Friday, 26 September 2014

120 years ago tomorrow: Celtic 2 Sunderland 3 match report

27th   September  1894                                                                             Friendly Match 

               GLASGOW CELTIC   2                                   SUNDERLAND   3                           
                      (McMahon (2))                                (Campbell 5,Wilson10,Hannah 14)

Referee Mr Dicken of Wishaw                                                               Attendance 15,000 

Celtic:- McArthur, Reynolds, Dunbar, Maltby, Curran, McEleney, Madden, Blessington, Cassidy, McMahon, Divers.

Sunderland:-- Doig, Meehan, McNeill, Dunlop, Auld, Wilson,  Goodchild, Harvie, Campbell, Hannah(D), Scott.

Sunderland visited Glasgow as the guests of Celtic Football Club and with it being a public holiday in the City a crowd of 15,000 assembled at Parkhead. The weather was splendid with scarcely a breath of wind. The home side did not field a strong team and Sunderland themselves fielded 5 reserves. Sunderland won the toss and Celtic kicked off to rush down and force a corner in the first half minute. The home side remained in Sunderland territory for a few minutes but then Scott dashed away and Reynolds was forced to kick into touch.

Sunderland continued to press and a mistake by Curran let in Campbell to shoot them ahead in the 5th minute. Encouraged by their success Sunderland forced the pace and Wilson worked an opening to get in a long shot that completely baffled McArthur to put Sunderland two up after 10 minutes. Celtic were having a bad time of it with their weak defence having a gruelling time from the sharp Sunderland forwards. Hannah scored a 3rd goal for the visitors before the quarter hour had elapsed. 

At 3-0 down things were looking bad for the home side who were sorely missing Doyle. Good forward play from the Celts enabled them to get close to the Sunderland goal where Doig saved a hard shot at the expense of a corner. McMahon reduced the home side’s arrears from the flag kick. Play became more even and occasionally Celtic managed to test Doig with McMahon almost scoring again. Blessington on the home right wing was troubling the Sunderland full backs and repeatedly excited the crowd with some fine runs.

Celtic pressed hard and after an exciting passage of play Meehan was forced to kick away hurriedly. Doig then made a splendid save to keep his goal intact. The game was now very interesting and Celtic were busy round the Sunderland goal when halftime arrived. Sunderland were first to show in the 2nd half and McArthur was given several stinging shots to save and he dealt with them splendidly. Sunderland forced a corner that was cleared by the home defence. Celtic retaliated and for some minutes the Sunderland defence were given an anxious time.

The game quietened down considerably with the play mainly in the midfield. Hannah, Campbell and Harvie were playing well together for Sunderland and troubled the Celtic keeper no end. A quick rush from Goodchild caused great anxiety to the home defence but Reynolds got the ball away. A spell of long kicking was indulged in between the backs with Wilson very prominent. Celtic were being held quite easily by the visiting defence and rarely caused Doig any trouble who was virtually a spectator at this stage.

Celtic had a look in following a free kick but McMahons final attempt was too high. The home side came back again and Doig was twice called into action to clear shots. Eventually Celtic were rewarded for their endeavours when McMahon beat Doig with a low shot from the left. This goal brought Celtic to life and with the deficit now only 1 goal Sunderland were kept busy defending. Doig was tested to the full and not found wanting as the home side swarmed around the Sunderland goal.

There was a dash about the home side which was totally lacking in the 1st half but with both defences standing firm the game ended with a win for Sunderland   

                                                                                                                    (Ncl Dly Chron)

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Plaque to Peasants Revolt, Tower Hamlets

Taken from Rebel Road of UNITE Education at

Sadly this is now long gone as it was quietly removed - much like the removal of the Chartist mural in Newport in 2013 - by the local council. (see links below for more on this) 

The mural was designed by Ray Walker, who tragically died young, and was sited 
in Bow Common Lane, London E.3 at the junction of Burdett Road. The Lane now forms part of Mile End Park.

The mural commemorates the 600th year anniversary of the Peasants Revolt. The unveiling was part of a weekend of celebrations by trade councils and union groups to mark the 600 year anniversary. The peasants army camped at Mile End in 1381 before marching into London.

Ray Walker was one of the artists who completed the Battle of Cable Street mural and many others in east London.

