PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – AUGUST

After League Of Ireland and UEFA Cup football during June and July, the domestic season began for me in August, when Linfield welcomed Ballymena United to Windsor Park on the opening day of the season.

Four days later, I visited Taylor’s Avenue for the first time, as Linfield travelled to newly promoted Carrick Rangers.

To round off a busy week, it was back to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts.

The following weekend, I was in Scotland for my annual trip to the Edinburgh Festival, and made the most of it by taking in matches at Hearts, Rangers and Dunfermline.

Upon my return from Scotland, it was back to Windsor Park, my third time this month, to see Linfield take on Portadown, and get a win that continued their perfect start to the season.

Linfield v Ballymena United

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Heart of Midlothian v Partick Thistle

Heart Of Midlothian v Partick Thistle Photo Album

Rangers v Hibernian

Rangers v Hibernian Photo Album

Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee

Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee Photo Album

Linfield v Portadown

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : WORLD SOCCER – APRIL 1996

Alexi Lalas, one of the more recognisable US footballers, is the cover star of World Soccer, as Major League Soccer, the national league of the United States, is about to launch.

The creation of a national league was a condition for USA hosting the 1994 World Cup.

Lalas got a move to Serie A after the 1994 World Cup, and was one of the headline signings as the league was about to launch, signing for New England Revolution.

Four pages get dedicated to the launch, with a team by team preview, with most of the players being American, including players such as John Harkes and Roy Wegerle, returning from Europe.

Kier Radnedge, the editor, uses his column to pay tribute to the recently deceased Bob Paisley and Helmut Schoen, and suggesting that the signing of Faustino Asprilla might derail Newcastle’s title bid, similar to how signing Rodney Marsh did for Manchester City in the 1970s.

Japan and South Korea are battling to host the 2002 World Cup, with the decisive vote coming up on 1st June. Eventually, both countries would co-host the tournament.

Radnedge also writes about Pay Per View football, stating that it is inevitable in English football. It eventually happened in 1999, as a one-off, when Oxford United played Sunderland (followed later that season by Colchester United v Manchester City), before becoming a regular occurrence from the 2001-2002 season, with the launch of dedicated channel, Premiership Plus.

In news, Manchester United signed Britain’s biggest kit deal, with Umbro, believed to be around a total of £40m until 2002.

South Africa fans at the recent African Cup Of Nations have been honouring defender Mark Fish by taking fish to matches.

Ahead of Euro 96, Kier Radnedge interviews Spain manager Javier Clemente, where he declines to answer if he intends to call-up Barcelona’s Dutch born but Spain eligible Jordi Cruyff, and declares England as favourites for Euro 96, but that the standard of club football in England has decline in the past decade.

Faustino Asprilla, who also appears on the cover, gets a double page profile.

World Soccer gives two pages to the recent Bosman Ruling, which has seen various clubs offer stars long-term contracts to protect their transfer value.

In Iberia, Atletico Madrid are aiming to win their first La Liga title since 1977, while a moustached Carlos Queroz has been sacked by Sporting Lisbon.

Oliver Bierhoff, just broke into the Germany squad, gets a profile. Little did he know, he would be Germany’s hero at Wembley three months later.

In Northern Ireland, Crusaders are on course to win the Irish League title. They didn’t, Portadown did. Bangor were struggling to avoid relegation, while the national team have arranged friendlies against Norway, Sweden and Germany.

Across the border, there are rumours that the League Of Ireland is planning to move to Summer Football.

Sami Hyypia, who attracted interest from Oldham Athletic, has moved to Willem II in Holland.

Brian Glanville uses his column to criticise UEFA’s proposals to allowing some countries to have more than one club competing in the European Cup.

On the final page, there is a feature called “Soccer Cities”, profiling football in a different city. This edition, was Glasgow.

2015 IN PICTURES – AUGUST

August is usually a busy month, but it was a bit slow to get going. My first event came on the 8th of the month, when I went to see Linfield start the new Irish League season, against Ballymena United.

Four days later, I was visiting Taylor’s Avenue for the first time, as Linfield travelled to newly promoted Carrick Rangers.

