Cardiff 2017: Champions League final despair

“Somebody said: ‘Football’s a matter of life and death to you. I said, ‘Listen it’s more important than that’.”

WORLD class sport has never really understood irony – which perhaps explains why people have never really known whether to take revered Liverpool manager Bill Shankly’s comments on football as a matter of life and death seriously.

Of course football, or any other game, isn’t more important than life or death and Shankly was talking, with regret, at how he’d prioritised his career, his passion, over his family when recalling a quip that had become folklore. Continue reading

Millennium Magic – my stadium highlights

RIP up the grass at the Millennium Stadium and replace it with a hybrid natural/artificial fibre surface, seems like a good idea – and a convenient prompt to pick the greatest matches played on that much maligned turf. a7a7a7;”>Embed from Getty Images

The iconic Cardiff city centre venue is now in its 15th action packed year and in that time human kind has moved on to accept a world-class playing surface won’t grow in a giant darkened fridge but science has been able to deliver an alternative.

Here I’ve picked what I consider to be the greatest moments from 15 years of sporting action on the 7,412 movable pallets of hallowed grass that make up the home of Welsh sport (or rugby at present). Continue reading

Why Lee Nicol will never walk alone

A clipping from the Bootle Times of Stephen Bolton with the Lee Nicol trophy

A clipping from the Bootle Times of Stephen Bolton with the Lee Nicol trophy

TEENAGER Lee Nicol became the 95th¬†Liverpool fan to have died after following the team to that fateful FA Cup semi-final played exactly 25 years ago today at Sheffield’s Hillsborough stadium.

The 14-year-old died in hospital, some days later, having been on a life support machine. Like all 96 victims he has never been forgotten by the city of Liverpool, the club, its fans and of course by the family and friends of those whose loved ones never returned home from ‘Hillsborough’ – a name that is now sadly so much more synonymous with tragedy, chaos, grief, official indifference, corruption and cover up than it is as the ¬†home of Sheffield Wednesday. Continue reading