincoln Field in Philadelphia, all the CSC's from New York are going to be doing their own brand of tailgating.

With singer Stevie Dodds in tow, all the NY clubs are coming together in the parking lot at Lincoln Field to have a wee rebel tailgate.

Knowing a few of the characters involved, I can only assume several 18 wheeler trucks have been hired to ship down all the bevvy.

Seriously though (like that last sentence wasn't serious) if you want to meet the heartbeat of Celtic in New York, get yourself down there for a craic with the Bhoys and Ghirls

Seek out Frankie Fraser, Chas Duffy, Kevin Devine and Mark Breslin, just don't blame me when you don't make it home until Thursday...





Monday, August 6, 2012

Go with Fado



If you're looking for a base in Philly this weekend, look no further than Fado Irish Pub at 1500 Locust.St.

If America leads the way on anything these days, it's bars and Fado is one of the finest if, like me, you like good beer, good food, and sports. Plus loose women (Did I say that out loud?)

A huge selection of bevvy to choose from, I'd envisage this as being the Tim HQ for the weekend.



Quite frankly, it is worth visiting Fado for the Irish breakfast, but there is so much more to it. Spacious, with friendly staff and huge TV's showing sport, you won't go far wrong in here.

It will also be the host of the @pmacgiollabhain Q&A on Friday at 1pm and, of course, the venue for the @btwcelticshow live on 5pm on Saturday.

It's pretty much bang central and everything you'll want to see in Philly is within easy walking distance from Fado.

With superb craic, music and people, Fado should be your first stop with you hit Philly this weekend.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A moment for contemplation



You'll all be aware thst Celtic head stateside next weekend to play Real Madrid in Philadelphia. Whilst there will be lots of fun and frolics, there is something really important happening amongst it all.

On Friday August 10th at 5pm, there will be a blessing and Huddle at the An Gorta Mor Memorial by the New Jersey Marist Brothers. Phil Mac Giolla Bhain will also discuss the need for a An Gorta Mor Memorial in Glasgow.

Andrew Kerins was a Marist Brother. Better known as Brother Walfrid, he is the reason there is Celtic team pkaying anywhere never mind next week in America.

I visited the memorial(above) last September and was stunned to see a such a huge tribute.

It made me think a lot.

It should do with you too.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Albert, Dougie and Wim. OUT NOW!

Well here it is, my latest attempt at brainwashing you all..

It's the limited edition Albert, Dougie and Wim.

Limited to 100 copies.

Here's the rub, should you choose to purchase, you'll see in Channeling Charlie Mulgrew not only am I quite, quite mad, but I may well have a baying mob of Internet Bampots after me...

So, please buy this, I may not be here much longer.

The limited edition part comes from the fact that I don't want to be bugging you all for months to get sales. The book will be sold from now until Sep 1st (The night of the, er, book launch) and the launch at the Blackfriars will be more of a celebration of Internet Bampottery.

So, here's how it works. There are 30 copies on Lulu, 30 copies on Kindle, 20 copies for download and there will be 20 copies at the Book Launch.

To buy from Lulu:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/paul-larkin/albert-dougie-and-wim/paperback/product-20266211.html

To buy from the Kindle Store in UK
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Albert-Dougie-and-Wim-ebook/dp/B008N88C1U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343665468&sr=8-1

To buy from The Kindle Store in the US
http://www.amazon.com/Albert-Dougie-and-Wim-ebook/dp/B008N88C1U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343665551&sr=8-1&keywords=Albert%2C+Dougie+and+Wim

To buy a copy for Ipad
Contact me @paullarkin74 or email me at lovest86@hotmail.com

By all means bring your purchased copies to sign on Sep 1st

Saturday, July 28, 2012

It's harder than you think



Do we get the leadership we deserve? Yes.

I don't know about you, but I'm sick and tired of incompetent suits running amok with Scottish football whilst lily livered supporters sit like nodding dogs. I can't tell you the number of conversations I've had with people who agree that there are lots of things wrong with organisations like the SFA but will do sod all about it.

There is fire and passion out there amongst supporters but you know you're in the minority, you know that the reason the suits ride roughshod over the game is because they have the balls to wait any situation out.

Why do we accept that? Why do we accept statements that are akin to billionaires asking us to help starving people?

Have we been brow-beaten to the point of apathy?

Here's the reality, most supporters have given everything financially we have, we have no more money.

