Saturday, 22 October 2016

Frankly, Mr Shankly

I grew up on Merseyside in the 1960s and 70s; the Beatles were Number 1 and Liverpool FC won the League in 1963-4, again in 65-66 and didn't finish outside the top 6 until 1993-94 when they were top again.  Between 1972 and 1992 they won the league 11 times and were runners up 7 times.

I supported Liverpool, because they were local, but also because they were, self evidently, the best. Liverpool managers Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley were not merely respected for their winning ways, they were loved.  No-one ever loved Alex Ferguson or Harry Rednapp. No-one.

Growing up I sometimes wondered why some other people didn't support Liverpool. Obviously Scouse Catholics supported Everton, but, as I understood it, there was some catechism that said they had to.

Finding myself in Portsmouth this afternoon, as Pompey fans left Fratton Park, following a home defeat by Notts County, I reflected on this.  What a noble thing it is, I thought, to drag yourself to Fratton Park and watch your team being beaten by a team that isn't even the best team in Nottingham. (Forest were beaten at home by Cardiff City)

But it wasn't always this way.  Once upon a time Portsmouth FC won the FA Cup.

Reflected in My Dog Sigh's latest, and possibly largest, eye is the Portsmouth team of 1939, holding captain Jimmy Guthrie aloft, brandishing the FA Cup.  Portsmouth beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 4:1 in the FA Cup final at Wembley.  As there were no cup finals during WW2 Portsmouth got to keep hold of the cup for a few years, allowing them to boast they have held the cup for longer than anyone else.  (For the record LFC have won it 7 times)

Jimmy Guthrie and his team mates were paid £20 each for their Cup Final appearance.  While that was probably a better day's pay than your average working man it was still less than the members of the band who played before the match received.  Quipped Jimmy "I'd have been better off playing the cornet".

This latest My Dog Sighs mural is a collaboration with Snub23 although there's no transformer style robots to be seen.  The wall, despite the T*sco sign, belongs to

Another feather in Portsmouth's cap

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