Friday, 27 December 2013

Malcolm Kennedy - R.I.P.

Malcolm Kennedy (1946-2013) 

A victim of a grotesque miscarriage of justice has died aged 67. Malcolm Kennedy will go to his grave having been unable to overturn his conviction for the manslaughter of Patrick Quinn in Hammersmith Police Station on Christmas Eve 1990.

Quinn certainly was slaughtered. All but one of his ribs were broken, his heart and spleen were crushed and his face pulped in a vicious, brutal attack that left him dead in a police cell where both men had been placed after being separately arrested for being drunk.

Middle-aged and unfit, Kennedy had no previous history of violence but according to the police he had woken from his drunken stupor to kill a man he had never met. Kennedy claimed he had been woken up by a struggle in the cell between three officers and the dead man and had been punched unconscious.

The murder of Quinn was considered so serious by the police that officers on duty cleaned the uniforms they were supposed to hand over for forensic tests, the log book showing who visited the cell was "lost" (just one of several vital documents which disappeared) and procedures for calling in the Police Complaints Authority and pathologist were not followed. None of which mattered when a protesting Kennedy was convicted the following year for murder and sent down for life. 

Kennedy was having none of that. He had no record of political activity but he was determined not to go to his grave with a murder conviction. His solicitors located new witnesses who were present in the police station on the night of Quinn’s death and a major World in Action programme was made on the case. 

The case was referred back to the Court of Appeal and a retrial was ordered at which the sudden appearance of previously lost police ‘evidence’ halted a trial that was going badly for the prosecution. When the case returned to court Kennedy’s case was dealt a major blow when the key police witness was declared mentally unfit to give evidence and the judge in the case dismissed Kennedy’s argument that this prevented him having a fair trial. 

At the end of the second re-trial the judge put to the jury that Kennedy may not have intended to kill Quinn and was so drunk that he could not remember what he had done. The jury acquitted Kennedy of murder and convicted him of the lesser charge of manslaughter, a perverse verdict as Quinn’s injuries clearly indicated he’d been brutally murdered.

Kennedy was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment. Thankfully for him there were now plenty of people convinced of his innocence. Hackney Community Defence Association [HCDA] together with members of the Irish community based at the Irish Centre in Hammersmith, formed the Justice for Patrick Quinn, Free Malcolm Kennedy campaign and were to regularly picket Hammersmith Police Station over many years. 

In 1996 in the lead up to Kennedy’s appeal against his conviction an early day House of Commons motion attracted 65 signatures. This was made on the grounds that the trial judge wrongly exercised his discretion by deciding that the police officer was medically unfit to give evidence and then in his absence allowing transcripts of his evidence in previous hearings to be read out in open court. Further, that it was an abuse of process for the second re-trial to continue without the police officer giving evidence. The appeal however was lost. 

Later, when he had been released from prison, Kennedy’s attempts to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights were also unsuccessful. 

No sane person wants to go to their grave having been wrongly convicted of another man’s death, even if it is of the lesser charge of manslaughter rather than murder. Kennedy was determined to legally prove he did not kill Patrick Quinn.

During the protracted court cases officers from Hammersmith Police station had disputed ever previously knowing who Patrick Quinn was prior to his arrest. This meant there was no motive for police officers to attack Quinn.

Yet, thirteen years after Quinn’s death someone who knew him well came forward after he saw a campaign appeal for new witnesses in the Irish press. Joseph Fallon had also died in Hammersmith Police Station in contested circumstances, on 17 September 1987, and the new witness had subsequently helped organise Fallon’s funeral. 

Interesting, but what had that to do with Quinn? “They were best friends.”

So much so that the new witness alleged that at 7.00am on 24 December 24 1990 he was rung by the police to be told that Patrick Quinn, who he had known since 1967, had died in Hammersmith Police Station. 

According to the man Quinn, like Fallon, was a passionate Republican who often had arguments with the local police. 

Asked why he thought the police had contacted him less than 6 hours after Quinn had been confirmed as being dead the Tyrone man felt “it could have been because they had my name in there because of Joe Fallon. My opinion would be that they [the police] knew Patrick Quinn knew Joe Fallon” and as such the man was contacted because of his concern three years earlier when Fallon died.

Despite the new evidence the Criminal Cases Review Commission refused to examine it. 

Meantime, Kennedy, who prior to being incarcerated had owned a restaurant, had emerged from prison to start rebuilding his life by setting up a small removals business. 

This became increasingly difficult due to what he alleged was “highly intrusive and unlawful surveillance” including interference with his phones, mail and emails. This had the effect of blocking him from going about his everyday affairs whilst preventing potential customers making contact with his removals firm and thus losing him a lot of business.

However, Kennedy’s strenuous attempts to pursue a legal case here in Britain and in the European Court of Human Rights were to prove unsuccessful

Three years ago, Kennedy admitted he was not hopeful of “having my manslaughter conviction overturned in my lifetime.

I feel the statement obtained in October 2003, disproving the police claims about not previously knowing Patrick Quinn, was new evidence. Yet the CCRC wouldn’t commit any resources into taking their own statement and re-opening the case. Consequently I am blocked from appealing against my conviction. 

It may be twenty years on but I am still haunted by what happened in 1990. Especially as I am still being harassed due to an ongoing police interest in me. I hoped this would stop when I formally stopped campaigning a few years ago in order to enjoy some relative peace. Sadly that hasn’t proven to be the case, and I still find my phones, emails and letters being interfered with and I suspect that will continue until my death. (It did) 

But, I repeat, and always will - I was not responsible for the death of Patrick Quinn in Hammersmith Police Station in December 1990.”

