One thing about listening to former footballers is that most now feel free to tell wee “inside stories” from their time in the game.
Former Scotland captain Colin Hendry was in Dundee in July, the latest version of The Longest Forty Production company’s “An Audience With . . .”
Of course, Colin descriptively went through the main highlights of his career, such as scoring a Wembley cup final winner, winning the top league in England, lifting the treble in Scotland, and captaining his country in a World Cup opener.
But it’s the other wee tales which always tickle me.
Such as . . . On the day Albert Kidd came on as a substitute at Dens Park to deny Hearts the 1986 title, Colin was given the Man of the Match accolade.
His ‘prize’ was a case of the sponsors fare – 12 bottles of Whyte & Mackay whiskey. Colin said it just didn’t feel right (or safe) walking from Dens down to his flat in nearby Ogilvie Street carrying all this liquor.
Such as . . . Peter Reid not fancying him at all when manager at Manchester City and couldn’t wait to let him go (back to Blackburn).
It turned out to be the best thing that could ever happen as Kenny Dalglish’s revolution at Ewood Park was just beginning – and the rest is history.
He also said that Reid is now one of his best friends, and has admitted letting him go was a mistake.
Such as . . . The ‘brilliant” decision to wear kilts before the World Cup opener v Brazil in France in 1998, and going across to both Scotland and Brazil fans. It was a real crowd-pleaser and a brilliant publicity stunt.
Such as . . . Nothing was really planned in advance for a party after the match as Blackburn Rovers clinched the league title.
So Dalglish took the players and wives to an upstairs lounge in his mate’s pub in Preston.
Downstairs, a version of The Four Tops were performing.
It wasn’t long until punters, who had paid up to £100 a head, were watching the Blackburn players singing on stage with the Motown legends.
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That was how they celebrated winning the title.
Such as . . . Signing for Dundee after growing up in a wee Highland town called Keith, population under 5,000.
It was a completely different planet living in a city with a completely different language.
He remembers it was all eh, meh, peh, skeh, bah – really just the full-on ingin ane ana syndrome!