Show Your Hand


When I grew up everyone knew about Thalidomide, a drug given to prevent morning sickness in expectant mothers, which caused severe limb abnormalities in the child.  The drug was used for only a short period, so those suffering from the condition are all of a certain age.

The condition is both very recognisable and rare, so there is a good chance you will have noticed Gerry Cleary (above) at a Celtic game at some point.  When I was a boy I saw him at Love St and heard about the scandal later that night from my (animated) mother. There was a fresh news story only yesterday, detailing the history of one uncompensated victim.

Gerry is part of a campaign by Thalidomide sufferers to raise awareness of the condition and put pressure on the drug’s developer, Chemie Grunenthal, to compensate UK victims.  On this occasion, you are not being asked to put your hands in your pockets, you’re being asked to register your support of the Show Your Hand campaign.

Gerry explains the campaign below:

“My name is Gerry Cleary, I am a 51 year old Celtic supporter from East Kilbride who was born with a condition called Thalidomide caused by a so called wonder drug manufactured by a German pharmaceutical company, Chemie Grunenthal.

“There is currently a major awareness campaign underway to put pressure on this company to face up to their responsibilities, finally apologise and compensate all thalidomers affected by their actions over 50 years ago.

“I know being a hoops fan all my life and following the team all over Europe our club is open to all and our fans second to none, and all I ask is the Celtic family to show their support by logging on to our campaign website www.showyourhand.org which enables you to register your support.  It also details the history of the biggest pharmaceutical disaster in modern times and is both enlightening and informative.

“I look forward to your support.

Hail Hail !!!”

I know we can’t all afford to participate in the many needy causes we feature regularly here but we can all support this campaign, as can the club, I am sure.

Celtic’s Iron Man:

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  1. cliftonville celt from belfast praying for Oscar the wee legend on

    Think the best thing we could all do for the McCanns is say a prayer to ST. Anthony






    I hate international breaks

  2. .



    “The latest from simple Paul Brennan, whom we all know is the fetid conduit used by Lawwell to spout the vitriol he’s too scared to put his own name to”



    What follows is a transcript of the current article follow followed by a mix of vulgar hunnery, paranoia, and comedy gold!






    A Brilliant description of CQN..




  3. What is the Stars on

    Hand added



    I am roughly the same age and my mother was offered that poison also for morning sickness


    Luckily she declined


    Of such random choices are lives determined



    Go easy on the McCanns,they have suffered enough over an unlucky choice they made

  4. .



    Great Article Paul67..



    l Have 2 Thalidomide Cousins because of this Drug..Who the Government said were NOT Thalidomide..Both their Mother and Father just gave up Fighting and went to their grave with next to No help but still raised 2 Great people..



    Thalidomide is still widely used in Many Many Countries..as a Drug for Myeloma where ‘Experts’ say it is Worth the Risk..



    Thanks again for Highlighting this..




  5. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on

    Afternoon all,



    Gordon J if you are around can you contact me re Photos from the CQN Gold day — cheers!

  6. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on

    Gold day means Golf day obviously — but if we have a Gold day then count me in!!!

  7. Gerry in article above was at Primary with my sister.



    Good Hoop.



    If i remember correctly he named his twin sons Charlie and Nicholas.



    : > )

  8. 7 – 1



    Eleven players of Celtic Football Club did more in 90 minutes at Hampden Park on Saturday for the good of football than officialdom, in whose hands the destiny of the game lies, has done in years and years. For with a display of such grandeur as has rarely graced the great vast ground, they proved conclusively the value of concentration on a discipline and on the arts and crafts of the game, to the exclusion of the so-called power play which has indeed been a disfiguring weakness in the sport but which has frequently been accredited through the international honours to the “strong”-men.



    Brilliant Fernie



    So devastating and effect had Fernie, the forward turned wing half, on Rangers, who before the rout on Saturday were still considered as difficult opposition as could be found in the length and breadth of the football land, that the Scottish international selectors must surely now be considering whether they should destroy forthwith the impression that certain players are indispensable for future internationals and build their sides around this wonderful footballer who achieves his purpose without the merest suggestion of relying on physique and who suffers the crude, unfair attempts of opponents to stop him without a thought for retaliation.