Graham Smith, a close friend of Malcolm Kennedy, said, “The juries in the three murder trials Malcolm faced were not simply deciding whether he had killed Patrick Quinn. If Malcolm didn’t murder Quinn a police officer must have done it. In 1990, despite the numerous campaigns against miscarriages of justice up and down the country, there was not the widespread disbelief in the police that followed the overturning of the murder convictions of the Birmingham Six in 1991.

“More recently, there have been the revelations that a Metropolitan police officer most probably killed Blair Peach at Southall in 1979, and South Yorkshire Police conspired to blame Liverpool fans for their deaths at Hillsborough in 1989 in order to deflect attention from their own failings.

“After his release from prison, Malcolm helped others who had been wrongly convicted. He developed an interest in filmmaking and would often be seen at meetings with cameras and recording equipment.  A fighter to the end, he unsuccessfully challenged the lawfulness of UK law governing surveillance in the European Court of Human Rights in 2010 and at his death was attempting to discover what undercover cop, Mark Jenner, who had infiltrated the Colin Roach Centre where the Free Malcolm Kennedy Campaign Justice for Patrick Quinn, was based, had told his Met handlers about Malcolm’s case.”   

Malcolm’s funeral will be on Friday 3 January at 2.00pm at the East London cemetery, Grange Road, E15 0HB. There will drinks afterwards at the Black Lion, Plaistow.

There will be a collection in Malcolm’s memory and all donations will be split between United Against Injustice and MOJUK. If you can’t make the funeral but would like to contribute then please contact Mark Metcalf on 07952 801783 or email to

Monday, 23 December 2013

The first time Everton faced Sunderland in 1890

Piece taken from Everton FC: the first kings of Anfield 1890/91. 

 Sunderland travel to Everton this Thursday. It is a fixture that dates back to 1890-91 when in Sunderland’s first season in League Football the Toffees won the top-flight title for the first time in their history.
Football boots were different back in the 1890s. 
The game took place under quite different conditions compared to today. Goalkeepers were allowed to use their hands in any part of their own half; there were no substitutes, penalties or even nets. Each side nominated an umpire to control the match and only if they disagreed with a decision would the referee – standing on the touchline – intervene to decide. Pitches had few markings and in the winter they would often resemble mud baths. The ball was often misshapen and players’ boots were largely adapted workmen’s boots that had studs hammered into the soles. The offside rule required three, rather than two, players to be between the attacked and the goal. Strips had no advertising on them. Despite the differences there was still some good football.
The two great clubs faced each other three times in 1890-91 season and Sunderland won two of these games with Everton winning the first in a game played on 15 November 1890 at their ground for the time, Anfield.

 Sunderland had been in special training for the fixture and according to the match report in the Journal they arrived ‘in the peak of condition and as hard as nails.’ The crowd was a good one and included a number of Wearsiders who had travelled that morning on an excursion train. The match opened at a frantic pace but the away side were grateful to fine ‘keeping by Ted Doig who thwarted Fred Geary and Edgar Chadwick with great saves. When the keeper then saved a powerful shot from Andy Hannah he was beaten by Hope Robertson to give Everton a half-time lead. Despite the reverse it was reported that Sunderland fans ‘continued to roar their appreciation for their side.’
Anfield in 1890 - drawing courtesy of Tony Onslow 
The second half saw both sides trade blows but Sunderland were just unable to grab an equaliser and when ‘the final whistle blew a splendidly contested game ended with a narrow win for Everton.’
The return League fixture took place on 20 December 1890 at Newcastle Road and saw bottom-placed Sunderland beat League leaders Everton 1-0. Heavy frost meant the game was in doubt beforehand and this may have contributed to the disappointing 12,000 crowd inside Newcastle Road. The match was given added impetus by the knowledge that the sides would play each other again on the same ground a few short weeks later in the FA Cup; a competition rated of greater importance than the League, which was only in its third season.
The goal that helped take Sunderland off bottom spot came in the second half when Dave Hannah smashed the ball beyond David Jardine in the Everton goal. When the final whistle sounded ‘there was great enthusiasm from the home supporters’ reported the Daily Chronicle.
The sides re-met in the FA Cup on 17 January 1891 and the match attracted Sunderland’s then record crowd of 21,000. Everton arrived the day before the game and stayed in the Roker Hotel. Sunderland employed an army of men to clear six inches of snow from the pitch to ensure the tie could go ahead. The North East Railway company had run special excursion trains from all over the district and these were well patronised.
When the sides entered the arena there was a state of great excitement. The Everton keeper Jack Angus, who had previously played for Sunderland, did well to prevent a number of shots from Sunderland entering his goal. The match proved to be the custodian’s last match as he died in the summer of 1891 at aged just 24. A nice piece of play between John Smith and Johnny Campbell created the space for the latter to make it 1-0 amidst great enthusiasm. When Everton replied, Doig saved splendidly on a number of occasions.
Ted Doig, probably Sunderland's
finest ever 'keeper 
As the game moved towards its conclusion the away side found it almost impossible to exert any pressure on the home rearguard and the match ended in a deserved success for Sunderland when it was reported by the Newcastle Daily Chronicle that ‘Loud cheers rang around the ground and were repeated again and again outside the gates as the victorious Sunderland team returned to the clubhouse.’
Sunderland were to make it through to the last four of the FA Cup before losing to Notts County after a replay.
Fans who are interested in finding out more about Sunderland and/or Everton in 1890/91 may be interested in attending my talk at 1.15pm on 26 December at St Lukes Church, Goodison Park. (The Church is on the corner of the ground)  Entry is free.
Everton FC: the first kings of Anfield costs £12.99 and is published by Amberley Publishing. 

