LET’S be honest, we’ve been through a lot worse than our current streak.
I may have only been watching Swindon Town since 1994, which in many people’s eyes makes me little more than a novice, but in that period I’ve seen four relegations, two administrations, a near obliteration and more poor performances than I have any desire to remember.
And, having emerged through all of that unscathed, I can tell you now – Swindon Town may have lost to Preston, Oxford and Leyton Orient in the space of seven days, but that is as about as catastrophic as a passing shower.
In football, we all like to get carried away with form and sometimes that causes us to lose perspective. But who can remember the 1999/2000 campaign? During that miserable season Town lost three times or more in a row on four occasions, went 19 games without a win and managed just five home victories in all competitions.
Who still has nightmares of 2005/06? It’s hard to forget an eight-match losing streak spread over 10 awful weeks, just two successes on the road over the entire term and a 7-1 hammering at Nottingham Forest.
And who cringes at the memories of 1994/95, the joy of a 14-game winless run and the eventual consequence – double relegation?
I’m sure there is much, much more that those with longer associations with the club will be able to haul from the darkest corners of their minds but, while we can quite rightly be unhappy with events at the County Ground over the past week, it is a sign of the times that Swindon Town fans can get upset with something which when put into context is relatively tedious.
Perhaps we have been spoilt so much over the course of the past 15 months that we have become the Veruca Salt of lower-league football fans. Let’s not expect success. Demand it, sure, but don’t think it’s inevitable. Then, when it does come, the taste is so much sweeter.
- SO, for another year at least, Andy Murray remains British.
Yes it’s an old and boring, clichéd joke, but let’s think about this seriously for a second – Dunblane-born Murray, OUR Olympic and US Open champion and Wimbledon finalist, may very well not be ours for that much longer.
If those who are keen to tear away/kindly remove (delete as applicable) Scotland from the rest of the British Isles – in a political sense if not geographically – are successful, then it won’t
matter whether the 25-year-old with a sense of humour bypass wins or loses, he won’t be British in any case.
Murray Mount will have to become Robson Rise, we’ll still be waiting for a successor to Fred Perry and Jamie Ward will be our best shot at All England Club glory.
Oh well, at least we can still enjoy the strawberries.
- AFTER 23 years of inconceivable pain in the wake of personal tragedy and institutional deception, this week the families of the victims of the Hillsborough Disaster finally forced the truth to the surface.
The revelations of the Hillsborough panel’s damning report, delivered on Wednesday, may not offer closure or solace or even the slightest ounce of comfort to the loved ones of the 96 who lost their lives as a result of incompetence and negligence on that fateful April day in 1989, but it has at least opened our eyes to what really happened.
I haven’t had the chance to read the complete report itself from introduction to conclusion, but the 50-odd pages I have been able to absorb have been as horrific as they have been compelling.
It is said that there are lies, damned lies and statistics. In the case of Hillsborough, that expression could never ring more true.
One-hundred-and-sixteen of 164 police statements were amended to avoid the implication of South Yorkshire Police, 41 fatalities could have been prevented after the so-called 3.15pm cut-off time attributed by the coroner who evaluated the tragedy, 8,551 days passed without so much as a governmental whimper of apology.
Many have dubbed it “the biggest cover-up” in modern British history. And with good reason.
For the families of the 96, the true truth may have been a long time in the making, but it must still hurt.
Nothing can compensate for a mother and father burying their son or daughter, and now that guilt has rightfully been lifted from those who lost their lives 23 years ago it MUST be properly reattributed.
Until then, we can never say that justice for the 96 has ever been achieved.