Three days later, I was back at Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts.

The next day, I headed to the Peace Wall in Belfast to get some snaps.

Belsonic then began in Belfast, and I attended two of these concerts, Paloma Faith and Stereophonics.

The day after that Stereophonics gig, I was Edinburgh bound for my annual trip to the Edinburgh Festival.

While there, I went to see some football, as Hearts took on Partick Thistle at Tynecastle.

It wasn’t all football, as I managed to get some photos of Street Art in Edinburgh.

A couple of football trips within Scotland, first to Glasgow to see Rangers take on Hibs, and then Dunfermline to see Dunfermline take on Dundee.

There was also some music to fit in while in Scotland, as I headed to Princes Street Gardens to see James in concert.

Upon my return from Scotland, it was back to Windsor Park to see Linfield beat Portadown and pull clear at the top of the league.

Linfield v Ballymena United

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Belfast Peace Wall Art

Belfast Peace Wall Art Photo Album

Paloma Faith Live At Custom House Square

Paloma Faith Live At Custom House Square Photo Album

Stereophonics Live At Custom House Square

Stereophonics Live At Custom House Square Photo Album

Heart Of Midlothian v Partick Thistle

Heart Of Midlothian v Partick Thistle Photo Album

Edinburgh Street Art

Edinburgh Street Art Photo Album

Rangers v Hibernian

Rangers v Hibernian Photo Album

Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee

Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee Photo Album

James Live At Princes Street Gardens

James Live At Princes Street Gardens Photo Album

Linfield v Portadown

2015 IN PICTURES – MARCH

March began on a musical theme with concerts taking up two of the first three evenings of the month, The Kooks at Mandela Hall and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at The Odyssey.

The following Saturday, it was back to football, as Linfield took on Warrenpoint Town at Windsor Park.

The Saturday after that was a road trip to see Linfield take on Institute at Drumahoe.

Some new Street Art appeared in Belfast during the month, a tribute to the recently deceased Leonard Nimoy and a reappearance of the Teenage Kicks mural

There was more Street Art later in the month, when I headed to Glasgow to see Northern Ireland take on Scotland in a friendly, and took advantage of a clear day and some art on show.

From Glasgow, to Glenavon (well, Lurgan) for another football trip the Saturday after. The same result, a 1-0 defeat, but a more damaging than the one in Glasgow.

The day after, more football, as Northern Ireland took on Finland in a European Championship Qualifier. Managed to get some photos of the redevelopment of Windsor Park, which seemed to be going so well at that point.

Little did I know then, It would be my last time in The Kop before it got demolished.

The Kooks Live At Mandela Hall

The Kooks Live At Mandela Hall Photo Album

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Live At The Odyssey

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Live At The Odyssey Photo Album 1

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Live At The Odyssey Photo Album 2

Linfield v Warrenpoint Town

Institute v Linfield

Spock’s Teenage Dreams

Glasgow Street Art

Glasgow Street Art Photos

Scotland v Northern Ireland

Scotland v Northern Ireland Photo Album

Glenavon v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Finland

Northern Ireland v Finland Photo Album

RANGERS 1-0 HIBERNIAN 23.8.2015

When Rangers were demoted to League Two back in the summer of 2012, August 2015 was supposed to be back when they were back in the SPL, launching a title challenge, and everything was back to normal, the previous four years forgotten about as if they’d never happened.

Trying to go up from The Championship at the second time of asking was not what they had in mind for August 2015.

When Hibs were trying to climb out of the bottom half as 2013 turned into 2014, spending August 2015 trying to get out of The Championship at the second time of asking was not what they had in mind either.

That was the situation both clubs found themselves in, mainly due to Hearts fantastic form last season.

As I was in Edinburgh last weekend, I decided to spend an afternoon in Glasgow. After spending some time in my favourite shops in Glasgow, I headed to Ibrox for part two of the weekend’s Glasgow v Edinburgh double header, with Rangers hoping it would be a double win for the teams that started the weekend top, rather than a double win for Edinburgh, after I witnessed Hearts beat Partick the day before.

It was the fourth venue I have seen Hibs play at. People will be starting to talk. They don’t have an impressive record in my presence, with just one win in the five previous games I saw them play.

