When even Jim Farry blocked a royal postponement


25 years ago, Scotland were due to play a World Cup qualification game against Belarus on the day of Princess Diana’s funeral.  The SFA, then run by chief exec Jim Farry, the same man who was eventually removed from office for delaying Celtic’s registration of Jorge Cadete, decided the game should proceed as planned.

Whatever you think of Farry, he acted without concern for the royalist contingent.  Despite the SFA’s offices being vandalised and Scottish Secretary, Donald Dewer, applying political pressure, Farry dug in:   ”We have taken heed of the various viewpoints, but let’s be reasonable about this, life does and must go on.”

He did not act alone, the SFA International Committee were involved, and they included Celtic’s Jack McGinn, and the Greatest Football Administrator the world has ever known, Campbell Ogilvie!  This was a strange time in Britain, maybe the strangest few weeks of the last century.

Royalists were split between backers of the self-styled Queen of Hearts (honestly), and those in the minority, who sided with the actual Queen.  The Queen, a bit like Farry, held out as long as she could against the indulgent wallowing infecting millions, by resisting calls to lower flags to half-mast.

Before the end of the week, royal flags were lowered and the Scotland game was postponed.  Those of us who never took an interest in royalty were often heard saying “Let’s be reasonable about this”, but were largely ignored.

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  1. Gerry


    They would be keeping up with tradishun if they weren’t cheating in one way or another, maybes if they had paid their taxes her maj could have afforded better medical treatment, so they basically killed her >:)

  2. TET 3.05pm






    Aye .. they all love their monarchs but happy at evading their taxes



    Cheating is in their DNA

  3. 79caps on 11th September 2022 3:11 pm





    Davie Provan?




    fanadpatriot on 11th September 2022 3:12 pm








    Sorry gentlemen, but no.

  4. Hot Smoked, I grew up in The Jungle (although it was always called the Hayshed in our house). Imo (although age may be deceiving me) you have it right. The Celtic End was always where the singing was loudest. I associate especially with Celtic Cha cha cha.

  5. !!Bada Bing!! on 11th September 2022 3:32 pm



    George Connolly and Bobby Graham





    Well done. You have won 2 tickets for the return game V Madrid. Well, you will if you can say what connects these two games.







  6. !!BADA BING!! on 11TH SEPTEMBER 2022 3:32 PM


    George Connolly and Bobby Graham




    Made me think of the game (1976 I think) when we lost 3-2 at Motherwell. I’m sure we were winning 2 nil. Pretty grim scenes at the end, with loads of bottles flying around the terrace.


    Scullybhoy, I’m guessing you’re younger than the average poster on here😉

  7. scullybhoy on 11th September 2022 3:38 pm






    Sorry, I didnt copy the attachment correctly last time.





    And then did the wrong link again!



    Here is the correct one – I hope.




  8. Astonished to see the numbers turning out to see the coffin and pay respects on a motorway.



    Just drove from Dunfermline to St Andrews up the motorway and the number of Union Jack festooned death tourists of all ages was incredible. To think that some of these folk, waiting hours for a glimpse of a hearse, actually probably hold down normal jobs is weird.



    It felt like a Monty python sketch.

  9. ziggydoc1 on 11th September 2022 3:45 pm



    !!BADA BING!! on 11TH SEPTEMBER 2022 3:32 PM



    George Connolly and Bobby Graham




    Made me think of the game (1976 I think) when we lost 3-2 at Motherwell. I’m sure we were winning 2 nil. Pretty grim scenes at the end, with loads of bottles flying around the terrace.



    Scullybhoy, I’m guessing you’re younger than the average poster on here😉





    I am younger than I look. My wife and daughters cannot understand the love of Celtic – they think it is a sign of immaturity but it keeps me young at heart.

  10. Queen still in Edinburgh on Tuesday.Not enough police to cover both.


    How many police does it take to organize people going in and out of St Giles.Not as if their will be trouble.


    Oh wait.The quintessential British followers of Der Hun,might be on grief patrol dishing out punishment to non shirt renders,and sobbers.The Police will need to be on hand to help them,


    Dish out the punishment.

  11. bigrailroadblues on

    Good afternoon all from Grant’s Bar. Stuck here cos Leggy wants to watch the Queens cortege taking a bodyswerve around Bo’ness. Which most dead people do.

  12. Ernie



    “Is it any less rational than watching football?”





    Patently- yes!



    With football – you don’t know the score in advance- there is a competitive element.



    When you watch.a hearse you know that Death is the winner already- she is not coming back.

  13. !!Bada Bing!! on 11th September 2022 4:08 pm



    Highest attendences?








    Right, I’m logging off now as I see Mind Control Police has arrived.



    WeeFlounce CSC

  14. Hotsmoked jinkyredstar



    Wee question..


    Re Celtic end.


    From my time going at the Celtic end


    As it rose to go to the back rafters


    There was a 10 foot flat section


    Then the rise to the back would continue.


    It was a flat section,we used to call it the rise.



    As in meet you at the rise,left of 5 or whatever number.



    When it got busy,games v deidyins real Madrid European games stowed


    V Hearts Aberdeen you would know Att:21,000 would be a wee porky lol



    Did you have a name of ‘bit’ you stood at ?



    Just asking as back in my das day going to see Celtic was a way of relaying messages to someone,to maybe go home,bad news etc









    It’s 22 people kicking a bag of air around a field. There’s nothing objectively rational about watching it. But people enjoy it, find meaning and a sense of community in it, and draw comfort from it. Maybe others feel the same about watching a funeral cortege for a head of state. Not my cup of tea but each to their own.