Photographer David Hoffman has kindly given his permission for the images to be used.

Many thanks to Jim Thatcher, UNITE member and blacklisted construction worker, for the information that appears here and for David Hoffman for allowing the use of his photographs. 

Bristol Bus Boycott plaque

                                                                                                              Taken from Rebel Road at Unite Education

Bristol Bus Boycott plaque, Marlborough Street bus station, Bristol 

A plaque that commemorates the heroic struggle against racism on Bristol’s buses was unveiled at Marlborough Street bus station in August 2014. 

In 1963 the Bristol Bus Company’s refusal to recruit black people as drivers or conductors was supported by Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) members who threatened to bring the buses to a halt if black workers were employed on bus crews.

This colour bar was brought to a glorious end after four young West Indians, Prince Brown, Audley Evans, Roy Hackett and Owen Henry, along with British born Paul Stephenson, set up the West Indian Development Council. 

The 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott inspired them, when Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger. Black Bristolians and white anti-racists, including Bristol East Labour MP Tony Benn, boycotted the bus company who thus lost income and was badly damaged by the publicity the campaign generated. 

After four months the bus company announced it would it was ending its bar on ‘coloured labour’ thus forcing white trade unionists to reassess their attitudes and begin working alongside their black colleagues. 

The successful struggle also helped inspire the passing two years later in Parliament of the Race Relations Act that outlaws racial discrimination. 

In 1986, Madge Dresser wrote an account of events in 1963. This is at:-

In 2013, Unite, as the successor to the TGWU, issued an apology: - 

Many thanks to Cheryl Nelson, UNITE rep at AXA Bristol office, for sending in the photograph of the plaque and suggesting including it on Rebel Road. 

For more on this historic struggle see:-

Madge Dresser’s book has been republished by Bookmarks with financial support from a number of trade union branches including Bristol Unite Health, Bristol Unite General services and Bristol Finance and Legal. 

More staff needed to tackle tax abuse

From Big Issue in the North magazine, please buy a copy when you see a seller. 

The government should look closer to home than offshore havens if it seriously intends tackling tax evasion, says a tax campaign group.
Two new consultation papers on tackling offshore tax evasion using both civil and criminal deterrents are running until 31 October. From next year tax havens such as Jersey and Guernsey have agreed to supply Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) with details of UK residents holding accounts there.
Richard Murphy of the Tax Justice Network (TJN) welcomed the possible use of civil proceedings as well as criminal ones.
“This is great progress in situations where establishing criminal guilt is difficult, cases are complex and the time and costs needed for a successful prosecution are hefty,” he said. “Only in extreme cases involving stacks of cash, someone well known and an accountant, banker or lawyer are criminal proceedings likely.
“The government is correct to employ a dual criminal and civil approach to tackle tax evasion abroad, which we estimate at £5-6 billion annually.”
But this is considerably less than the £47 billion that TJN estimates is being evaded in the UK annually.
Murphy called for HMRC to be given more staff and resources to tackle evasion.
“We need 20,000 more HMRC employees. They will recoup much more than their wages if the government follows its overseas approach and instructs UK banks to tell HMRC which companies have accounts here and who is self-employed.
“With that one simple change then tax evasion would largely disappear, as a lot of people would know the data is there to be examined and they will pay up.”
The government has introduced a General Anti- Abuse Rule to tackle tax avoidance but this has been criticised by the TUC and others for being too weak. They say it will allow much tax abuse to continue, and are also concerned that the rule will be supervised by a new panel likely to be recruited from the tax departments of big business advisory firms – which were involved in drawing up complex tax avoidance schemes.

This week Murphy’s report for the PCS, the civil servants union, will argue that the numbers employed by HMRC should move back towards the 95,000 figure of 2005, when today it is falling towards 50,000.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Dutch football magazine review of ORIGINS OF THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE

It got 5 out of 5! 

Voor de Anglofiele voetbalfan vormde zaterdag 8 september 2013 een historisch hoogtepunt: het was exact 125 jaar geleden (1888) dat er voor het eerst in competitieverband werd gevoetbald in Engeland, Home of Football. Voor de ware liefhebber eerst de uitslagen: Preston North End-Burnley 5-2, Bolton Wanderers-Derby County 3-6, Everton- Accrington 2-1, Stoke City-West Bromwich Albion 0-2, Wolverhampton Wanderers-Aston Villa 1-1. Notts County en Blackburn Rovers kwamen nog niet in actie. Dan zijn meteen de clubs genoemd die zich tot de Founding Fathers van de Football League mogen rekenen.