Part of the reason for Hearts success last season was scoring wins over Rangers and Hibs in their first two games of last season. They opened up a lead early on, and then pulled away, then got out of sight.

When the fixture list had this as the third game of the season, it was expected that this would be a match between two sides with six points out of six, trying to get an early advantage.

Hibs opening defeat away to Dumbarton meant they were now needing to win this game just to stop Rangers pulling away from them.

Hibs had won three of the four league meetings against Rangers last season (or four out of six if you include the Play-Offs) but it was Rangers who had the upper hand this season, with a 6-2 win at Easter Road in the Petrofact Cup.

Rangers fans were so enthused by their side’s start to the season under new manager Mark Warburton that this game was a sell-out, as Rangers sought the win that would see them return to the top of the table, replacing morning leaders Queen Of The South.

Hibs had the first moment of note in the game, when a Jason Cummings free-kick went over the bar.

Rangers first big moment came when Martyn Waghorn chased down a backpass that Hibs keeper Mark Oxley took his time clearing it upfield, winning possession, but Barrie McKay was unable to get a shot on goal.

Waghorn was involved again soon after, heading over from a corner.

Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham emulated his Hibs counterpart Oxley by having a shaky moment with a stray pass out, but his defence were able to block the shot and clear the danger.

Hibs were giving Rangers some nervous moments when they went forward. It was a tense game that looked like it would only finish 1-0. There was not a lot in it.

Everytime that Rangers went forward, the ball always seemed to fall to Kenny Miller, who seemed to miskick and toepoke everything that came his way.

Rangers then introduced Nathan Oduwa to the action, bringing the Ibrox crowd to their feet. The player had recently caused a scandal in Scotland by doing a fancy flick in a game.

Hibs soon had Cummings and Liam Henderson through on goal against one defender. Henderson fired over.

Within minutes, Rangers were 1-0 up. You could say it was Classic Hibs.

The goal came from a free-kick by James Tavernier. I was at the other end of the ground and thought he had overhit it. Nobody seemed to care, Rangers were 1-0 up.

It wasn’t Liam Henderson’s day, as he fired another shot wide. Rangers were giving Hibs so many chances, surely Hibs couldn’t be awful in front of goal all day long.

Rangers seemed to be dealing with Hibs threats as the game wore on. Hibs only chance to the end was a free-kick that went over.

Rangers got the win and went back to the top of the league, pulling six points clear of Hibs, and strike a decisive blow in the race to return to the Scottish Premier League.

Photo Album

EDINBLOG 2015

August is my favourite month of the year, for the simple reason that it’s the month that I visit the Edinburgh Festival. If I could, i’d go there for the whole month.

I actually went later in the month than I usually do. The latest i’ve been since I first visited in 2009.

This year, for the first time, I bought my tickets in advance rather than waiting to purchase when I arrived. I got everything I wanted, barring having to rearranging my Saturday night and Monday night choices.

All I had to do when I arrived at the ticket office was to swipe my Debit Card, and my tickets printed off. It wasn’t totally problem free, as the printer ran out of paper when printing off my tickets. Only a minor hitch in an otherwise efficient system.

I flew out on the Saturday morning, and after getting my tickets and getting checked in, Saturday afternoon was all about football, as I headed to Tynecastle to watch Hearts take on Partick Thistle.

Despite being an Edinburgh veteran, I managed to get lost en route by not paying attention at Haymarket Station and taking a wrong turn.

I managed to make it to the ground in plenty of time for kick-off regardless, and saw Hearts maintain their lead at the top of the SPL with a 3-0 win.

I only went to one show on the Saturday, Stewart Francis at Assembly George Square. You will recognise him from various panel shows, specialising in bad puns. Groans and laughter were plentiful in equal measure.

On the Sunday, I decided to head to Glasgow for a few hours, while taking in Rangers v Hibs. Before I set off for Glasgow, I got some photos of Street Art in Edinburgh, near Waverley Station.

Every year that i’ve visited Edinburgh, i’ve always wanted to visit another city or town in Scotland, just to escape for a few years.

