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. Not for all I understand, but interesting in its’ own right that it is Lord McFall of Alcluith, formerly John McFall of the Rock, Teacher, and Labour MP, and now Lord Speaker, who is delivering the address to the King at Westminster Hall this morning.

  2. ERNIE LYNCH @ 8:56 AM,



    Yes, rather curious those who dissect the minutea of a football Club and every football match past, present and future, finds it curious that some may be obsessed by the death of a monarch and head of state.



    Football for some is more real than death, the establishment and politics, fine, but the fact is not understanding that shows a lack of self awareness.



    Aff oot



    Hail Hail

  3. Jeopardy is one of many significant differentiators between being part of a collective watching football and watching a hearse take a dead body on its journey. It fairly simple. The jeopardy of a game of football is part of its attraction.



    There is a view that a following behind a football team can also play a part in influencing they outcome, less likely though that a following can influence an outcome Re the hearse.



    Apologies if my attempt at humor came across as an insult. That was not intended.

  4. Ernie



    Completely different topic but given your view / concerns Re our current chief custodian at Celtic ( tax issues and others ) which clearly make you come across a wee bit bitter to me about the club I am curious as to your views about Willie Maley and his paradoxical position and beliefs. Many see Willie as a Celtic legend despite these.

  5. Pressure on to cancel EPL games again, due to lack of police available is the reason, be prepared…….

  6. Cancelling games last weekend had no apparent logic. Next weekend would be more arguable.


    If it is to do with police numbers then it could affect EPL/EFL but shouldn’t affect SPFL – can’t see Scottish polis being sent south.



    If the real reason that last weekend was cancelled due to fears of failed minute’s silences then there can’t be any at any stage going forward.



    Minute’s applause is better as it is not as obvious that it is not being observed by those who have no connection to the event

  7. !!bada bing!!



    Was wondering if our game, away to St Mirren on Sunday is likely to go ahead. If not, and with an International break the following weekend our next SPL match would be at home to Motherwell Saturday October 1st. I personally do not have any problem with that as such, but serves only to stress even moreso just how important our game in Warsaw on Wednesday actually is.

  8. One major benefit of our game being cancelled on Saturday is that it afford total focus for the squad on the more critical game of our season so far.



    A minimum of a point in Warsaw is needed IMO.


    A point would keep us alive with CL last 16 an option until at least game 5 regardless of any other outcomes. A defeat really heaps the pressure on us to avoid propping up the group.



    Wednesday is massive and having been to Donetsk twice ending in defeat each time I am hoping a change of scenery can make it 3rd time lucky. Heading over with hope in our hearts.



    The momentum and energy behind Shakhtar will make this a really tough assignment. This extra few days focus for our management and team could be the difference.

  9. BURNLEY78 on 12TH SEPTEMBER 2022 10:37 AM



    Watching the dead body of a monarch passing in a hearse is like making love to a beautiful women – you stay up all night trying to find a good spot but other people have got there before you and you end up feeling like you want to cry.



    Swiss Tony CSC

  10. ERNIE LYNCH on 12TH SEPTEMBER 2022 9:30 AM



    AN TEARMANN on 11TH SEPTEMBER 2022 9:21 PM



    ‘David low has a good twitter tl on it’




    What does it say? His twitter feed is protected.





    This is the article it’s based on






    Portent of doom,me thinks I can’t get into his tl at mo.



    Anyway got to go making gingerbread coffin shapes in honour of our Cults leader and to partake in the big Cults bowing and doffing to lizzie of wealth.



    Do you still think the snp’s cult is a patch on the induced and sick shoit on show round about from your favoured cult




  11. Last Thursday night my wife and I decided it was time to get out of dodge.



    We live in a house overlooking Holyrood Park and there was already a stream of pilgrims heading towards the palace.



    A quick phonecall and early on Friday morning we were on our way to a remote holiday home by the sea. There is no TV, only a radio. Thank goodness for Radio 4 Extra and audio books.



    We have enjoyed long walks and the nearest pub which is 4 miles away with a lounge devoid of a TV screen. On visits to tbe bar and the gents I caught glimpses of aerial shots of the convoy passing through the countryside. Thanfully that has been the sum total of my royal viewing since the announcement on Thursday.



    We will be back home on Wednesday in time to watch Celtic in Poland.



    Have we missed much?

  12. Mild Colonial Bhoy on

    As one of the old brigade can I just add my tuppenceworth to the debate about the passion of the Celtic End v The Jungle. I started going to games in the 1960/61 season and there is absolutely no doubt that in that year and right into the real glory years the Celtic End was where the singing and noise came from. in those days games V Rangers saw the crowds being split almost 50/50. So when the huns came to Celtic Park almost half of the Jungle was occupied by the away support. That emphasised the need for the real passionate fans to occupty the terracing behind the goals. My youngest brother’s first Rangers game was in January 1968. A “sensible” uncle took him to the quieter Jungle rather than the raucous Celtic End. It was not until a few years after the new Jungle roof was built that the more passionate fans started to head for the Jungle, attracted by the new TV gantry being sited there rather than above the old Stand. That meant that the singing came through clearer on TV. This was also around the time when You’ll Never Walk Alone started to be accepted as a Celtic standard.


    Parkheadcumsalford- Like you I recall the Jungle being called the Hayshed although I never used that term myself.