We are being asked to pay for a situation created by one club, now dead, who currently have a corrupt SFA trying to present a new brand of their bile with every opportunity they can.

The SFA, jesus, they make North Korea look like Greenpeace, so open about the level of cheating they will go to to help Sevco, that too many just accept it as the norm.

Here's the reality, there are clubs all over Scotland who the SFA have ensured are being completely shafted yet fans of those clubs will willingly hand the SFA £150 for "Scotland Season Ticket", will I walk you through that again?

If you're seriously giving up that level of dosh whilst are still unsure whether you should back your own club this season, I suggest Bowling is probably a better sport for you to follow.

Everyone has to keep a light shone brightly on the SFA and anyone that tells you that it's in the interests of the game to prop up Sevco.

Because it's you they want to prop them up.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A hazy shade of bright



I enjoyed the Firhill Tournament at the weekend. I've had little chance to see the Celtic development squad live in recent years and a nice atmosphere with four good games made it a good couple of days. In the last six months I've been to Falkirk, Raith, Partick and Spartans and I noticed they have come up with a novel concept, treating the supporters well.

It will never catch on.

I was interested to see what Celtic had coming through and what progress, if any, guys like Rasmussen and Josh Thomson had made. The plus points of the Celtic team were Tony Watt, who will terrorise defences in Scotland for years to come, Calum McGregor who has talent in abundance and Jackson Irvine who, aaginst Airdrie in particular, looked tenacious and willing to work at all times.

Motten Rasmussen is a strange story. Bought for good money in January 2010, he looked completely out of his depth against Partick Thistle amd Airdrie, constantly moaned at his team mates and even took manager, Stephen Frail, to task at one point. It's easy to see why he hasn't made it and no one wants him. Josh Thomson, like the song, remains the same. Ok at defending deep but still being dragged into corners and looking cumbersome. I will reserve judgement on Toshney and Fraser, neither played well, but they are still young. Andre Blackman still remains a completely mystery though, showing nothing to suggest he should be anywhere near a club like Celtic.

I have to say Airdrie were impressive in the first game against Everton, Donnelly and Boyle up front were a real handful and I am positive they will surprise a few in SF1 this year.

Everton were big and strong but not much technique going about.

Partick Thistle were the real standout at the weekend.

Quite frankly, they battered Celtic and Everton.

I've seen Thistle a few times in the last six months and Jackie McNamara is building a very decent side there. Shrewd acquisitions like Hugh Murray and Sean Welsh have soldified the midfield whilst Stephen Lawless looks like a ready made replacement for last seasons top scorer, Paul Cairney.

With Simon Donnelly at his side, there could well be a strong challenge for the SPL from Thistle this season and after that?

Well, who knows what the future holds...



Monday, July 16, 2012

Sun in the sky...


After what seemed like months of rain, the sun came out today.

I think you can tell by the apathy and anger of a lot of the MSM, they never thought this day would come.

A lot of people will be very satisfied tonight. To get to the point we are at now, a lot of people worked damn hard to help get us there.

Lots of people played their part, most will not be vocal about it and that shows their class.

I salute them all.

I remember a @homebhoys episode back in April where the panel were asked what would become of Rangers? A discussion then took place where it was felt they would be liquidated and not able to play as a Newco next season. This was amongst the four regulars and three other supporters also on.

The majority of MSM would not even entertain that, yet here was seven punters saying it was a certainty.

Others were blogging it, tweeting it and podding it then also.

It was an open debate amonsgts the Celtic support then, whilst the majority of MSM still didn't get it.

Guess what?

You don't need to guess, you knew all along.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Celebration of the Bampots



Had a good laugh, as always, on @btwcelticshow yesterday. I don't care what anyone says, if you write something, you want to talk about it. The new book isn't really a new book. It's From Albert, With Love, Dougie Dougie and Wim's Tims in one sitting. It also has a completely new story of 15,000 words, Channeling Charlie Mulgrew, and a postcript of 3000 words that should interest a few folk. Added to that there is a 5000 preview of my new novel, The Last Pearl Diver,  which is out next year.

A donation from the sales is going here http://www.samh.org.uk/

I'm not making a big thing of that, just something I want to do.

I should also that this is a limited edition book. There will be 100 copies only, 50 at the launch, 25 at www.lulu.com and 25 on Kindle.

The Launch details are above, free entry, a band and some special guests.

