Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Harry - with two r's

With the possible exception of seeing a banana climb onto the Portrush via Portstewart bus on Friday evening, my favourite image of last weekend was that of my dad (below right) and his old sparring partner Harry McNeill jointly putting the world to rights in the wonderful place that is The Railway Arms.    

Harry and my dad have known each other for a very long time.

Harry refereed in the local leagues during the period when my father was chairman of Macosquin Football Club. 

And whilst my dad has never liked football referees, at that time he really, really didn't like football referees (until the whistle blew when, to be fair, he usually bought them a pint).   

But Harry and my father are now good friends and, during their conversation over more drink than any of us really needed, Harry's role at the centre of my favourite ever football story came up. 

He was refereeing a Balmer Cup match in Macosquin to which he had given one of the players a lift beforehand. 

That player was called John Platt (and still is) and, in his day, was something of a firebrand once he crossed the white line.  

During the match in question, Mr Platt took it upon himself to kick an opposing player into a hedge, prompting Harry to call him over. 

"Name?"  asked referee Harry.

"Platt - with two t's," spat Mr P. 

"Right," replied Harry calmly, "off - with two f's." 

Do they really make them like that any more? 

No comments:

Post a Comment