Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the cover star in the early months of a season that he would write himself into United folklore in the final minute of it.

In news, Old Trafford is being expanded, and there is the possibility of there being a Singing Section when the work is complete.

Martin Edwards gets interviewed to discuss the attempted takeover by Rupert Murdoch, addressing fears regarding team selection, kit colours, home venues and the appointment of Alex Ferguson’s successor.

The letters page is dominated by this issue, with letters coming in both for and against Murdoch.

Cover star Solskjaer is interviewed, stating that nothing put him off signing for Spurs that summer, he just wanted to play for United.

There is a five page feature looking at how United rank as a brand in comparison with other big European clubs.

Gary and Phil Neville are bringing a diary out of the 97/98 season in Europe, and there is a serialisation of it in this magazine.

12 years after his departure as manager, there is an interview with Ron Atkinson looking back at his time with United.

There is a round-up of recent results of United’s Under 19 team, with goals in this run coming from John O’Shea, Luke Chadwick and David Healy, who would all go on to play for United’s first-team.

There is a review of United’s games in September 1998, as well as a preview of games coming up in October and November that year.


David Healy is the cover star as he gives an interview to NI Football during the Winter of 2008.

In news, Martin Donnelly of Crusaders wins Player Of The Month, Roy Coyle celebrated his retirement at a dinner attended by Howard Kendall, and Brendan Rodgers has just been appointed manager of Watford.

Elsewhere in news, David Healy has just launched his own DVD.

Keith Gillespie gets interviewed having just joined Charlton Athletic on loan from Sheffield United.

Also getting a profile is Jonny Evans, having just broken into the Manchester Untied team in the early months of 2008-2009.

Glentoran had just reached the final of the Setanta Cup, losing narrowly to Cork City, 2-1, and this match gets a full page review.

David Healy gets a double page interview, revealing that Jonny Evans could be Norther Ireland’s key player during World Cup Qualification.

Healy’s strike partner at international Kyle Lafferty gets profiled, after enduring a difficult opening months to his career at Rangers.

Another player getting profiled at a new club is George McCartney, although he is in his second spell at Sunderland.

Steven Robinson has just announced his retirement aged 33, and is profile after taking a job with the IFA coaching underage teams.

There is a profile of another 33 year old making his mark in coaching, recently appointed Coleraine manager David Platt.

There is a full page profile of Linfield player Paul Munster, who has returned to Northern Ireland after spending time playing in Sweden, Czech Republic and Canada.

There is a double page profile on the comparisons between set-ups in the Irish League and League Of Ireland.

At Junior Level, there are club profiles of Killymoon Rangers, Lurgan Celtic and Newington.

Staying in North Belfast, there is a feature on Cliftonville, who have just won the County Antrim Shield.



You’ve got to feel for David Healy. He’s has not one, but two murals of him in East Belfast painted over. I guess he’ll have to make do with three points every time he visits the East of the city.

There was a mural of his goal against England in 2005 on Montrose Street South.

Following the death of David Ervine, Healy’s mural was painted over, and replaced by one of David Ervine.

To compensate for Healy’s mural being painted over, a new one of his goal against England was painted across the road in Carnforth Street, albeit from a different angle.

To use a football analogy, the mural had seen better days and was heading towards retirement. It had fallen into disrepair. It needed replacing.

If only there was some sort of football event this summer that Northern Ireland were competing in.

In late May, the mural had gone and was replaced by a blank wallspace, with it being teased that it was going to be replaced by something to represent Northern Ireland’s qualification for the European Championship.

By early June, a new mural was progressing, painted by local artist John Stewart.

It was inspired by the iconic images of Gareth McAuley waving a French flag around Windsor Park after Northern Ireland secured qualification with a win over Greece in October 2015, as well as featuring the Eiffel Tower, the IFA crest and the European Championship trophy, and the slogan “Pride. Passion. Belief”

The image took around four days to do, but unfortunately it wasn’t completed in time before I headed to France.

Upon my return from Fance, naturally, I headed out to get some photos of the finished piece.

Hopefully, there’ll be wallspace in Belfast and across Northern Ireland being filled with images of carrying the European Championship trophy around the Stade De France on July 10th.

Need to get a win against Ukraine first.

Photo Album


Back in May, I blogged about a documentary being made by American TV that had asked me to supply stilled photographs of murals in Belfast.