The 1963 Roker Park battle between Charlie Hurley and John Charles

Sunderland travel to South Wales this weekend to face Cardiff City. The author of this piece has rarely looked forward to a match for so long as it will mean I will have again seen a competitive match on all current 92 Premier/Football League grounds. I first did this when Sunderland faced Bournemouth on 21 January 1988. 
Published by SPORTSBOOKS in

The game will be the first time the two sides have met in a top-flight match since they drew 1-1 on March 30 1957. In 1963-64 both teams were seen as promotion contenders to Division One. Sunderland had missed out twice on promotion by finishing in third place in 1961-62 and 1962-1963, whilst Cardiff had strengthened by signing from Juventus the greatest Welsh footballer of all time, John Charles, a man equally at home at centre back and centre forward.

What follows is taken from my authorised biography CHARLIE HURLEY - “The Greatest Centre Half the World Has Ever Seen” published by SPORTSBOOKS in 2008. 

Sunderland started the 1963-64 season in tremendous form, winning six and losing just the once. They then came up against Cardiff City. who had Ivor Allchurch, the one-time Swansea hero who had scored four at the Vetch Field back in September 1958 when Sunderland limped off beaten 5-0, and John Charles in their team.

This time Allchurch scored three times in sixteen minutes as they overturned a two-goal deficit (both scored by Nick Sharkey) before being pegged back when Hurley scored Sunderland’s equalising goal after sixty-four minutes, out-jumping John Charles.

Don Murray, a Cardiff player that day, described the struggle between Charles and Hurley as “a clash of giants. Like John, Charlie was tremendous in the air. That was some battle. The corner came in from the left and Charlie jumped above John and sent a header screaming into the net. To beat John in the air took some doing but Hurley could do it on his day. “

Hurley is a big fan of John Charles stating: “John Charles was the cleanest giant you’ve  ever seen. He was built like a brick shithouse and he was a cracking player and even to be compared to him was and is a privilege.” 
The feelings were clearly mutual, with Vince Wilson in the Sunday Mirror reporting that Charles had told him before the game that “Hurley’s the best centre-half in Great Britain and a world class player.”

Interestingly Charlie Hurley’s opinion of the Welshman is borne out by a story from Italy when Charles was starring for Juventus. In time-honoured Italian fashion he was being kicked so badly by opposing defenders in one game that he lost his temper. He turned to his inside forward, Argentinian Omar Sivori, to say he couldn’t kick them back and could Sivori do it for him! Sivori was 5ft 7ins tall, Charles was 6ft 2ins. 

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Book review - The State in Capitalist Society by Ralph Miliband

The Daily Mail last year criticised Ralph Miliband, the father of Labour leader Ed, calling him, because of his Marxist beliefs, “the man who hated Britain.”

The Belgium-born Polish Jew fled with his father to Britain in 1940 after Nazi Germany invaded Belgium. He served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War and gained British citizenship in 1948. He became involved in left-wing politics and made a personal commitment to socialism at the grave of Karl Marx.

Miliband published a number of books during his lifetime. His first in 1961, Parliamentary Socialism, found the Labour Party lacking radicalism and obsessed with retaining the confidence of business and financial interests. This led to an intolerance towards extra-parliamentary actions and failing to offer an alternative to capitalism.

In 1969, Miliband’s The State in Capitalist Society was published. It is generally considered his finest piece of work. It is based on how we all live in the shadow of the state and increasingly  depend on its sanction and support. 

Miliband’s book challenged the prevailing political orthodoxy that power in Western societies was competitive, fragmented and diffused. As such the state - consisting of the government, the administration, the military and the police, the judiciary, sub-central government (such as regional assemblies) and parliamentary assemblies - could not fail to respond to the demands of competing interests during the decision making process. The notion of a ‘ruling class elite’ was seen as absurd. Consequently capitalism had been radically - and democratically - transformed since its inception during the industrial revolution. 

Miliband demonstrated the reverse, highlighting how the increasing concentration of private economic power had already transformed all states into instruments of the giant corporation’s bidding, bringing in its wake massive and growing inequalities. A tiny number of children from working class backgrounds may make it to the very top of society, but the overall structure remains intact as this does not pose a serious challenge to capitalism.

The state, argued Miliband, is partisan when industrial disputes occur and governments - of all political persuasions - will seek to place inhibitions upon organised labour and leave wage-earners in a weaker position compared to employers. ‘Democracy’ also requires ensuring left-wing dissent plays as weak a role as possible. Trade unions are only ‘good’ when they don’t raise excessive wage claims or seek to radically alter society on behalf of working people. Miliband feared that even in advanced capitalist societies such demands would increasingly be met by conservative authoritarianism and the state surveillance and harassment that accompanies it. 

Miliband was frustrated because he recognised that productive and technological advances had revealed a material capacity for human liberation but ‘advanced capitalist societies cannot achieve this within the confines of an economic system which remains primarily geared to the private purposes of those who own and control its materials resources......

