The late, great Ronnie Corbett once joked that the most nervous he’d ever been in his life was standing in the BBC toilets at the urinal next to Shakin’ Stevens… Well, ahead of Motherwell’s match against Sligo Rovers at 7pm tonight - when our hopes of a decent run in Europe could disappear down the pan - I think I know how the wee man felt.
In the first leg at Fir Park last Thursday, the Steelmen did our bit for the co-efficient - Ireland’s - with a truly honking performance that resulted in an embarrassing 1-0 defeat. The natives, as you can imagine, were very restless, and club officials are trying to track down the person who threw a bottle onto the pitch so the culprit can be banned for life.
So far, 7,000 Motherwell fans have come forward… But listen, forget the gloom and doom. I think we’ll win 2-0 tonight to cruise through to the next round of the Europa Conference League.
And who knows, we might play Celtic if - like last season - they end up having a crack at all three European tournaments. That’s not a dig at the Hoops. Honest. You see, folks, I was reminded this week how a cheeky jibe can come back to bite you on the bum.
As you may have read, Monday was the 25th anniversary of the legendary Celtic striker Henrik Larsson joining the Glasgow club for £650,000 - arguably the second-best bit of business in Scottish football history when I remind you that Motherwell paid Rangers just 50 grand for the one and only Davie Cooper.
Anyway, during a particularly purple patch in his free-scoring Celtic career, Larsson was bagging hat-tricks for fun and walking off the pitch week after week with the match ball tucked under his arm. Ahead of Motherwell welcoming the Hoops to Fir Park, I boldly stated on the radio: “Listen, if Larsson gets a hat-trick against us, I’ll give him one of my own balls.”
Well, ladies and gents, Celtic cuffed us 7-1… and Henrik scored FOUR!!! What a relief, eh? I mean, four goals AIN’T a hat-trick, so there was no need for me to resemble Adolf Hitler in the underwear department. Phew!
Scottish football is full of memorable moments and an absolute cracker was captured this week by Queen of the South’s official photographer Colin Johnstone. In the game at Elgin City, his camera clicked at the precise moment the ball whacked one of the home fans and sent his half-time snacks flying through the air.
(I’m told one of the linesmen on duty - a Mr D Ross - immediately tried to blame it on Nicola Sturgeon…)
It was a BRILLIANT photo and I’m still chuckling at reports the club was “trying to trace” the supporter in question to offer him a freebie. Trying to trace?!? He’s an Elgin City fan - not Bible John! This is hardly needle-in-a-haystack stuff.
I should state the freebie in question is complimentary grub from the food kiosk. The poor guy’s probably terrified to come forward in case it’s an Elgin City season-ticket.
To be honest, this fella had a lucky escape - a few splashes on his shirt, but no personal injury… unlike a poor Motherwell fan at Brechin City about 10 years ago.
During the pre-match warm up, a wayward shot from one of the Motherwell strikers went wide of the target and hit this lady flush on the face - at about 100mph - just as she was taking a sip of her Bovril…
As any Scottish football fan will confirm, Bovril is basically beef-flavoured lava and I still hear her screams in my Vietnam-style flashbacks…
PS. Staying with football, Rangers fans face matchday mayhem due to a Subway strike. As Barry Ferguson apparently commented: “Can they no’ jist go tae the Greggs across fae Ibrox?”
Cumming boxed clever with his story about legend of the ring Tyson
Star of Hollywood, Broadway and (let’s not forget) Take The High Road, A-list actor Alan Cumming - Aberfeldy’s finest - was our very special guest on Off The Ball last Saturday and I wish I could remember half of the fun we had on the show.
I’m sure we spoke about everything from the Bond film Goldeneye to his duet with Liza Minnelli, but I was enjoying myself so much it’s a bit of a blur. What I CAN recall is Alan’s revelation that he was inspired to go vegan by Mike Tyson.
Does this mean the former heavyweight boxing champion preferred to bite into CAULIFLOWER ears? Anyway, folks, Alan was terrific value - listen back on BBC Sounds if you don’t believe me - and you can’t say that about all entertainers.