I have in my head to visit Stirling some time. Maybe next year?

I was a bit delayed getting out of Glasgow, I missed the start of John Lloyd’s show. That, and the fact I got lost en route to the venue. I am an Edinburgh veteran, trust me. It’s just that there are so many venues called Assembly.

Turns out it was Assembley opposite Hotel Du Vin rather than the one at Potterrow.

You probably know more about John Lloyd than you think you do mostly famed for his work behind the scenes on Spitting Image and creating QI. His show was an entertaining look at trivia and knowledge.

Later on Sunday, I headed to Pleasance to see James Acaster. I’d previously seen him do a slot at a charity gig in London a few years ago, so I was looking forward to seeing him.

His humour is very deadpan and surreal. This year, he has made a breakthrough into panel shows. This show focused on him sharing celebrity gossip about the Chilean Miners, and his experiences on jury duty.

One more show followed on the Sunday, and I managed to go to the wrong venue. Again, a case of two many venues called Assembly.

That show, was a live recording of Josh Widdecombe’s XFM Show. I’m a big fan of Widdecombe, and actually listen to the show when i’m getting ready on a Saturday morning.

As a bonus, James Acaster was on it. Double Acaster in the one night.

There was one bonus of my getting lost, as I found out where Roxburgh Hotel was. On the Monday morning, I headed there for a Record Fair. I didn’t get anything, but if I didn’t go, I knew I would have been annoyed at myself for not going, and thinking that i’d missed out on something.

I spend Monday morning wandering around the West End and visiting my two favourite shops in Edinburgh – Fopp and Football Nation.

One of the best things about Edinburgh is, that you can escape from the Fringe for a few hours if you wish, and you don’t have to go very far to do so.

One year, I spent so much time in Cowgate, Potterrow and Pleasance, I didn’t even spend a minute in Princes Street/George Street, so it’s good to get a nice mix of Edinburgh.

My first show on the Monday was to see Mark Watson do a show called Work In Progress, which as the title suggests, was to try out new material.

I’d seen him previously, as well as him hosting the Comedywealth Games last year. It was classic Watson, moving from one topic to another in rapid time.

I’ll be keeping an eye out if he does a full proper show next year.

From there, I quickly legged it from The Stand to Pleasance to see Batfan, about one performer and his obsession with Batman, and his quest to create the perfect Batman film. He’s not a fan of Joel Schumacher.

Not enough 60s Batman in it for me, but it was still enjoyable, especially some of the obscure/forgotten/unknown references. You didn’t need to be a massive fan of Batman in order to enjoy it.

I’d wanted to spend Monday night seeing FFS in concert, but unfortunately, all the tickets were sold out. I didn’t want to spend the evening at the venue in the hope that some tickets become available, so I decided to just go to a comedy show instead.

Quite literally, a case of FFS.

If you don’t know, FFS are a supergroup comprising of Franz Ferdinand and Sparks. They are rather good. Looks like i’ll have to cross my fingers for a Belfast gig.

So what would fill my FFS void? Aisling Bea. You may have seen her on various panel shows. She was very good. The audience got a bit of a fright when they entered to room, to see her dancing in a morph suit.

Tuesday morning was spent walking around Princes Street Markets and Rose Street, before going to see The Man Called Monkhouse, set in the mid 1990s around the time of the theft of his joke book and the 20th anniversary of the death of his writing partner, Dennis Goodwin, sees Monkhouse looking back at his life to that point.

The voice was good but not perfect, but the look was. It looked like Monkhouse was in the room. As a bonus, we got some classic Monkhouse one-liners as well.

That was my only show on Tuesday, as Tuesday night was spent watching football, making a short train journey to see Dunfermline Athletic take on Dundee.

On Wednesday morning, I was curious and went for a walk around York Place and ended up in Leith. Even though this was the seventh year I had visited, it’s always good to explore new parts of the city I haven’t seen before.

One part of Edinburgh i’d love to visit is Arthur’s Seat, a hill which offers some spectacular views over Edinburgh. I’d planned on going on the Thursday morning, but the weather had started to turn. I didn’t quite fancy a hill walk in the rain. Maybe next year.

