Advertisements

Posts Tagged ‘ George Best ’

Funniest Sports Quotes

sportsquotes

We have heard them all over the years but I must say that I did get a laugh from revisiting some of these classics. Some are just comments that haven’t been thought through, others are from sports people that probably still can’t see the funny side and others are just from those that are plain thick and yes Kevin Keegan does appear in the list more than once. Brian O’Driscoll once said that, ‘knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad’. Now that’s a good quote, see what you think of these and feel free to contribute any that you think would merit a mention.

Continue reading

Advertisements

The East- Incomparably Exquisite

Belfast offers a range of fascinating places to visit; from the beautiful landscape and surroundings of Cave Hill to the great architecture of the Odyssey Arena, Titanic Building and Victoria Square, to the hustle and bustle of St. George’s market. Although each area of Belfast has their own unique beauty and exciting destinations to explore.

East Belfast is rich in history and is evolving into the new hot spot for tourists and locals alike, to see some of the interesting attractions it has to offer.

If shopping is your thing, then why not visit one of the busy shopping areas in the East, like the Cregagh Road to the popular urban districts of the Newtownards Road and Ballyhackamore. This area encourages sitting back after a hard days shopping, with a creamy cappuccino in one the warm welcoming coffee houses, a pint in one of its established bars or some fabulous quirky but traditional cuisine in one of its restaurants such as as Horatio Todd’s. Or how about an afternoon of chocolate tasting in Aunt Sandra’s on the Castlereagh road.

East Belfast is known worldwide for it’s creation at Queen’s Island where shipbuilders, Harland & Wolff, built the iconic Titanic and where once many of Belfast’s working class men spent their days. For miles across the skyline you can see the giants of Samson and Goliath, twin shipbuilding cranes towering over the city. The area celebrates these great men and the infamous ship by remembering them with murals, such as the one on the Newtownards Road entitled the ‘Ship of Dreams’. A masterpiece that captivates the street.

One of East Belfast’s most iconic buildings is the Odyssey arena, home of the Belfast Giants; a complex packed with bars, nightclubs, a bowling alley and a concert hall, with many world renowned performers taking the stage over the years.

Another interesting activity, are the Mural Tours, where you can see the many famous faces of East Belfast, such as Chronicles of Narnia author CS Lewis and Northern Ireland Footballing Legend David Healy, depicted scoring the winning goal against England. Many of the murals highlight the dark days in Belfast’s history, from the people the East lost during the Troubles to the conflict between the communities. Although, one particular mural in East Belfast is a little better known than some of the rest, this mural shows the East’s greatest ever icon immortalised on a wall in the heart of the Cregagh Estate, where once this iconic figure called home. George Best, a footballing inspiration and a genius of the sport.

The Parliament Buildings of Stormont, home to the Northern Ireland Assembly, set in acres of luscious green landscape and steeped in history, are an ever popular attraction amongst locals and tourists. Events are held regularly on the grounds, although it is equally as pleasurable to go for an afternoon stroll.

Taking a walk around many of the East’s parks is definitely a great way to put your mind at ease, to relax with friends or enjoy a picnic.One such park, Cregagh Glen is an area of outstanding beauty and picturesque walks, with an array of wildlife and flowers living alongside the paths, head up to the waterfalls, enjoy the views and relish in the fact that this area of tranquillity is on your doorstep.

East Belfast is fast becoming a sophisticated cosmopolitan, with many fascinating things to see and do. So the next time you feel yourself at a loose end, embrace the East.

 

An Experience With The Hooleygan

Belfast has produced some iconic characters in its history, such as the Belfast boy George Best, lyrical genius Van Morrison and literary giant CS Lewis, but one stands out for me. A figure seen throughout the years as a master of the music world earning himself the privilege to be known as ‘The Godfather Of Punk.’ A man who set the music world alight and transformed the music scene in Belfast, the irrepressible Mr Terri Hooley.

I decided to find out from the man himself how he changed the scene in Belfast and how he has become an inspiration to up-and-coming talent in the city. Arriving at ‘Ireland’s poorest record shop,’ a quirky title Terri gave his new establishment, nerves started to rise in me. I finally get to meet the man responsible for some of my favourite music. This feeling did not last too long as Terri put me right at ease with his warm welcome and laid back attitude.