The launch though is important. If the last one is anything to go by it will be full of Internet Bampots. I think it was Graham Spiers who first coined that phrase "Internet Bampots" and having met quite a few of them, he was right!  Yesterday on the show I was asked about the effect the likes of Hail Hail Media and others have had on Celtic and the issues within Scottish football and I think it is immense.

I think we are all agreed that next season some of the old media will go into overdrive against Celtic, the SPL and anyone who spoke out against a Newco. This is why the Bampots are important. Last book launch I was interviewed by @carlukeshamrock, a year ago if I heard that name I'd have an image of a supportes bus? Now, it's a slick, well run podcast by a superb bunch of Tims.

Things are evolving every day and now, more than ever, we need to stick together.

So if you're in town for the Hibs game at Celtic Park and fancy meeting a bampot like yourself, come along for a great Celtic night.

Bampots welcome.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Victory-now spread the wealth



The crushing defeat for Sevco into the SPL has to be the line in the sand for a new dawn in Scottish football. Fans all across the SPL felt satisfied and speaking as a Celtic supporter, it was a victory for us definitely, don't care who knows. Whether other fans felt it a victory for them or not is down to them.

There are a lot of hurting people across Scotland this morning, seething with hate, as they never envisaged the supporter uprising that ensured integrity was put before greed. Folk who compare league reconstruction and stadium requirements with 20 odd years of destruction, corruption and cheating really will never get it, so we need to stay as far away from their mindset as possible.

I think now is the time for Celtic to spread the wealth.

I'm not a money guy. I've no interest in corporate structures, bottom lines and nuclear language. What I do know is that it was supporter power that ensured change in Scottish football and that has to rewarded.

I think it would be a huge gesture from Celtic to give up TV revenue this season and spread it through the SPL.  There are two sets of people who will be aghast this suggestion, one set are those who despise Celtic and will never see nayting good in what we do and then there are those who still think football is a business.

We need some out of the box thinking here for the good of the game So I would add one condtion to the other 11 SPL clubs, you get more TV money from us the more away fans you bring to Celtic Park. I have some sympathy with the away fans who do come just now, having experienced the opposite end of it last season, the view is absolutely horrendous, so anyone sitting in the specific restricted bit I'd charge a tenner at most.

The thing is it's not about TV money or Celtic giving it the big one, it's about trying to get more folk back through the turnstiles. There are two main reasons why a lot of fans like playing us, one is the chnace to get it up us and the other is we bring a huge away support which encourages your home fans to be that bit more vocal and animated.

This makes a great atmosphere and definitely ups the level of the game we are all watching. We have to get back to the days of groups of mates being able to attend games together and ensuring that it doesn't cost them half a weeks wages to do so.

The other thing I'd do is allow Celtic to sell our TV rights outside the UK. It would be a huge boost to CSC's all over the world to be able to purchase HD quality games into their clubs. That would see more folk off their computers and in with the Bhoys and Ghirls, and create a bigger demand.

It may shock younger readers to relaise that it's only 20 years ago when Hearts and Aberdeen used to bring 7000 punters to Celtic Park, Hibs would bring 4-5000, ditto Dundee Utd, Partick Thistle and St Mirren. Christ even Killie used to bring 2000 and now they can barely get that at home games.

If there is one thing more than anything that Scottish football suffers from it's the demonisation of other supporters that internet messageboards created. This led to a lack of trust and even now I guarantee you a fan of another club will read this and still find fault with my suggestions as some sort of cynical ploy to help Celtic take over the world.

I used to meet fans of other clubs in boozers before games all the time. That's because you mixed with them. It may shock a lot of people to know that 20 years ago at Tynecastle, when we had the Gorgie Road end, Celtic and Hearts fans drank together in boozers up and down Gorgie Road. Celtic had supporters in the Hearts enclosure AND in the Roseburn end.

Society didn't collapse.

I'm not suggesting we should all hold hands and applaud each other sportingly off the park. I just think now is the time to put aside rivalry off the park until we get a solution in the SPL that will help all.

Don't take my word for it, remember the big man

"Football without the fans is nothing"

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

200 Blogs-An appeal to The Celtic Universe



As it's the 200th Blog, I thought I'd try to mark in a fitting way,

Stephen Rodgers (above), originally from Glasgow, but now in Denver, Colorado, is embarking on an incredible test of endurance for a good cause.

