A selection from recent mailbags.

naming rights

Dear NTV,
I quite enjoy international football for a whole load of different reasons, not least being the Italian innovation of including the player’s least effective feature above his number.

They’re obviously phasing this in because it seems to be only trialled by one player, but it clearly has potential. Not pointing any fingers at anybody in particular but ‘Inattentive’, ‘Slow’, ‘Gormless’ and for those that like the double barrelled names, ‘Lazy-Bastard’ are some rather obvious traits that quickly spring to mind.

Yours etc.
Indolent (my least endearing trait)


Dear NTV,

During the transfer speculation silly season last year I noticed that it was being reported that many of our top stars were being linked with moves to teams that began with the letters ‘Br’ (e.g Edouard to Brighton, Ajer to Brentford).

It got me wondering where some of our lesser lights might have ended up. I quickly ruled out Brussia Dortmund and Brussia Moenchengladbach before getting to Bransley, Bruton Albion, Bruy and, er, Brum City.

More likely were Brondby and Bradford City, although there was one other that came to mind. Bromsgrove Rovers.

Now here’s a thing. They went into administration and then went bust back in season 2010-11. They quickly formed a new club called Bromsgrove Sporting FC and the really funny part is they play at the same ground and don’t claim to be the same club. They refer to themselves as a ‘successor club’. Can you believe that? Ridiculous.

They don’t appear to have some random number that their supporters get tattooed on their bodies and talk about at every opportunity either.

They’re clearly missing a trick there. I’m going to write to them and suggest that they use the slogan ‘It’s coming 66’ this season. That should hype things up. Then we can donate Brolingoli and Brakas to them.

Yours etc

billy the fish

Dear NTV
As a one time reader of Viz comic back in the day, you can imagine how thrilled I was last season when I tuned into the Europa League quarter final between Manchester United and Granada.

Sitting on the home team’s bench that night was the one and only Billy the Fish, erstwhile half boy half fish goalkeeper of Fulchester United.

Never give up on your dream kids.

Yours etc.
Tommy Brown


Dear NTV,

I notice that you haven’t had an inductee into your Crypt for a while now but if you ever intend to re-open it might I be so bold as to nominate Alex Rae for entry.

He would appear to fit most of the citeria as far as I can fathom them: he has a face that wouldn’t look out of place halfway up a cathedral, he was a mediocre player who made a name for himself as a bit of a clogger (who could forget his attempt at leaving one on Aiden McGeady that saw him left with no front teeth?) and he is a staunch defender of everything that oozes out of Ibrox – both incarnations.

Rae seems to be one of the media’s go-to rent-a-gubs at the moment when they’re looking for a comment on Scottish football. For someone who can barely string two coherent sentences together he has done well getting gigs on TV and radio where you would think that stringing coherent sentences together would be an essential requirement of the job.

His remarks about Scott Brown lacking dignity at the end of the 2:1 victory against the zombies suggest that memory loss could also be added to his inarticulacy. This’ll be the same dignity shown by Rae when he was trousering a £569,000 EBT complete with hidden side letter, or maybe the dignified way he had to serve a five match UEFA ban for booting a CSKA Moscow player in the head during a Champions League game (needless to say in true Rangers fashion it was appealed at first even though the TV evidence was as clear as day).

But if anything screams dignity at you then surely it must be the fact that he is willing to take part in this:

If nothing else gets him into the Crypt then it should be for this alone.

Yours etc.

Gary Doyle
by email

the walking read

Dear NTV,

While browsing through Amazon the other day I came across this title, which bills itself as a ‘self help classic’.

I’m not at all familiar with James Allen, but his co-author rings a bell. If anyone should be familiar with the (non) thinking process of zombies then it’s Chris Graham.

Yours etc.
George Romero
by email

staunch of the antarctic

Dear NTV,

Bowler hats off to this guy who completed an ultra marathon in minus 25 temperature wearing his brogues. That’s the kind of staunchness that ought to guarantee him a regular spot on Clyde Superscoreboard.

“I’m going for a short walk… I may be some time… pass me my brogues.”

Captain Oats Loyal

what’s that coming over the hill?

Dear NTV,

I saw this tweet from the American current affairs site ‘The Hill’ which features a photograph that identifies somebody in the audience at a Trump confirmation hearing as a ‘protestor dressed as “swamp creature.’”

I would swear that it’s none other than occasional Sky Sports pundit Kenny Miller – not dressed up as anything.

Yours etc.
The Creature From The Green Lagoon

vision on

Dear NTV,

Your feature on Lorenzo Amoruso (NTV 264) had me trawling through my scrapbook to find a story about the great man that appeared in The Sun a few years ago. March 15 2014 to be exact.

The fact that she was Jimmy Krankie’s sister-in-law just adds a certain appropriateness to this story – Ed

Jean Tough was declared brain dead (not because she was a Rangers fan, although that

might have been a contributory factor) and was in a coma for six days before recovering.