Terri began by talking about his childhood and the early years of his life, how he avidly collected any record he could get his hands on and how he listened to every genre of music. “Growing up with only pennies to my name, I had a big radio, that was God to me,” recalls Terri. ‘Good Vibrations’, an apt choice of name was Terri’s first record shop in Great Victoria Street, that kick-started his career in the music industry. Previously a small, derelict building, he moved in with good friend and TV company Northern Vision’s director David Hyndman. The business began growing in popularity amongst the music fanatics around the city and in no time at all, Terri’s instinctive enthusiasm and passion for music led him to his first encounter with Punk.

Terri remembers being “tortured by this little kid who mitched off school”, Gordy Owens. It was Owens who alerted Hooley about local hotspots called the ‘Pound’ and Harp Bar, that showcased local bands. Here Hooley first heard The Outcasts and Rudi, two Belfast punk bands whose thrashing lyrics made them successful groups throughout the 70’s and 80’s. “ When I first went down to see these bands, I thought the Outcasts were terrible”, little did he know that his opinion would quickly change.

As he got more involved with live music, Terri decided that Northern Ireland bands needed to be introduced to the rest of Britain. So he started his label, also called ‘Good Vibrations.’ “Big Time” by Rudi, was the first recording the label made. He soon signed The Outcasts, along with other bands such as The Tearjerkers and Protex.

The name Good Vibrations was slowly but surely escaping the shackles of the underground scene. More and more punk bands were come through the ranks and bringing with them their unique dress sense and nonchalant attitude. Terri was making a name for himself and was introduced to a young but determined band, The Undertones. A group of punks who wanted to show Belfast their style, realised Hooley was the man they had to grab the attention of. A demo tape from vocalist Feargal Sharkey was passed in Hooley’s direction.

Mixed emotions passed through Terri as he described how people responded to their demo. “ Every record company in London told me that the record was rubbish, but I thought there was something there.” How right was Terri to believe in such a young inexperienced band as they grew to world wide fame with their famous hard hitting ‘Teenage Kicks.’ After so many rejections, Hooley was discouraged. He was about to give up when a heavy potcheen drinking session with a friend, Ricky Flanagan, led him to London to meet John Peel. Peel loved the demo, taking several copies and became a real advocate of the song and band. For the first time in Radio 1 history, a song was played twice in a row.

The Undertones lyrics were beginning to be heard. Terri was overwhelmed as this record shot to fame and the band
made the deal with Sire Records in the USA. Terri still states, “I wasn’t in it for the money, I was trying to put Northern Ireland on the musical map.” Terri’s reputation grew from strength to strength in the 70’s and 80’s gaining the iconic title of ‘Godfather of Punk’, which still stands in today’s world.

Terri and I decided to go for a stroll around the city, that he made the world take notice of. He is one of those people that everyone wants to know, to talk to and to hang out with. He started telling me stories of stars he has met and partied with. Bob Marley being one of them,“He was a global superstar, my hero. I just love his music.” Even guitar legend, Jimi Hendrix. Probably his most famous, is his bust up with John Lennon. He says, “I am not famous, I’m a normal man who you can find in the pub, in my shop, just trying to make a living.” When speaking of his record shop and the type of music he sells compared to music mega stores, he says, “That is why I concentrated on nostalgia, it never goes out of fashion.”

On Saturday 17th April 2004 a fire, started by blast incendiary devices, engulfed the North Street Arcade. Terri lost everything, all his worldly possessions had been stored at the shop. This included his valuable record collection, all his history of Good Vibrations records, the photographs and the magazine articles. Articles of great financial and sentimental value were all destroyed in the fire. Hooley has reopened his record shop, still called Good Vibrations, in Café Hero on Royal Avenue. You can find him working away and getting lost in his music, the same way he did all those years ago.

Northern Ireland music scene has seen a rise in popularity over the last few years with the likes of Snow Patrol, the Wonder Villains and Two Door Cinema Club emerging onto the scene. Terri does his bit by helping keep the musical flame alight in Northern Ireland by organising alternative walking tours, in which visitors walk around finding out the history of how music in Belfast began, transformed and where it is today. He points out old haunts and iconic buildings in Northern Ireland’s musical history.Hooley is still championing bands today such as Cashier no9.

Hitting the big screen in the near future is, The Good Vibrations film, which tells the life of Belfast’s punk prodigy and how an ordinary, young man had an simple dream for the world to recognise the talent here in Belfast. Still in touch with his musical roots, you can find Terri Djing in some Belfast bars like The Hudson and The Belfast Barge.