He sought instead ‘societies with a spirit of sociality and cooperation from their members, a sense of genuine involvement and participation’ and in which ‘the state will be converted from an organ superimposed upon society into one completely subordinated to it.’ 

Written 44 years ago, the State in Capitalist Society, remains, in the wake of the current neoliberal austerity project, valuable reading today. 

1949-50 and Sunderland lose out on league title when top scorer is injured in crucial run-in

Taken from the GOLDEN BOOT - football’s top scorers by Mark Metcalf and Tony Matthews and published by Amberley Publishing in 2011.

When Sunderland beat Aston Villa 2-1 at home on 1 April 1950 they climbed to fourth place in Division One, just two points behind leaders Manchester United and with a game in hand. A 2-0 victory six days later against Middlesbrough reduced the gap to just a point with only six matches remaining. Success though had come at a price with Division One’s top-scorer, Dickie Davis, baldy injured in a collision with Boro ‘keeper Rolando Ugolini. His absence in the following five matches was to be crucial in denying Sunderland a seventh title success. 

The Birmingham born player had scored 23 times in 33 matches and and had formed a lethal partnership with Ivor Broadis. Standing 5’ 8” tall and weighing just over 11 stones, Davis knocked home his first of the season in the opening day defeat at Liverpool. Despite the result the performance showed Sunderland were set for a fine season and in the next game they drew 2-2 at Burnley with Davis proving a constant menace to the home defence and scoring another goal. 

Facing WBA at home the game was tied at 1-1 when Davis, receiving a pass from Jack Stelling, pivoted sharply and shot past Jim Sanders to ensure a 2-1 victory. It was just the tonic he and his side needed, and the following weekend the man who’d guested for Aston Villa during the war was in impressive form against Manchester United at Old Trafford. First, on nine minutes he hit a powerful shot that was going past ‘keeper Jack Compton, only for Johnny Carey to get the last touch.  Today such a goal would recorded as the striker’s, but if Davis was disappointed he didn’t show it as six minutes later he eluded Allenby Chilton and met a perfect Tommy Reynolds centre first time, Sunderland eventually running off 3-1 winners.

Sunderland’s next away game was at Newcastle and Davis was again to add his name to the scoresheet. There were doubts about whether his shot had crossed the line in a 2-2 draw, but there were no doubts about the quality of the finish, a back-heeler in a crowded goalmouth from 15 yards out. It was the sort of goal only a player in form would have attempted and Davis followed it up by opening the scoring in the first minute of the following weekend’s 2-1 home victory against Fulham. Two further goals followed in the next game at Roker Park, a header and then a tap in after the Charlton legend Sam Bartram inexplicably dropped a simple cross at the centre-forwards feet. 

With Sunderland and Davis maintaining their form into the New Year the Wearsiders travelled to face Birmingham City in mid-January. The Blues had in goal one of England’s greatest ‘keepers in Gill Merrick, but on 67 minutes he was to be left helpless by a magnificent Davis goal. Len Shackleton had crossed but with the ball going away from both Davis and the goal there seemed little danger before the Sunderland man leapt backwards to flick the ball over his head and past the startled Birmingham number one. 

It proved to be a crucial match winner and with his confidence now raised to new heights Davis struck his first hat trick when he scored half his sides goals in a 6-1 demolition of Derby. 

Cup holders Wolverhampton Wanderers had a fine defence with England international Billy Wright at the centre and the man many feel is the best ever between the sticks for the Black Country side, Bert ‘the Cat’ Williams. Dickie Davis though was now in sparkling form and on 11 March 1950 he notched his second hat-trick of the season as Sunderland won 3-1 at Molineux. Centre half Billy Shorthouse gave his much smaller opponent a right battering, but it failed to prevent him running off at the top of the First Division goal scorers chart with a total of 21. That rose to 23 when he grabbed the equaliser at reigning champions Portsmouth in a 1-1 draw and scored Sunderland’s second in a 2-2 draw at the Valley, nodding home a Tommy Wright cross with just three minutes remaining. 

Although he failed to net in the games against Villa or Boro at Roker Park, the double victories meant that since losing to Stoke City at the Victoria Ground in late December Sunderland had played 12 league games unbeaten, winning eight of them.  

Len Duns had been a fine servant for Sunderland, playing at Wembley when PNE were beaten in the FA Cup Final in 1937 and earlier collecting a League winner’s medal. He hadn’t though played a league game in over a year. With Davis missing he was drafted in to play outside right as Sunderland reshuffled with Tommy Wright moved to play centre forward. Fulham were easily beaten 3-0 at Craven Cottage, but with Middlesbrough fighting for their lives a derby match at Ayresome Park was always going to be a difficult test.  So it proved, as Sunderland went down 2-0. 

The performance saw further changes in the starting line up for the must win home game with Manchester City game. Bert Trautmann twice saved one of Jack Stelling’s penalty kicks as Sunderland flopped 2-1. When Sunderland subsequently lost a third consecutive game, at Huddersfield, they were out of the title race as despite two victories in the final pair of games it was not enough to pip holders Portsmouth for the title. Sunderland finished third just one point behind Pompey. 

Davis returned for the final match, a 4-1 thrashing of Chelsea at home, and scored twice to ensure he finished with 25 goals for the season, three more than Stan Mortensen of Blackpool and Jackie Stamps of Derby County.  Davis thus became the fifth Sunderland player to finish a season as the top scorer in the top-flight and he would surely have also collected a League winner’s medal if he had not missed 5 crucial games at the end of the 1949-50 season.