This week, the makers got in contact to request further images. The images are of murals of David Healy, George Best, and a joint mural of Elisha Scott, Joe Bambrick and Tommy Dickson.

Their inclusion is good to see that the makers aren’t focusing on the cliched murals, and including positive and celebratory ones.

The film is currently “In the advanced stages of post-production”, so hopefully, there’ll be more developments regarding possible broadcast (I don’t know if there are any plans for a UK or Northern Ireland broadcast)

If you wish to find out more about it, there is a synopsis about it on the production company’s website.

The first photo submitted is ‘Football Heroes‘, which, as the name suggests, is a tribute to famous footballers from the Donegall Road area of Belfast.

The players featured are :Joe Bambrick, Tommy Dickson and Elisha Scott.

Joe Bambrick was a legendary goalscorer for Linfield and was Northern Ireland’s top goalscorer until the 1980s. His former home at Roden Street has a blue plaque outside. He once scored six goals in game for Northern Ireland, against Wales in 1930.

Tommy Dickson was a Linfield legend and captained the club’s Seven Trophy team. He also has a mural dedicated to him in Taughmonagh.

Elisha Scott was a former Linfield player best known for his time player for Liverpool before later managing Belfast Celtic.

A blogpost covering murals in Belfast relating to Linfield FC can be found here.

This picture of a George Best mural was taken in 2007 in Blythe Street in Sandy Row. Further up the street is a mural commemorating the 125th anniversary of Linfield FC.

Nearby, there is a mural of Best as you enter Windsor Park (alongside other Northern Ireland legends) as well one in Cregagh where he grew up. Another mural, on the Woodstock Road, was painted over in 2011

The third photo submitted is of David Healy’s goal against England in 2005.

This mural was originally painted from another angle across the road. That mural was moved in 2008 to accommodate a mural of David Ervine, who died in 2007.

A blog post about these three murals, from 2010, can be found here.


Got an e-mail last night, unexpected and out of the blue, but definitely worth sharing.

It was from an American TV company looking to get clearance to use this photo of a mural of David Ervine in East Belfast as part of a documentary provisionally titled ‘Art Of Conflict’, looking at murals in Northern Ireland .

I’m presently in the process of signing off the relevant paperwork to approve this.

I’ll keep you updated over the coming months with regards to the progress of this show (If I hear anything) and if it gets broadcast in the UK .

The mural itself was erected in 2008, a year after Ervine’s death. It replaced a mural of David Healy’s goal against England in 2005, based on a photograph by William Cherry. To compensate for that, a new mural of Healy’s goal was painted across the road. The three murals are documented in this blog post from September 2010, A TALE OF TWO DAVIDS

Regular readers will of course be aware that I love my street art and murals, especially getting photographs of them.

To be honest, I’m not as fussed on the paramilitary or political ones. It may shock people, but not every mural in Belfast is a paramilitary or political one.

David Ervine’s son has, in recent years, become a muralist himself. His best known work is one of John Peel in the Cathedral Quarter.

Sport in Belfast also have been immortalised in paint. There was an Elisha Scott mural painted in West Belfast in 2010, Glentoran used to have one on the Newtownards Road . Crusaders have one on St Vincent Street , outside Seaview and there’s an Antrim GAA one in the Lower Ormeau .

Two of Belfast’s most famous sporting sons have the most wallspace dedicated to them. Alex Higgins two World Championship wins were already commemorated on the Donegall Road during his lifetime, and an impromptu mural was painted in the days after his death, outside The Royal Bar, where he frequented in his later years, and across the street from the apartment complex where he lived and died during his later years (There’s a wreath made out like a snooker table outside the building)

George Best was also muralised during his lifetime on the Woodstock Road . That mural has unfortunately gone, but there is one in Blythe Street in Sandy Row. George Best also appears on a mural of Northern Ireland football legends outside Windsor Park.

The other end of Blythe Street features a mural to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Linfield FC, unveiled in November 2011. Linfield are also represented with other wallspace in South Belfast . Taughmonagh sees a tribute to Tommy Dickson, unveiled in 2008 not long after his death, while The Village also features Dickson on a mural, alongside Joe Bambrick and Elisha Scott.

Joe Bambrick’s former home, not far away in Roden Street , has a blue plaque outside to commemorate this.