“ They said I would never live to thirty ,then fifty, I’ve made mistakes but I have no regrets”- Terri Hooley.

Hibs Legend Des Bremner Hoping For Hampden Success

Hibs legend Des Bremner may be based in the Midlands, but he still keeps an eye on what’s happening at his old club, and hopes to celebrate watching Pat Fenlon’s men achieve something that he was unable to do; win the Scottish Cup at Hampden.

The former Easter Road favourite has taken time out from his busy schedule as managing director of the PFA Finance Division, to speak exclusively to Irish News Review about his fond memories of his time in the capital and his gratitude to former manager Eddie Turnbull for showing faith in him from a young age. He also sends a message of support to everyone connected with the club and hopes to join in the celebration afterwards.

Any footballer on a list which includes George Best and Franck Sauzee has to be special and no-one who saw him play would suggest that Des Bremner did not deserve to be in such exalted company. Only five men, who have worn the famous green and white jersey, have lifted the European Cup, and the modest Bremner is the only one to have started his senior career in Leith.

Eddie Turnbull signed the talented youngster from Highland League side Deveronvale after initially spotting him when he was Aberdeen manager, and clearly felt that Bremner would be one for the future as there were no vacancies in a midfield that included Alex Edwards, Pat Stanton, Alex Cropley and Arthur Duncan. The team which is still revered by the Hibs faithful had won the League Cup and beaten Hearts 7-0 at Tynecastle to go to the top of the league whilst Bremner learned his trade quietly in the reserves.

Unfortunately, during the next game against lowly East Fife, right back John Brownlie suffered a broken leg, and the manager turned to the young Highlander to replace him. Bremner made 11 appearances at right back that season as Hibs finished second, and when Brownlie regained his fitness, he reverted to his preferred position in midfield.

The industrious Bremner won his first and only full cap as a substitute for Kenny Dalglish in Scotland’s 1-0 victory over Switzerland at Hampden in April 1976, but the fact that he only appeared once for his country said more about the selection process than his ability.

Bremner played over 200 times for Hibs in an eight year spell, including a famous night in the UEFA Cup against Leeds when Hibs only lost on penalties against a club generally considered to be one of the best in Europe at the time. He scored 18 goals for the club.

As the decade ended, Hibs reached the Scottish Cup Final against Rangers. The first two games ended in scoreless draws, so it’s not surprising that Bremner does not remember much about the games, but the cup eventually ended up at Ibrox after a five goal thriller when an unfortunate Arthur Duncan own goal in extra time separated the teams.

After the final, Bremner moved to Aston Villa, winning the league championship and then the European Cup against Bayern Munich in the De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam. Villa manager Ron Saunders was quoted at the time as saying that Des Bremner was ‘The most under-rated footballer he ever purchased.’

Bremner made 221 appearances for Villa, scoring ten goals, before making the short move to Birmingham City in 1984 where he stayed for five years. He then played a few games for Fulham and Walsall before ending his playing career with Stafford Rangers.

The former Hibs star told Irish News Review: “I have many fond memories of my time at Easter Road. We had a team that was competing with Rangers and Celtic at that time but not quite making that final step in the league and cup competions. Eddie Turnbull was a great coach and I learned a lot from him in my early years at Hibs which stood me in good stead for the rest of my footballing career.

“The players we had in the team at that time also helped me make the transition into the first team that bit easier even though I was replacing their mate John Brownlie. You could say that one player’s bad break was in my case another player’s good break. I sometimes wonder where my football career would have taken me if I had not been given that opportunity at that time.

“The Cup Final is obviously one of the highlights of my time at Hibs and it is also one of the disappointments as well. I can’t remember too much about the games other than Arthur Duncan’s own goal that lost us the final game, a fine near post header but in the wrong goal.

“I would like to wish everybody involved with the forthcoming Cup Final, the club, the players, all the staff and the supporters the very best of luck on the day. I hope we are all celebrating winning the cup on the day as this would be a great ending to a very disappointing season and give us some encouragement for next season.”

The other European Cup winners to play for Hibs were Ronnie Simpson and Bertie Auld who were both members of the triumphant Lisbon Lions in 1967, George Best who won it with Manchester United the following year and Franck Sauzee who lifted the trophy with Marseille in 1993.

Advertisements
Advertisements