This is a very kind and generous blog by Steve Taylor of Life Cycle For Neuroblastoma . I man I respect, an Inverness Cally and WBA fan. But he gets the Spirit Of Walfrid.
The words that you’re reading are a victim of circumstance. Do you ever stop to consider the chain of events that led you to be doing precisely what you’re doing right now, in this instant? The present is the end result of a chain of coincidences, so vast and so varied in their nature, that the best that you can do is sit back and enjoy the ride: except this story is not a comfortable one. This story only exists because the ride is anything but pleasant.
This is the LCFN take on TCNGC17.
- TCN is The Celtic Network
- this instance of GC doesn’t have an HQ after it. This one is for Good Causes only.
This is the third time that my mate Wullie has asked me to pen something on LCFN and each time it has been both an honour and a pleasure. Y’see I was born wearing a different colour of fitba shirt fae Wullie, but once you take that aff, what you find inside is pretty much made fae the same mould, except that Wullie’s less scaredycat than me when it comes to ruffling a few feathers in high places. Wullie is a good, good guy.
I could roll this story back ten years but I didnae know the big man back then. Our paths didnae cross until about the time some amazingly charitable things were happening in Glasgow. In the east end, after Stephen Knox, a punter on Celtic Quick News, posted a thread about his wee boy who was fighting neuroblastoma, a bunch of guys got together and kickstarted Team Oscar Forever. In one short hour before a home match against Dundee, hardly a game to fill the stadium, the green bucket brigade collected £32,000: in total, that whole campaign notched up nearly a quarter of a million pounds. The story of wee Oscar was what ultimately led to me starting LifeCycleForNeuroblastoma.
All I knew of Wullie back at the start was that he had a website called TCN. When I say he had a website, what he really had was an umbrella site for loads of other websites. Y’see Wullie has always been a bloke who does things for other folk, for little or no return. TCN, his brainchild, comes and goes, it morphs from one good idea to another, and it possesses that happy knack, as all the great ideas have, of giving something back to the people.
When our paths crossed, late in 2011 going into 2012, it was because OldCo Rangers, Celtic’s nemesis from across the city, were in the process of going bust. It was a collapse modelled on unearned, undeserved and unwarranted entitlement, so the difference in cultures between the two clubs couldn’t have been more pronounced. Coming from a background of supporting first West Bromwich Albion as a kid, then Inverness Caley Thistle in Scotland, I’m very much accustomed to looking down before I dare look up. Heartbreak and safety first lie at the very heart of my football experience, and aligning with a guy like Wullie kind of came like second nature. He’s the socialist brother that I never had: expect the worst but accept crumbs off the table not knowing when next you’ll see their like.
Looking back, I wish I’d had the balls to do what Wullie did back in 2012, and stop going to games in protest at the way the SFA and the SPFL attempted to gerrymander their reborn Sevconian lovechild onto the football landscape. I lasted six months then fell off the wagon and went back, always feeling that nagging sense of guilt for having done so. I stopped again in 2015, and now the only thing that ties me to football is charity.
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