Stephen takes up the story:

"I'm doing Leadman, the World's toughest high altitude ultra endurance race series. It consists of five events over seven weeks from the end of June till mid August. Starts with the Leadville marathon, going up to 13,200ft with over 6,000ft of elevation gain, 8.5 hrs to finish it in.
If I make it through that, then next up is the Silver Rush 50 mile run two weeks later. You only go over 12,000ft 4 times in that, 14 hrs to finish.


Then, I'll have 4 weeks till the Aug 11th Leadville 100 mile mountain bike race...104 miles, 14k of climbing in under 12 hours.

The Sunday morning after that I'll have a 10k run to finish, then six days later (Aug 18th), I start the 100 mile run at 4am. I'll have 30 hrs to finish that if I want to be a Leadman...

I was told not to even enter it this year by serious ultra edurance athletes, because of the years of endurance training/running and sheer stupidity required to finish, but I feel like I'm already halfway there with the stupidity;-)

'Real' athletes I know have been stunned that I've been riding a 40lb snow bike up Mt Evans (14,150ft) practically every week since Mid April, and I've managed to go from being a non-runner to doing 20 miles in sub-4 hour marathon pace, which is pretty good.

I'm also aiming to be the first Scottish/Irish/British/Tim Leadman...there's been 4,000 people up Everest in the last Decade, but less than 80 Leadmen/Leadwomen in total for the same time!

On the charity front, First Descents is a cause that sends young cancer sufferers/suvivors on week long adventure sports camps where they learn to kayak, rock climb, etc. and it gives a massive boost to a lot of young adults who'd previously given up hope."

I'm tired just reading that.

To try and help, in conjunction with The LostBhoys&HomeBhoys, we are going to give away football/sports books to anyone who donates, plus PDF's of Playing For The LostBhoys.

Here's how to do it:

Donate here: http://teamfd.firstdescents.org/2012/fd/LeadmanRaceSeries/BarfootQuicheEater/

Then get in touch with me @paullarkin74 or lovest86@hotmail.com to get a book sent, then get in touch with @harper1888 or homebhoys@gmail.com for your PDF

This is a fantastic cause and a great Tim, let's show him what we are all about.

Please spread the word.

HomeBhoys, HomeBhoys, HomeBhoys


50th show tonight for The HomeBhoys. Doesn't time fly? The one thing you can guarantee with the HomeBhoys is that no two shows are ever the same. There are no production meetings, no show outline, just a gathering five minutes before going on air and BOOM!

I think the quality of the HomeBhoys lies in the real feeling of the hosts and callers. You can have blazing arguments one minute, then be talking about something else the next and there are no grudges carried over. A stark contrast to the likes of Radio Clyde.

Harper and Joe deserve immense credit for creating a medium for supporters that enables them to put their views across without fear of being patronised, talked over or cut off.

The show has got bigger and bigger as more and more supporters Skype in and fill the air with their views.

The thing about live radio is anything can happen, and often does, yet 50 shows in, something must be working.

So credit again to Harper and Joe and here's to the next 50.

@homebhoys tonight 7.30pm CPT

* Look out for my 200th blog on Wednesday July 4th for an extra special cause

Last act of a fallen empire

So the tabloids have had one last effort at getting a Newco into the SPL. Not surprisingly they were led by Jim Traynor, David Murray's lickpsittle for many years, in what can only be described as the rantings of a mad man.

The fantatical way Traynor has gone at this story shows, as many long suspected, he is part of something bigger. The easy relationship between parts of the MSM and Ex Rangers was all part of the masterplan that included friendly bank managers and the odd bent referee.

Celtic supporters have been called paranoid since year dot. Ex Rangers fans have tried to turn the last 6 months into a Glasgow thing where every ill they have had come on them was all put there by mad Celtic fans at keyboards.

All I ask folk is to remember the facts

-Rangers bought nine in a row with money that was never paid back

-Rangers used an illegal tax scheme to gain an unfair advantage

-They were found guilty of this and it is now in appeal

-Rangers illegaly registered over 80 players over the course of 700 games

-Rangers were not eligible to play in the SPL last season

-In the season they were not eligible to play in, they did not pay any bills

-Rangers bought Nikita Jelavic, didn't pay for him, sold him for £5m, and kept the money

-Rangers paid Hearts only a small part of the fee for Lee Wallace yet still retain the player


That's before we get onto the threats and itimidation that have gone one since they were put into administration.

Anyone who forgets this, will realise that your average supporter has the memory of an elephant.


*Look out for my 200th blog tomorrow about a special cause