To quote from the story: “Gers daft Jean… said: ‘I didn’t see a tunnel of white light or anything like that. Instead I kept thinking I had seen Lorenzo Amoruso stepping out of a taxi and I had slipped in the street because he’s such a good looking man.’”

Personally I suspect she’s more likely to have been the victim of a sneaky trip from behind by the Italian meatball.

The Sun managed to get a quote from the publicity-shy Rangers leg-end as well: “The footie hunk (they actually used that phrase) said, ‘I’m glad I may have been a help to her in some small way… It’s great news she’s been given a second chance at life.’”

You just know he was dying to add, “Thanks to Lorenzo.”


strip the titles

Dear NTV,

The story about Saracens Rugby club is seismic for English rugby but the authorities showed our spineless Hampden mob what can be done when they walloped the offenders with a £5 million fine and docked them 36 points. It was as tough a sanction as they could impose under their regulations. They might yet strip them of some titles, but even if they don’t those titles are tainted.

A number of titles and trophies were “won” by RFC by a means not open to other clubs. That means required breaking registration rules, but LNS said there was nothing dishonest in their motivation.

No football supporter accepted that at the time and events since 2013 show what the motivation was and that key information in terms of honesty was not presented to LNS.

I think the heat would go from the ongoing discussion if supporters of the Newco would recognise those titles were dishonestly earned and surrender them.

Failing that the SFA SPFL should revisit LNS and state what anyone who does investigate the LNS Commissioning concludes, ie dishonesty was at play and asterisk the titles. Then I suspect most folk would move on.

It’s not the claim to be the same club that rankles. It is the refusal to accept the seriousness of the wrongdoing since 2000 for what it is. An era of rule breaking of such a degree that removal of titles is an act of kindness as opposed to being banished from the game entirely.

Finally what keeps the matter bubbling away is the suspicion that if “Rangers” and its supporters are okay with hanging on to ill-gotten gains, what is to deter them from continuing with the same attitude and behaviour in the future?

Of course Rangers supporters want to be the same club with the same history, but the failure to be totally honest about that history is just wanting your cake and eating it.
That really rankles and I bet if the shoe was on the other foot they would feel the same.

Ray Jing

racing mad

Dear NTV

Like most of your readers of a certain age I still have no time for Racing Club but I have to hand it to their supporters for being utter fanatics. I hope the daughter grows up to see them get relegated!

Don Smith,
by email

dig a hole and Bury them

Dear NTV,

The following poem was in Poetry Corner of a recent issue (issue 1504) of Private Eye.

Replace Bury with Rangers and this could be about a (former) Scottish club.

In memoriam
Bury Football Club

So. Farewell
Then Bury FC,
You are dead
What’s the word?
Oh, yes…

No people are
On the pitch,
They think it’s
All over.
It is now.

Perhaps Bury is the olde English for Rangers?

Pete Laureate

medieval rob

Dear NTV

I recently saw an item on the BBC website which claimed that scientists had reconstructed the face of a medieval man found in Aberdeen. I just assumed it was Rob McLean.

Piltdown man,

top of the pops

Dear NTV,

With the Tones reaching the top of the charts in Ireland singing an old rebel favourite, I was intrigued to see on a recent edition of Good Morning Britain that it’s a fad that looks as if it’s catching on.

“Here’s Colin to sing – with you all I hope – The Boys of the Old Brigade.”

Yours etc.
A Freeman (Pop Pickers)
by email

vowel please carol

Dear NTV,
I can’t believe we seem to be trying to find players with the silliest names in world football to replenish our squad.

After the signings of Klimala (who sounded like a sexually transmitted disease), Bolingoli and Ajeti I was seriously worried about vowel overloads. The good old consonant was disappearing as if carol Vorderman had never existed.

Not since the days of us trying to sign Davie Weir and having a back line of Weir, Tebily, Scheidt has such silliness occurred.

Soppy, Boey and Starfelt were all reported as targets recently. Really? Brandon (Flowers), Sacha (Distel) and Liberace looked to be on their way to join us as well.

Add Liel Abada, another man with more vowels than consonants in his name to our manager (whose name could be an anagram of absolutely anything!) and we could be in for a real treat with new sayings and songs. The days of aw naw, no Annoni oan noo annaw are coming back!

PS – Even french Eddie’s surname started off with four vowels out of five letters. I mean, what’s going on here?

by email


Dear NTV,
Having logged in to the Politics for All site in the wake of the takeover of Kabul my attention was caught by the attached picture (below).

Has Martin O’Neill come out of retirement to take up a post as manager of the Taliban?

“Extraordinary… extraordinary!” as he probably wouldn’t say himself.

Yours captivated,
Terry Waite
The desert

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