    Though Rangers Football Club may not immediately be in the mood to agree they surely cannot in the near future but to decide to change their policy on the field. I am not one who is going to charge their players of Saturday with the ultimate responsibility for the club’s humiliation, badly as most of them performed. The culprits are those who have, encouraged by results at the expense of method, not discouraged the ‘he-man’ type of game that has become typical of the side in recent years.



    I have seen Celtic teams in years gone by no better disciplined and no better equipped for their task from the point of skill than the present Rangers, but Celtic management have long since realised that constructive football will in the end receive the greater reqard.



    Other McPhail



    Not since their brilliant Coronation Cup days at Hampden have Celtic played football of such quality. One recalls that in the 1953 triumph, a slightly corpulent John McPhail played havoc with Arsenal, Manchester United and Hibernian through masterly control and passing of the ball; now the younger, slimmer, Billy McPhail has joined Fernie, Tully, and company in the bewildering of Rangers by the same admirable methods.


    Valentine, not long ago a commanding figure on this same ground, was a forlorn, bewitched centre half on Saturday, repeatedly beaten in the air and on the ground in a variety of ways and the disintegration of Rangers defence undoubtedly stemmed from McPhails mastery. But it did not begin with Valentines plight. Celtic reintroduced Mochan to outside left and that player seized his opportunity as if it were his last. His pace and penetrative dribbling and apparently new found zest for the game had Shearer in a dreadful dither almost from the first kick of the ball. So Shearer decided to test Mochan’s physical strength and straightaway was decisively beaten in that respect too. Thereafter McColl was so busily engaged as an extra right back that great gaps appeared on that side of the field.



    In the first twenty minutes Celtic might have scored at least four goals and indeed were inordinately unlucky not to score at least two when first Collins and then Tully hit the wood around Niven. Rangers first scoring effort was Murray’s in the 20th minute, but it was blocked by Evans, throughout a centre half of absolute competence.



    Three minutes later McPhail headed down to Wilson and the inside left, without waiting for the ball to touch the ground, bulged the back of the net from 12 yards. Before Mochan scored Celtic’s second the frantic leap of Nevin and again the crossbar stopped another 30 yard free kick driven with such power by Collins as a stranger would not associate with one of his stature.



    Fierce Shot,



    Mochan’s goal in the final minute of the half ended fittingly superb play by McPhail, who after engaging in a heading movement with Wilson, lofted the ball over Shearer to the galloping outside left, Shearer went full length in a desperate attempt to tackle and McColl was also stretched on the ground. Mochan cut in and from near the touchline hurtled his shot into the far corner of the net.



    Rangers began the second half with the wind in their favour and with the sun in the eyes of the Celtic defenders but alarmingly for their followers, with Murray a knee bandaged at outside left. Simpson at centre forward and Scott and Hubbarb forming the right wing. Murray, be it noted, had injured himself trying to tackle Evans from behind and been penalised for his pains.



    Soon Fernie was travelling half the length of the field again and running his opponents into the ground and it was a demoralised defence who lost the third goal, headed by McPhail when Collins crossed. Five minutes later Simpson with an exhilarating dive and header scored from McColls cross, it was noticable that that was the first chance permitted by Evans, who minutes earlier had been injured. Of that injury more will follow.



    Name Taken



    Baird soon afterwards had his name taken by the referee who apparently detected and infringement committed against Wilson, not obvious from the press box, and in the final 23 minutes McPhail (now toying with Valentine) Mochan, McPhail again, and Fernie from a penalty kick completed the humiliation.



    During that period, Nevin, Shearer and Valentine were so panic-stricken that any one of them might have joined the list of Celtic Goal scorers.



    The advantage of the tall goalkeeper over the short was never more clear than in this match. Beattie, whose chief worry was the harassing of opponents – I cannot recall a Celtic player making contact with Niven – gave his fellow-defenders confidence with perfect handling and timing of his interceptions. Donnelly continues to make a reputation ad the most promising back in Scotland, and Fallon again reduced the ill-supported Scott to a haplass young man, prominent after the firt 10 minutes only for unsuccessful attempts to provoke his stronger, wiser opponent.