This blogpost, from August 2010 features Linfield murals ahead of the start of the club’s 125th anniversary season, while this one features the Weavers To Winners launch from November 2011

Just goes to show, there are some hidden gems amongst Belfast ’s murals if you look in the right places.


Dolores O’Riodan is the cover star as Vox celebrates it’s 50th edition.

The main features, however, were of Blur and REM. Guitarist Peter Buck comments “I Shudder to think that I might be playing in stadiums when i’m 51, like the Stones”

When Peter Buck was 51 (2007), REM were still doing stadium gigs.

This month saw the launch of a column where musicians guest review singles. The honour of the very first one went to Andy Cairns, frontman of Therapy?

To celebrate the 50th edition, Vox asked 90s popstars for their review of the 90s so far, and what they thought would be on the cover of Vox in 2000 (Vox was actually wound up before then)

Noel Gallagher’s 2000 front cover is “OASIS – WHERE ARE THEY NOW?” – the answer would be, releasing their 4th album, while his hopes for the rest of the 90s would be for a second Stone Roses album, Man City to win a trophy and The Verve to do a gig on the moon.

Only one of those events happened, and it was the most far fetched suggestion, Stone Roses releasing a second album.

The Grid, a side project of Soft Cell’s David Ball list Bryan Adams being number one as the worst global event of the 90s, while suggesting that Oasis will be on the cover of Vox in 2000, as “We’ll all be having a 90s revival by then”

Nicky Wire’s Vox cover reply is “Hopefully Vox won’t exist by then” – His hope was correct.


Believe it or not, today was actually the fifth anniversary of Northern Ireland’s 1-0 win over England in a World Cup Qualifier.

Even though it didn’t really mean much in the grand scheme of things (England still qualified with a game to spare, and Northern Ireland lost their last two games to finish 4th), it’s still always nice to beat England.

This match actually marked the start of a period when I had a severe disinterest in international football. There were two things which caused this.

The first was that the next day, the IFA announced that Stephen Nolan would be a special guest for the next month’s game with Wales, having been humiliated into making a charity donation after ridiculing the team and their chances the previous day.

It wasn’t that show which riled me, it was a show the previous year, on BBC1, where he “Debated” the need for a Northern Ireland football team.

Where else in the world would you get a load of self-loathing apologetic bollocks about a country’s football team?

When I say “Debated”, I mean it in the Nolan way, where he is right and nobody else’s opinion matters. Quick to accuse and slow to prove.

Basically, in conclusion, all Northern Ireland fans are bigots, and we’re crap at football and don’t deserve our own national football team.

Since then (The ‘My Old Man‘ case and the night of the Poland game in 2009 where he demanded Northern Ireland be thrown out of the 2010 World Cup after touble on the streets that day), he has proved that he is one leopard that doesn’t change it’s spots.

Yet, the IFA rolled out the red carpet for him, whilst many other fans are unable to get a ticket. A slap in the face and insult for all football fans in Northern Ireland.

Around that time, the IFA were happy to leak e-mails and memos to their chums at the BBC to wage a propaganda war on Linfield FC regarding the state of Windsor Park, in an attempt to get The Maze stadium built.

Bullshit press release followed smear after sensationalist headline. Quite simply, I felt I was having to choose between club and country, and it was a choice that country was never going to win.

Eventually, once The Maze died once and for all, I decided to take an interest again.

I wasn’t actually at the England game, despite being at the earlier fixture at Old Trafford. I was however, at the Spain game in 2006 when Northern Ireland came from behind to win 3-2.

In 366 days time, it will be the 5th anniversary of that game. Incidentally, that game hasn’t been immortalised in mural.

The original mural, in East Belfast, is of David Healy’s winning goal. This photo was taken during the afternoon of March 24th 2007.

Linfield were away to Loughgall but I didn’t go, so I walked over, camera in one hand, listening to Radio Ulster with the other, to get a photo.

It was an international Saturday, and Northern Ireland beat Leichtenstein with a hat-trick from ……… David Healy. Who else did you expect?

In order to clarify, the man in the photo isn’t a fan or tourist, he’s a guy waiting for his car to get fixed at a garage next door.

In 2008, the mural was painted over, and replace by one of David Ervine.

A new mural was painted across the road. In my own opinion, it’s not as good as the original.

For many people my age, they will always remember England 2005, but what i’d really want, is an Israel 1981.