* All six of the Sunderland players who finished as top League scorer are featured in THE GOLDEN BOOT. 

Suite Dreams - facilities for disabled fans at Old Trafford

Special commemorative publication celebrates unique facilities

Manchester United players have helped Manchester United Disabled Supporters Association (MUDSA) launch a special commemorative publication that celebrates the tenth anniversary opening of the Ability Suite match day lounge at Old Trafford in 2003.

Phil Jones, Wayne Rooney, Phil Downs MBE (MUDSA), Shinji Kagawa and Ashley Young 

This unique facility has an adapted kiosk with a low level counter, accessible toilets and large TV screens. Warm and comfortable is the only way to describe the environment that it provides for pre, mid and post-match relaxation and analysis. The Suite is sited directly behind the main disabled supporters viewing area in the south-east quadrant of the Theatre of Dreams.

The foundation of the Ability Suite is in the formation of MUDSA in December 1989. The association is supported both financially, and spiritually by the football club, and is the first of its kind in the world. Since 1989, the partnership has meant that facilities for wheelchair users, visually impaired fans and ambulant supporters have improved beyond recognition. 

10 Years of the Ability Suite is 36 pages in length and is full-colour throughout with some great photographs. MUDSA members, of all ages, speak fondly of the facility and of an organisation that means so much to them, and their families, in helping them to be more independent and self-confident, whilst also aiding the development of new, lasting friendships.

The comments of away fans are also included with many wishing their own clubs could develop similar facilities. An interview with United director David Gill reveals the warmth the club feel for their disabled supporters and SUITE DREAMS is peppered throughout with comments from players, past and present, on their relationship with MUDSA.

United forward Ashley Young said, “It is great to see the commemorative booklet and to realise that the facilities for disabled people at Old Trafford are so impressive. Let’s hope we can see them get even better in the future”.

A copy of 10 Years of the Ability Suite, the contents for which was co-ordinated by football author Mark Metcalf, can be downloaded from:-

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

New roads are rough deal for cyclists

This article is in the current edition of the Big Issue in the North magazine. 
Please buy the magazine when you see a seller. 

The Preston City Deal new roads plan is one of many proposals by new local transport bodies criticised in a new report. The Campaign for Better Transport and Campaign to Protect Rural England fear new roads are being prioritised at the expense of buses, bikes and public transport.
Last year, the government invited 20 cities to negotiate City Deals, giving them new powers and freedoms.
The multi-million pound Preston deal was signed in Downing Street in September by the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, minister for cities Greg Clark, local businesses and leaders from Preston City Council, South Ribble Council and Lancashire County Council.
Transport for Lancashire (TFL) will now oversee four new highway schemes in the Preston City Deal, funded by the councils and central government.
Supporters claim the new investment will add £1 billion to the local economy by paving the way for 15,000 new homes and increasing the attractiveness of local employment sites, including the Lancashire Enterprise Zone at Salmesbury and Warton. Clegg expressed his hope that “more cities will follow Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire’s lead”.
That seems almost certain from the information published by the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) in their report Where the money’s going – are the new local transport bodies (LTBs) heading in the right direction?
These 39 new bodies have put forward £1.3 billion of spending plans on 210 proposed projects. The report scored schemes for their transparency in choosing their funding priorities and whether they have considered a full range of transport modes.
Priority schemes
The overall picture is that the LTBs’ planned spending consists of 59 per cent for road building and 26 per cent for public transport and sustainable travel. Bus projects make up 7 per cent of the total and cycling is not included in any priority schemes.
CBT claims the UK is one of the most car-dependent countries in Europe and that the LTB plans will “lock us into car dependency for the foreseeable future, whereas the development of new housing and employment sites offers the potential to secure a step change in public transport services... such that new road-building is not needed”.
The organisation claims new roads generate more traffic, as people seek work further afield, and that public transport, walking, cycling, smart ticketing and good travel information can cut traffic.
North Yorkshire LTB scored highest in the North West and Yorkshire and Humber, its rail improvements plans and transparent website giving it 23 points. LTB Cheshire and Warrington (CWLTB) rated only nine points whilst the TFL scheme scored five.
Car dependency
A CBT spokesperson said: “Our main concern in the CWLTB plans is the Woodford- Poynton relief road, which is part of the same set of schemes as the hugely destructive Manchester Airport relief road. The Congleton Northern Link Road and the Middlewich Eastern Bypass projects are also associated with large greenfield developments that are likely to increase car dependency.
“The Preston City Deal is all new roads, none of which incorporate cycling or public transport provisions such as bus lanes.”
No one from CWLTB was willing to answer questions on their plans. 
John Fillis, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, defended the TFL plans in Preston and said: “We are also working on four other schemes in Lancashire and two have significant investments in the rail and tram network around Blackpool/Fleetwood and in the Blackburn and Bolton area.

“We are also proposing improvements to the main railway stations, bus corridors and dedicated space for public transport once the new distributor roads are open... The masterplan, for which we are holding public consultations, establishes the principle of a strategic cycle network across East Lancashire.”

