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Meet The Netley Boys - One at a time

A monthly, light-hearted interview with a member of NATA.  

Please note - these views expressed in these interviews only reflect those of the individual concerned, and do not represent NATA as a whole.  This is the only section of the site where club football is mentioned - if you are likely to be offended by this, please don't read on.

October 2001: Ally (The Grey Man)

Nothing like Cappielow - Roi Badouin in Brussels, see Q3 Pub Medyk, Bydgoszcz - everything Ally looks for in a pub (see Q4) John Robertson - best Scotland player ever seen?  See Q9 Angelina Jolie - dream woman?  Not a patch on Jo Brand - see Q22


1. First home and away matches? 
First home game was Scotland v East Germany at Hampden in October '82. (Jim Leighton's debut). I sang 'til I lost my voice and we won 2-0 with goals from Sturrock and Wark.

First away match was Holland v Scotland in Birmingham, Euro '96. At the last minute we heard the SFA were returning tickets due to lack of demand, so we joined the Travel Club and got tickets for both Holland and Switzerland. 


2. Best away trip? 
All of them! Though the Poland friendly in Bydgoszcz '01 probably shades it overall. This was the first trip we organised planes, trains and hotels for ourselves - instead of buying a package out of some travel agent. We also had our 'rite-of-passage' on this trip, missing the last train back from the u21s and finding ourselves stuck in a different town to the one where our hotel and bags were, whilst being seriously inebriated and unable to speak a word of Polish... (It must have been a Scotsman that invented Taxis). 


3. Best foreign stadium visited? 
Not counting Villa Park and Wembley I've only been to six away grounds - and most of them were like Cappielow! King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels comes top so far. 


4. Best foreign pub/club visited? 
I don't tend to remember the names to be honest - and they all merge into one after a couple of shandies. Personally I like to be able to get to the bar to buy a drink, have a seat, nice cosy atmosphere - but the main ingredient is a splash of friendly local colour and a good sing-song. Kind of like the Pub Medyk in Bydgoszcz. 


5. Describe your usual match-day attire
This is under constant evolution, but the essentials are:-
Kilt (ancient Maciver hunting)
Hairy Sporran (to make up for having a small... umm... chin)
Football shirt (Scotland, opposition or local club team) with trip and year on the back,
(or, of course, the Netley Abbey T-Shirt)
Tam O' Shanter with Seaforth's badge and red hackle. 


6. Is there anywhere you have seen Scotland play that you would like to go back to? 
Bordeaux and Prague. Definitely:
Bordeaux 'cos we were only there for a day-and-a-half.
Prague 'cos we were only there for a week... 


7. Where have you have seen Scotland play that you would NOT like to return to? 
London. I didn't feel welcome at all for the Euro 2000 play-offs and frankly I'd rather go places where we don't get turned away from pubs for wearing kilts. Birmingham during Euro 96 was fantastic, so this isn't an anti-English thing. To be honest, the second worst place to watch Scotland is probably Glasgow... 


8. And where do you want to go to (but haven't yet)?
Russia don't play in St Petersburg, so the only way I'll get there is without Scotland - unless Russia host the European Championships or World Cup one day. I also want to see Iceland, and footie or not I'm going to Rome sometime. It'd be good to go and visit Mirza in Sarajevo too... 


9. Who's the best Scottish player that you have actually seen? 
John Roberston. (Nottingham Forest). In my opinion he was the last in a magical line of traditional Scottish wingers. As a kid it looked to me like he won the League, League Cup and European Cup (twice) single handedly. My eyes also go moist when I think back to seeing all those other Scotland greats - Willie Miller, Alex McLeish, Jim Leighton, Gordon Strachan... 


10. Who's the best opposing player you have actually seen? 
I loved Peter Beardsley, he played the game like his life depended on it, and he did say some nice things about the Tartan Army once. I often wondered if maybe the Scotland/England border should have been a little bit south of Newcastle...Nah forget it, I forgot about Shearer, Gascoigne and Waddle. 


11. Who would you most like to see succeed Craig Brown? 
Very topical question right now - I might be the last NATA member asked this one! Personally I'd like Craig Brown to stay. He's done a great job with the players he's been able to select and he's earned some great results over the years. If Craig doesn't continue in the job it really should go to the most qualified candidate - Sir Alex Ferguson. 


12. Favourite Scottish home and away kits of all time? 
Home - World Cup qualifiers for France '98. I love the white stripes on the sleeve and the red piping. Smart. Even made Doddsie look the part.
Away - The bright yellow one with red trim and a full-on red lion rampant right across the chest, as worn at Bannockburn 1314! Oh sorry, I must have dreamed that one up... 


13. … And your least favourite? 
Home - never liked the one with the hoops. (Mexico 86?) The shorts were horrendous!
Away - the one with the purple and blue 'lightning bolt' down the front is a bit embarrassing, but worst is that 'hidden image' one, made up of thousands of wee pink, yellow and purple shapes. Italia 90 I think. 