Er werd in Engeland al vele jaren achtereen vriendschappelijk en om de beker gevoetbald. Bestuurslid William McGregor van Aston Villa vond het de hoogste tijd een serieuze competitie op te zetten. Hij schreef vijf clubs aan (Blackburn, Bolton, Preston, WBA en zijn eigen club) en zo kwam het balletje aan het rollen.
De Britse journalist en sportschrijver Mark Metcalf greep de 125ste verjaardag van de competitie aan om het eerste seizoen zo minutieus mogelijk te reconstrueren. Hij verrichtte monnikenwerk voor zijn boek The Origins of the Football League - The First Season 1888/89’. Metcalf wist dankzij archiefonderzoek alle krantenverslagen van deze jaargang boven water te tillen. Bovendien herschreef hij de historie.
Tot aan de verschijning van zijn boek werd alom aangenomen dat Gershom Cox van Aston Villa het allereerste competitiedoelpunt scoorde. De eerste tragiek is dat het een eigen doelpunt betrof, nu verdwijnt zijn naam ook nog uit de geschiedenisboekjes. Metcalf ontdekte dat Kenny Davenport van Bolton Wanderers de eerste was. Gemeten naar het aantal speelminuten van de wedstrijd klopte het dat Cox de primeur had, de 30ste minuut tegenover Davenport de 47ste. Echter, uit research van de auteur bleek dat de wedstrijd Bolton-Derby een half uur eerder was begonnen; om drie uur in plaats van half vier. Het is een feit dat andere voetbalhistorici over het hoofd zagen.

Davenport scoorde dus om 15.47 uur. De own goal van Cox verdween om klokslag 16.00 uur tegen de touwen.
Het boek is eenvoudig van opzet: per competitierondje een hoofdstuk met daarin het verslag, de doelpuntenmakers en andere bijzonderheden. Aansluitend volgt het overzicht van de FA Cup, The Home International Championship (de interlands tussen Engeland, Schotland, Wales en Ierland) en - ook heel knap - portretten van vrijwel alle spelers uit het eerste seizoen. Het is fascinerend om te lezen.

Zo vernemen we dat Davenport een snelle linksbinnen was, international, goaltjesdief en geboren op steenworp afstand van Pikes Lane; de voetbalveste van Bolton. Cox passeerde tijdens zijn carrière (102x competitie en FA Cup) wel zijn eigen doelman maar nooit die van de tegenstander. (René Otterloo) 

International Brigade memorial plaque, Perth

The memorial plaque on Perth’s North Inch Close is was erected and unveiled by Perthshire International Brigade Memorial Fund on 5 June 2010. Ten volunteers from Perthshire – Eddie Brown, William Gilmour, John Gordon, Hugh MacKay, Robert Malcolm, James Moir, Annie Murray, George Murray, Tom Murray, and George Steele – volunteered to serve with the International Brigades in Spain. 

UNITE played a significant role in ensuring the original plan to mount a magnificent piece of artwork was successful. 

The inscription on the plaque is words by poet and son of Perth, William Soutar: “Even as blossoms fall circling about a tree our deeds within our world define our world.” 

For more information see: -

Many thanks to Tippermuir Books Limited for sending in the photograph of the plaque. 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

International Brigades statue, Belfast

International Brigades statue, Belfast                      

The International Brigades who fought in Spain in the 1930s are commemorated with a statue in Writers’ Square Belfast. Designed by Anto Brennan, it was erected by the International Brigades Commemoration Committee and unveiled on 13 October 2007 by Bob Doyle, a member of the Brigades and a life long militant. Accompanying Bob was Jack Jones, President of the IBMT and former general secretary of the TGWU and who also fought in the International Brigades, and Jack Edwards, a Liverpool volunteer. 78 men born in Northern Ireland participated in the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War. At least 18 families of Irish veterans were present at the unveiling. 

For more details see: - 

For more on Bob Doyle see his obituary at

Many thanks to Richie Browne, Unite regional co-ordinating officer, for this photograph.