Hurley heads cup winner against Norwich in 1961

Sunderland face Norwich City on 21 December 2013. One man who loved facing the Canaries was Charlie Hurley and many older Sunderland fans still fondly recall his performance at Carrow Road in the fifth round of the 1961 FA Cup. Mark Metcalf takes up the story from his authorised biography CHARLIE HURLEY - “The Greatest Centre-Half the World Has Ever Seen”

After beating Arsenal and Liverpool in rounds three and four, Sunderland drew Norwich City away in the next round of the FA Cup and not for the first time a player and team were motivated by mind games from the opposition. Charlie Hurley recalls: “I will always remember Norwich because I remember reading the headlines the day before the match. I don’t know if it was a wind up or not but it said ‘Hurley, the weakness’ so I couldn’t fathom that one out. It put my back up anyway. We took a bit of a battering and then we had a good spell in the first half where we could have got something. Then we got one corner with about ten minutes to go which Harry Hooper took.

“He was the type of guy who’d say ‘which way do you want the lace Charlie?’ It shows you how long ago it was. He always curled the corner away from the ‘keeper, beautiful for someone good in the air. One corner, and bop and in the back of the net, half way up the iron stanchion at the back of the net. Before I could even get off the floor there was a mass of players on my back. I was carrying six on my back when I went over to shake hands with Harry Hooper.

Stan Anderson and Charlie Hurley 
Then we took a pounding for ten minutes, and we won 1-0. Those types of games will always stick in your mind. An awful lot of Sunderland fans from those days who I talk to pick that game out. It was packed at Norwich that day, in those days fans and players were one, there were no prima donnas in those days. OK, we were earning a lot more than the fans even in those days but our players loved the fans.” 

Stan Anderson rates Hurley’s performance at Norwich as the best he saw him make from him in a Sunderland shirt. “He was brilliant. It is a shame that TV in those days wasn’t as good as it is now because if they’d looked at that goal from all the angles that they do now – it was such a bullet-like header from 12-15 yards out. I remember it coming over my head and just turning to look and I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. 

“He must have hit it flush on the head and if it had hit the crossbar it would probably have broke it.  It just absolutely flashed into the net. The goal won us the match. I bet we were under the cosh for eighty-five per cent of the time but Norwich never looked like scoring. I remember one of the Norwich players asking ‘How the bloody hell have we lost this match?’ 

The goal arrived with eleven minutes remaining and Argus described it as: “From a Hooper corner-kick Hurley beat Keenan with a magnificently placed header which was a goal all the way.”

“Hurley could be the rage of the Continent in a classy side like Real Madrid,” wrote Charlie Summerbell in the Daily Mirror the following week. Madrid were, of course, the best side in the world at the time having won the first five European Cups between 1956 and 1960. 

Monday, 9 December 2013

David McLean - the Sheffield Wednesday striker who finished as top scorer in Division 1 in 1911/12 and 1912/13

This article is an edited version of an article
from the above book that was published in

Two Sheffield Wednesday players have finished as top scorer in the top flight of English football at the end of a season. In 1926/27 Jimmy Trotter scored 37 league goals, roughly half the number scored by newly promoted Wednesday that season and he finished one ahead of Newcastle’s Hughie Gallacher. Scotsman David McLean finished equal top scorer with Sunderland’s George Holley and Aston Villa’s Harry Hampton in 1911/12 before outscoring everyone else the following season with 30 goals.

McLean was signed from Preston in the summer of 1911 and initially he struggled with only four goals when Wednesday played Bradford City on 25 November. He beat ‘keeper Mark Mellors twice and he quickly added further doubles against Manchester City and WBA.

On Boxing Day 1911, Sunderland travelled back home punch-drunk, hammered 8-0, a result that remains the Wearsiders equal record defeat. McLean notched four and his best was when he slipped the ball beyond the full-backs before beating them for pace and showing a fine touch to net. Back at Deepdale, McLean played a lovely one-two with George Robertson before driving home and unstoppable 25-yard shot. Back at Hillsborough, he netted twice against Notts County with his second seeing the centre-forward shrug off some heavy challenges before hammering a shot past ‘keeper Albert Iremonger.

Further goals against Manchester United and Aston Villa meant it was no surprise when McLean was given his debut for Scotland against England at Hampden Park before a world record crowd of 127,307. Also playing for the Scots was McLean’s Wednesday colleague Andy Wilson, who gave the home crowd something to cheer by netting only seven minutes only for Holley to equalise six minutes later. The game ended 1-1 and McLean did not get another chance to play for his country.

McLean wrapped up his first season with Wednesday by scoring three goals in a 5-1 defeat of losing cup finalists, WBA. He had scored 25 times, seventeen at home and eight away and Wednesday finished fifth.

The 1912/13 season saw Wednesday start with a bang and only one point was lost in the first five games in which McLean scored seven times. Wednesday’s impressive start came to a shuddering halt in the sixth game when Aston Villa hammered them 10-0. Yet three consecutive victories against Oldham, Chelsea and Arsenal, were enough to raise hopes of a third championship success after previous successes in 1902/03 and 1903/04.

At Stamford Bridge, McLean completed the scoring in a 4-0 victory when his pass out to Robertson saw the winger deliver a return cross that the Wednesday centre-forward buried beautifully in the corner of the net. By the end of December, McLean had fourteen league goals and his side were second in the table.

His goal at Ayresome Park that beat Tim Williamson was one of the best ever scored at the time as McLean appeared to make the heavy ball swerve in the air before it beat the ‘keeper. Playing against Grimsby in the FA Cup, McLean scored four times. Having belted home a great goal at Anfield, McLean hit an unstoppable shot in the local derby, which saw United beaten 2-0. Victory was especially sweet as it took Wednesday to the top of the league and that remained the case until only one point was won from the two games over Easter and Aston Villa and Sunderland moved ahead. Wednesday was to eventually finish third.