14. What is your favourite and least favourite Scotland chant/song? 
Favourite Scotland song is Happy Hooligans, though the Twa Recruiting Sergeants is a close second. These aren't really sung on the terraces though, so best chant/song has to be 'Doe a Deer'. I know everyone's a bit brassed off with it now, but once they've had a couple of 'refreshments' they always sing along. My most hated is the one they came up with after 85 minutes in our crucial and final World Cup qualifying match against Norway in '89. It's simply a continuous WOOOOOOOOO that I call the 'Hampden Moan'. Guys it doesn't help. It just sounds like we're crapping ourselves, and sure enough it encouraged Norway to score a late equaliser, (from about 40 yards!). It didn't make the ref blow his whistle any earlier, and it nearly cost us our place in Italia 90. 


15. Which have been the highest and lowest points of supporting Scotland? 
Highest high was Coisty's goal against Switzerland in Birmingham during Euro 96 - I thought we were going through. I was in the very back row of the Holt Stand and absolutely battered the cladding behind me - BANG, BANG, BANGBANGBANG, BANGBANGBANGBANG, and the entire stand roared SCOTLAND! Then I started singing 'Super Ally, Super Ally' until gradually the boys round me joined in, and then the whole stand was singing that too.

Lowest low was the long walk back to the pub after this same game when we realised we were out. Totally gutted. Having friendly English guys coming up to you in the street to offer genuine consolation is kind of a surreal experience. Cheers lads, it meant a lot...
(But I'd still have been happier if Holland had beaten you!). 


16. Favourite domestic stadium? 
Best is Ibrox by a mile - Parkhead looks grand 'til you get up close, but check the details and you can see its all been done on the cheap. (Also, no new stadium should have columns holding the roof up).

But you said 'favourite', not 'best', so it has to be Pittodrie. 


17. Best domestic match ever attended? 
Celtic 1 Aberdeen 3. 12/2/83. 40,000 rabid screaming green and white fans and an Eric Black hat-trick, as Aberdeen leap-frog Celtic to go top of the League. Magic! This was back in the days when it was okay for fans to run out of the 'Jungle' and assault Gordon Strachan. (I wonder what would happen now if I tried it on Henryk Larssen...?) 


18. Favourite chant/song heard at a domestic match?
"I'd rather shag a sheep than Mrs Mols" Absolutely heartless stuff from the Aberdeen fans, which I don't condone in any way, shape or form, (its dead funny though). I also heard girls singing the variation "I'd rather shag a sheep than Michael Mols" - for obvious reasons... 


19. Best domestic pub/club? 
Quick sponsorship opportunity for Filthy McNasties in Aberdeen - excellent sports pub with big screens and friendly atmosphere. (That'll be a free pint on the house then).

I also love Cafe 52 in the Green. It might not appeal to most, but it makes me feel like I'm on holiday. (And that'll be a free lunch too).

Then there was the Bayview in Brora when George Rapson had it circa 1982... Ah nostalgia. Total shit hole now though. (And that'll probably be a good kicking...)


20. What are your pet hates? 
Rangers fans waving Union Flags, Celtic fans waving Irish Tricolors, English commentators, Manchester United, Champions League, Roger Mitchell, James Traynor, Gardner Speirs, Chic Young, Gordon Smith, Jim Whyte, Daily Record, Sunday Mail, Scotsport, Sportscene, Sky, EBC, people saying England when they mean Britain, people saying Britain when they mean England, Trevor McDonald, (Don't patronise me, I'm not six years old!), Stadiums (Its STADIA ya bas! Stop dumbing down the populace), and having such a big bloody chip oan my shoodir. (Well, you did ask). 

21. What makes you chuckle? 
Replays of Maradona's 'Hand of God' goal. The commentators needed five or six replays before they saw the handball - they thought Shilton was appealing for off-side. And they still had the audacity to criticise the ref for not seeing it! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. 


22. You're stranded on a remote island in the Hebrides. Before the ship went down you managed to salvage some belongings (to help you pass the time until you're rescued) including…
First up, I'd knock on the door of the nearest but'n'ben and say "Hi, my uncle Roddie 'Goosey' was your maths teacher at the Nicholson - we might even be related. Any chance of a shot o' yer phone?" Failing that...

1 book? Single persons guide to the Karma Sutra.
1 magazine? Haggis Supper.
1 album? Metallica (Black Album). I know, I know, its when they went all commercial, but its only 'commercial' 'cos its so good. Stop being such a thrash-metal snob! Jeeez...
1 film? 1983 Cup Winners Cup Final video.
1 beer? Krombacher, chilled, with a small stemmed glass.
1 spirit? A bottle of Lagavulin please.
And 1 famous member of the opposite sex ? Jo Brand. Carefully skinned and gutted she could probably keep me alive for up to six months... (I would have said Angelina Jolie, (for different reasons), but she's too scary now and anyway, Sue might read this!).


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