* My pal is just back from a holiday camp down south and let’s just say he was less than impressed with the ventriloquist who appeared in the cabaret bar. “When he was listening to his dummy talking,” he said, “you could see his ears moving…” Brilliant.
Staying with tartan legends, a new book says that Greyfriars Bobby (in my opinion, the greatest EVER example of Scottish rhyming slang) may have been a different breed of dog than previously thought.
Yep, historians reckon he was a Dandie Dinmont terrier and NOT a Skye terrier. Who cares? As long as we’re still able to enjoy Frank Skinner’s theory on why the pet pooch famously stayed by his master’s grave for 14 years.
When they buried him, he was still holding onto the lead…
* Just weeks before her 100th birthday, Manette Baillie fulfilled her ambition of driving a Ferrari racing car. And she was watched by 500 people… all stuck behind her while she trudged along at 11mph.
* Meanwhile, Britain’s sauciest vehicle registration - ORG 45M - is up for sale at £150,000. At that price, I hope it’s not a fake.
Wardrobe of Rich man like Sunak is never going to be filled with Primani
I’d slaughter an out of touch posh Tory like Rishi Sunak for lots of things, but NOT for wearing a £3500 designer suit. Be honest, folks, what would YOU wear if you were married to a billionaire - a pair of joggies fae Primark?
Staying with fashion, the Pope in Native American headdress reminded me of the time I was on holiday in Las Vegas and nearly bought a state-of-the-art wigwam in the Nevada desert.
“Does it come with running water?” I asked the big chief. And he said: “Get your own wife, ya ****!”
* Do you think Holy water should be used in vaccines… or would it be wrong to take the Lord’s name in vein?
Joke Not Worn Out
Hello to regular contributor Bob McFarlane - Hamilton’s No.1 punster - who was reminiscing this week about a girl at his school who was nicknamed Pink Pyjamas.
He often wonders what happened to Shelby Wareing… Meanwhile, Bob went to the doc’s last week as he keeps seeing twin versions of Clark Gable from Gone With The Wind. Turns out he’s got Two-Rhetts.
* So, should the Eurovision Song Contest be held in Glasgow or Aberdeen?
As someone who’s lived in Glasgow for the past 20 years, I’m biased - I hope it’s Aberdeen…
* A Los Angeles footwear company is selling shoes made with plastic from recycled sex toys. They’re believed to be the first ever shoes that are less tight if you DON’T take the tongue out.
Sir David's Old Relic
The fossil of the earliest known animal predator has been named after Sir David Attenborough. The 560-million-year-old relic - thought to be one of the earliest creatures to have a skeleton - presents Planet Earth on BBC1.
My Fave Photos of the Week
Liz Truss assures Rishi Sunak he’ll still have a job if she becomes leader.
In Florida, it would appear the alligators have developed sign-making skills.
The scariest dog in the world.
It was at this moment Louis realised why Rob had bought him lunch every day for the past two years…
Any man who can do this should be allowed to.
Text Jokes of the Week
* The Conservative Party leaders’ debate was halted on Tuesday night after the Talk TV presenter fainted and collapsed when she realised one of those two will be Prime Minister.
* At my Kleptomaniacs’ Anonymous meeting last week, the group leader told us to come in and don’t take a seat.
* A study has revealed that hair loss and a lack of sex drive are symptoms of long Covid. I must have had long Covid since my wedding day.
* My tutor has accused me of plagiarism. Her words, not mine.
* If you’re here for the yodelling lessons, please form an orderly orderly orderly orderly queue…
* It’s just been announced that Bilbo Baggins has taken a Viagra overdose. I guess old Hobbits die hard.
* An ice-cream van crashed into the back of my car yesterday. I’m now suffering from Mr Whippylash.
* After laser eye surgery, a patient was asked by the surgeon if he wanted the good news or the bad news. When he requested the good news, he said: “Well, you’re going to get a new dog…”
* When I was a kid, I used to love building sandcastles with my granny. Then my mum would make me put her back in the urn.
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