Mclean scored twice in the final match of the season when WBA were beaten 3-2 and his 30 goals were three more than his nearest rival, Sunderland’s Charlie Buchan.

McLean’s form dipped in 1913/14 and he scored only nine times but in 1914/15 he returned with twenty-two before the war brought an end to competitive football. He played just three more times for Wednesday after battlefield hostilities ended and he left to play for Bradford Park Avenue having scored 100 goals for Wednesday in just 147 appearances. David McLean died in 1967.

Tomlinson petitions 10 Downing Street

From the current issue of the Big Issue in the North magazine. 

Actor Ricky Tomlinson will be joined by his former building worker colleagues on 16 December to present a petition to 10 Downing Street calling for the release of government documents relating to the 1972 builders strike.
Charged under the 1875 Conspiracy Act, Tomlinson was one of six men jailed for his role in the organising of flying pickets in Liverpool and North Wales during a national strike organised by the building workers union UCATT over pay and the casualised labour system known as the “lump”.
Household name
One of the Telford New Town sites that was picketed was called Brookside, the same name as the famous Channel 4 soap opera in which Tomlinson became a household name by playing Bobby Grant, a factory shop steward.
In the builders strike 300,000 workers downed tools nationally and were successful in raising wages, cutting back on subcontracting and lowering the rate of deaths and injuries on sites.
The dispute was one of a number in which workers successfully challenged the prices and incomes policy of the Tory government of Edward Heath.
Tomlinson was sentenced to serve two years for “conspiracy to intimidate” at his trial in Shrewsbury in 1973. Another of the six, Des Warren, received three years. Twenty-four building workers in total were found guilty of the charges brought against them. Much of the evidence of alleged violence and intimidation had been collected in a dossier supplied to the police by the National Federation of Building Trades Employers.
The Financial Times called the dossier “flawed, since it suggests the existence of a sinister plot without being able to substantiate the allegations”.
Established in 2006 the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign is seeking to overturn the men’s convictions. It believes the charges were politically motivated and that there was government interference in the prosecutions.
‘Security reasons’
It believes the release of all government papers relating to the trials will prove the interference but in 2011 the Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke exempted the release of some records under the Freedom of Information Act until 2021, for “security reasons”.
An e-petition on the government’s website this year, calling for the release of the papers, failed to gather enough signatures to force ministers to act but the campaign will now present a paper version to 10 Downing St.
Eileen Turnbull, the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign researcher and treasurer, said: “Not releasing the documents damages government credibility and upholds our contention that the government back then had an involvement in the trials of the Shrewsbury pickets.
“We have had great support and 18 national trade unions, 200 local union branches and 60 trades councils affiliated to us are collecting signatures. Many individuals have also helped.
“We are confident of a large number of signatures being handed in to Downing Street on 16 December.”

Tomlinson and one of the other men charged, John McKinsie Jones, will be accompanied by union leaders Len McCluskey and Steve Murphy, and Labour MP Tom Watson.

West Ham 8 Sunderland 0 but Hurley gets revenge a few weeks later

The following is an edited version from the authorised biography of CHARLIE HURLEY: “The Greatest Centre Half the World has Ever Seen”. Written by Mark Metcalf the book was published by Sportsbooks in 2008. It is on sale in the Sunderland club shop and in Waterstones in the city centre. 

It is to be hoped that next Saturday Sunderland can, at least, avoid the hammering they received at Upton Park in October 1968 when West Ham United rammed home eight without reply. It is a result that along with similar defeats at Hillsborough in 1911/12 and Vicarage Road in 1982 remains Sunderland’s record defeat. 

‘An ageing Charlie Hurley was up against Geoff Hurst; West Ham had made a good start to the season but had failed to win in their last six league games. They had also failed to beat Sunderland at home since 1926. Hurley had played three times before at the club he’d turned down before signing for Millwall in 1953, each time facing Hurst and the England World Cup hero had failed to score on each occasion. Today would be very different. Hurst scored six, and West Ham eight. 

Alan Brown, who it has to be said wasn’t generally known for his humour, [although compared to managers today when everything is so serious he was a bundle of laughs] at least raised a smile in the after match press conference when he said, “It was an even game. We conceded four in each half.”

The match report in the following Monday’s Echo was headed “World Class West Ham in Brilliant Form” and as Argus stated ‘”was only told with casual references to Sunderland as amidst opposition of such quality they were never in the hunt” although “Hurley and Harvey earned a lot of sympathy for having to take such a hiding in a no-chance defence. Montgomery had 8 goals rammed past him which gave him no chance”. 

According to Charlie Hurley “Hursty was bleeding dynamite, he used to time his runs to the near post brilliantly, they had a very good side. 8-0 flattered us.” 

Geoff Hurst himself feels that “arguably that was my best league game ever for West Ham United. If I am not mistaken no one has scored six goals in a top-flight match since and that was over 40 years ago.” 

Sunderland played the return with West Ham just before Christmas 1968 and ‘revenge was in the air when goals from Calvin Palmer and Gordon Harris in the first twelve minutes at least wiped the smile off Ron Greenwood’s men’s faces in a 2-1 victory for the home side. 

The Sunday Express’s Tony Hardisty in an article headed “Super Hurley foils Hurst” reported that “West Ham were attractive as ever, but could never create really clear cut chances against a defence in which Charlie Hurley was superb”. 