It was great though to have a trip to Edinburgh without having to wear a raincoat for the first four days. There were short periods of rain in my last two days.

My only show on Wednesday was to see Matt Forde. He specialises in Political Comedy, but he’s not a preachy type of comic, instead focusing on funny things in politics and amusing observations.

I’d previously seen him on Rory Bremner’s Election Report, and was not disappointed. He began by saying that he supported Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to be Labour Leader, not for political reasons, but for the material it will offer.

Wednesday night was spent at Princes Street Gardens to see James in concert. James doing a gig was part of the reason why I chose this particular week to go to Edinburgh.

Thurdsay was my last day, where I went to Edinburgh University to browse through the various charity shops for possible bargains.

Thursday lunchtime saw one last show, Pippa Evans celebrating the guilty pleasures of life, through the medium of song, even briefly bringing back her character of Loretta Maine, who I saw make a guest appearance on MacAulay and Co a few years ago.

Talking of MacAulay and Co, it wasn’t on this year. It was cancelled by Radio Scotland, and they didn’t even bring it back for the Edinburgh Festival.

In it’s place, was Kaye Adams. I’d love to be able to tell you if it was any good, but I slept in each morning I had a ticket having stayed up too late the night before. Maybe next year.

After Pippa Evans, a wee brief stroll around Princes Street, before getting the bus back to the airport.

That was it, that was my Edinburgh adventure for 2015. I didn’t see an awful show, which is almost disappointing. Already looking forward to 2016.

Edinblog 2014

Edinblog 2013

Edinblog 2012

Edinblog 2011

Edinblog 2010

GLASGOW STREET ART

I was over in Glasgow this week for the Scotland v Northern Ireland match. But the trip wasn’t all about football, as I took the opportunity to explore Glasgow’s Street Art.

I was in Glasgow in April 2013 and got a lot of pictures, so I knew Glasgow had a thing for Street Art. While there this week, I saw some of the Street Art I saw on my last visit, most notably the man hailing a taxi and the girl with the magnifying glass.

Helpfully, the tourist board provides a guide, complete with a map. There is a PDF on their website, but I got the pocket book version from the Tourist Office in the city centre.

It proved to be really handy, with the map clearly detailing where everything is. Glasgow is an easy city to navigate and once you learn street names and landmarks, you can use them as a handy reference point.

Finding the Street Art was easy, photographing it not so much. There usually happened to be something to frustrate me. Be it people standing in my road having a conversation, poor lighting at Cowcaddens Underpass, or cars parked blocking a good shot.

Despite that, it was very enjoyable checking out the art in Glasgow. I didn’t get a chance to check out pieces by the Quay. I was only in the city for 36 hours and didn’t have the time to get lost.

There was also a brilliant indoor mural of iconic music images at a record store under near Central Station called missing.

All bar one of the pieces I saw were in the book, I didn’t get to see anything else. I’m sure it exists, I just didn’t look hard enough.

Enjoy

Photo Album

See Also

Glasgow Street Art April 2013

2013 IN PICTURES – APRIL

It’s fair to say that April was a busy month.

The first Saturday of the month, I went to two football matches in a day, both Irish Cup Semi-Finals. That night, I went to see Ellie Goulding at Waterfront Hall.

The following morning, I went to get some Street Art photos from the Lagan Towpath.

Three days later, I was in Glasgow to see Linfield in a friendly. I stayed for a few more days so I could see James at SECC, supported by Echo and the Bunnymen.

While I was in Glasgow, I managed to get some Street Art pictures, and attended the Scottish Cup Semi-Final between Falkirk and Hibs.

As you can imagine, I went camera happy during that trip.

Upon my return to Belfast, I was out getting photos of a mural of Bananaman in Great Victoria Street, as you do, before seeing Linfield finish off a miserable season with two home defeats.