    Never have I seen a Rangers so outclassed in half-back play, Fernie, Evans and Peacock were each in his own distinguished way tremendous players in everything but brawn and bulk.



    Tullys Feat



    No one Celt, however, but did not contribute handsomely to the team’s glorious day. The effect of the now restrained but clever as ever Tully should not be minimised. Perhaps only Fernie of all football players in Scotland could have emulated Tully’s first half feat of ball manipulation which enabled him to outwit Baird, Davis, Valentine and Caldow. Then, as his team-mates poised themselves for the chip back from the goal line, Tully struck like lightning with his right foot and the ball cannoned off the very edge of the near post, passed between Nevin and the goal line, and out of play beyond the far post. The goal of the century had been within a fraction of an inch of achievement.



    I have mentioned the injury to Evans. It occurred when the score was 3 – 0 and Baird was leading up to his caution. Baird had been admonished earlier for his treatment of Fernie, but when he brought down Evans after the centre half had dribbled round him the whole Celtic team stopped playing. Astonishingly Mr. Mowat waved the game on – one wonders if he had become obsessed with the use of the advantage rule and in a moment of aberation given the advantage to the offender – and Beattie had to make his save of the day as Murray promptly accepted the gift of a scoring chance.



    That was Mr. Mowat’s one mistake and he can be pardoned that in view of his excellent refereeing. Without a referee of his power of control we would almost certainly not have seen Celtic’s superb football.



    Written by Cyril Horne – The Glasgow Herald Oct. 21st. 1957



    Typo’s – all mine.

  9. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on

    Green Hand on the wall

  10. Hand added



    It is a coincidence that I have been making the point about student activism by students from Stirling University that stuck in my mind.



    In 1972, partying Stirling University students were demonized by the media for drunkenly protesting the Queen’s visit to the campus to celebrate the fifth birthday of the university.



    But these same students had, a few years earlier, been instrumental in forcing the Distillers Company Limited, which had distributed the drug Thalidomide in the UK, to compensate the victims of birth defects caused by the drug. In a high-profile public campaign the Stirling students drew up a blacklist of DCL products, naming products the company made ranging from whisky to yeast.



    The students of the University of Stirling did not get the credit they deserved for their actions but there is no doubt in my mind (memory) they were the first to go after DCL and then the papers joined in.



    So my impressions of students are positive ones. They take action and get results on important social issues even though they may appear to be more interested in partying.

  11. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Big Nan



    Maggie Mc Gill was at Stirling University … they are a bad lot




  12. Hand added. These were kids of my generation.


    I remember the outrage at the time, It’s so sad that a wealthy drug company has not done the right thing by those affected.


    Well done Paul for highlighting this tragedy.


    Only takes a minute, go on do it now ..

  13. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Summa- thalidomide is used in some countries for certain rare and life threatening conditions such as myeloma.



    Myeloma is a very unpleasant form of bone cancer for which there is no simple remedy and the use of thalidomide can be justified, in those cases where other treatments have failed.



    The drug was licensed in the UK by Dista [now part of Diageo]. The first compensation came after the Sunday Times campaign in 1968, which was increased again by Diageo in 2005.



    In Germany the drug was available over the counter from the late fifties onwards, to be used for a variety of conditions including anxiety and morning sickness. The first reports of birth defects in Germany [ at the time both East and West] were hampered by a reluctance of the Germans to register birth defects in children after the Third Reich’s policy of euthanasia for ‘defective children’.



    At the time the drug was launched there were fewer restrictions and regulatory hoops to go through before any new preparation could be launched on the market.

  14. Green hand added.



    Know Gerry very well. And he’s some chanter by the way!




  15. Aw Naw that sticks in my mind.



    My daughter also went to Stirling, graduated 1996. Ceremony was in the gym because the Hall was being used by Lord Cullen for the Dunblane inquiry.



    My lassie walked up to get her diploma just two or three people away from the lad who became a banker and was shot in Nairn.



    The press did go over the top about the bevvy at the royal visit. It was a birthday party after all. Her maj would have a few at lunch but the students had been on it all morning I think.

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