The key moment in the game came in the second half as West Ham pressed for an equaliser. Argus’s report in the Monday Echo that week captures some of the qualities that made Hurley such a favourite for Sunderland fans from that generation. 

“Geoff Hurst broke rapidly to outpace Colin Todd to hit a fierce shot from just inside the penalty area but Charlie Hurley who had made a beeline down the middle dived in to take the full weight of it in his face and turn the ball away for a corner.

After receiving treatment Hurley took all the danger out of the situation by clearing the corner with a powerful header”. It was wonderful stuff that this author as a young man can still remember from the enormous cheer that went round the massive Roker Park ground for the next few minutes leaving Argus to report that “against the magnificent Hurst, Hurley turned in another great display in a run of form which equals the best in his eleven  years with the club’. 

Hurley recalls: “The ball was hit so hard by Geoff and it hit me full in the face. It was rock hard and hurt like hell. It knocked me flying, my face was sore all that night”.

Sir Geoff Hurst has nothing but praise for Hurley saying, “I played a few times against Hurley, he was a terrific footballing centre-half. He was very, very good in the air, but he was also very good on the ball and not that many centre halves in that era were. I loved playing at Roker Park and I scored a few goals against Sunderland, which is always nice. The place had a fantastic atmosphere; Sunderland and Newcastle have very passionate fans. I loved playing in big games and before big crowds; it brought the best out of me. Sunderland is a fantastic club, they’ve got great support and they always treated the opposition team well. It’s the same today. “

1968/69 proved to Charlie Hurley’s last season at Sunderland but as the chants amongst Sunderland fans at away matches this season have shown he is still not forgotten! Is there any other player from such a long time ago that still has his name chanted regularly?  

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Niall Quinn's International career

The following edited extract is from THE MIGHTY QUINN – the story of Niall Quinn
Mark Metcalf

Kindle price £1.64

It is just over twenty years ago that Northern Ireland failed to deny the Republic of Ireland a place in the 1994 World Cup finals when a late equalising goal by Reading’s Jimmy Quinn silenced an abusive Windsor Park crowd.

The 1-1 draw opened up an opportunity for Niall Quinn, then of Manchester City, to make his second appearance at the World Cup finals but in the event a cruciate ligament injury ruled him out of the tournament in the USA. A disappointed Quinny returned to the Ireland side in a 4-0 win against Liechtenstein in October 1994 and he scored twice.

Niall Quinn was a key player in the period in which Ireland was at their very best and no-one in the World relished playing them. He made his debut in the Iceland Triangular Tournament held in May 1986 in which Ireland marked their emergence as a force to be reckoned with by winning. A year later, Niall Quinn made a substitute appearance in a famous 1-0 victory at home to Brazil and in 1988 he was sent from the bench by Jack Charlton to hold the ball up in the latter part of the wildly celebrated 1-0 victory over England at the European Championship finals in West Germany.

Two years later, Ireland were set to exit the World Cup finals in Italy when Quinn slid in to net against the Dutch and by drawing 1-1 in Palermo Charlton’s side moved on to play, and beat, Rumania in the final sixteen of the tournament. The scenes which accompanied David O’Leary scoring the winning penalty, in the shoot out that followed the 0-0 draw, will live long in the memories of the thousands of Irish fans who were there and the millions watching back home. In the quarter finals a heroic battle with the hosts ended with Ireland unluckily exiting 1-0.

Quinn buried a brilliant header at Wembley in a 1-1 draw with England on 27 March 1991 and would have qualified for a place in the European Championships if Ray Houghton’s late shot, that beat David Seaman, had not missed by inches. Almost exactly two years later, Niall Quinn again scored with a great header as Ireland beat Northern Ireland 3-0 at Lansdowne Road.

Quinn suffered a second cruciate ligament injury in 1996 and he was forced to listen to rumours that his football career was over before he returned a year later to the Irish squad that missed out on a place at the France 1998 World Cup when Mick McCarthy’s side lost to Belgium in the play-offs featuring sides that had finished second in their group.

There was further disappointment two years later when Ireland exited the European Championships by losing to Turkey in the play-offs. Niall Quinn, who was starting to establish a new partnership with Robbie Keane, who had replaced Tony Cascarino in the starting X1, scored in the last group match away to Macedonia. Ireland was only seconds away for qualifying for the finals when the home side equalised and denied the away side top spot at Yugoslavia’s expense. 

Having represented his country with distinction for over 13 years then many felt Niall Quinn, by now playing for Sunderland, would struggle to play again at a major tournament. Ireland proved most pundits wrong by pushing Portugal all the way in their World Cup qualifying group and by doing so knocked out Holland. A 2-1 aggregate success in the play-offs against Iran helped ensure Quinn was back at the finals for the second time. Prior to the tournament, the striker kept an earlier promise to himself to donate proceedings from his testimonial match, featuring Ireland and Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, to charity. Quinn was entitled to a testimonial match after playing more than 75 times for his country.

Playing in Japan, Niall Quinn came off the bench to set up Robbie Keane for the equaliser against eventual finalists Germany. He then had his shirt almost torn off his back against Spain and from the resulting penalty Robbie Keane sent the last sixteen tie into extra time. With no further goals, Ireland subsequently exited the tournament on penalties. It was to be Niall Quinn’s last game for his country and he left having scored 21 times for Ireland.

THE MIGHTY QUINN covers all Niall Quinn’s football career including his international and club appearances. It is 25,000 words long and includes approximately 50 photographs and illustrations.