Glentoran v Portadown

Glentoran v Portadown Photo Album

Cliftonville v Crusaders

Cliftonville v Crusaders Photo Album

Ellie Goulding Live At The Waterfront Hall

Ellie Goulding Live At Waterfront Hall Photo Album

Down By The Towpath

Glasgow Street Art

Glasgow Street Album Photo Album

Rangers v Linfield

Rangers v Linfield Photo Album

Falkirk v Hibernian

Falkirk v Hibernian Photo Album

Echo and the Bunnymen Live At SECC

Echo and the Bunnymen Live At SECC Photo Album

James Live At SECC

James Live At SECC Photo Album

Bananaman/Stay Puft

Linfield v Ballinamallard United

Linfield v Crusaders

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – APRIL/MAY

April began, like February, with two matches in one day.

Unlike when I was in London, I knew where I was going. I went to both Irish Cup Semi-Finals as a neutral.

The Glentoran v Portadown game wasn’t very good, and I didn’t get much in the way of photos. Crusaders v Cliftonville was a batter game with better photos, the Sydenham End of The Oval being a lot more photo friendly

The following midweek, I was in Glasgow for the friendly between Rangers and Linfield. The match wasn’t great, but it was a friendly, so I was hardly expecting both teams to go for it, especially with it being towards the end of the season (ie – if it was in pre-season, it would have been a lot more intense, with teams working towards the new season)

Ibrox is a fantastic stadium, architecturally stunning on the outside and inside. Managed to get some fantastic shots of the ground. Not so much match action, as I was closer to the corner flag when Linfield had their bets spell of attacking, in the second-half.

I stayed in Glasgow for a few more days, and went to the Scottish Cup Semi-Final between Falkirk and Hibernian. A brilliantly crazy game for a neutral, maybe not so much if you supported one of the two teams. Got some ok photos, Hampden PArk, as fantastic stadium as it is, isn’t very photo friendly.

Upon my return, I went to Linfield’s last two games of the season. Fixture fulfillment really, and making sure I got my money’s worth out of my Season Ticket.

I would have got more Value For Money if i’d stayed at home.

But that wasn’t the end of the season. The following week, I went to Clandeboye Park to see Bangor beat Tobermore United and avoid relegation.

And with that, my season was over.

Glentoran v Portadown

Glentoran v Portadown Photo Album

Crusaders v Cliftonville

Crusaders v Cliftonville Photo Album

Rangers v Linfield

Rangers v Linfield Photo Album

Falkirk v Hibernian

Falkirk v Hibernian Photo Album

Linfield v Ballinamallard United

Linfield v Crusaders

Bangor v Tobermore United

Bangor v Tobermore United Photo Album

JAMES – LIVE AT SECC 13.4.2013

I love James, have done for 15 years. I bought their Best Of, with a bonus Live CD with money I got for my 16th birthday. I always wanted to see them live, which I thankfully did in 2010.

When their current tour was announced, with Echo and the Bunnymen in support, I desperately wanted to see this, much to my frustration, wasn’t coming to Belfast.

Being in Glasgow for the Linfield match, I decided to stay for a few days to catch this. It was worth it.

It was the first proper night of their tour, but they did a low key warm up gig in Stirling the night before. I was unable to get a ticket for that gig, so I had to make do with a Glasgow gig.

The band arrived on stage to a rapturous reception, starting to jam. Tim Booth, was nowhere to be seen. At my previous James concert in Sheffield, he entered through the balcony, mingling with the crowd.

Keeping an eye out for him, he eventually made his entrance, surprisingly, on the actual stage, before going straight into Tomorrow. He later revealed inbetween songs, that Health and Safety wouldn’t allow him to enter from the seated area to walk onto the stage.

One of the trademarks of a James concert is Tim Booth’s dancing. Dad Dancing, Rave Dancing, whatever you call it, the crowd loved it. The worse, and more frantic his dancing got, the more the crowd loved it.

One of the best songs, though not their best, certainly their most famous, Sit Down, brought the house down, ironically, nobody was sitting down, not even those in the seated areas.

The band then sprung a surprise, doing a stripped down version of She’s A Star before springing a surprise by having a choir perform the song alongside them.

The choir joined them for a few songs. They did try to sing, they spent most of their set trying not to laugh at Tim Booth’s dancing.

His singing thankfully, was a lot better than his dancing.

Photo Album

See Also

James Live In Sheffield 2010

James Live In Sheffield 2010 Photo Album