Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Many moons ago 4 young men shared a dream - to start a football club. They had no money, no kit - not even a ball.
Yet from such humble beginnings emerged a magnificent football club - Rangers FC. None of those four men could have foreseen the shockwaves the ripple effect of their actions were about to do when they met in 1872. At that time all they wanted was having their own little team to play for and represent. No one dared dream that over a century later the baby named Glasgow Rangers would become a venerated football goliath. Nor could they have envisaged that Glasgow Rangers would win trophies galore and have a worldwide following running into millions.
All those championships and cups would never have found their way into the Ibrox Trophy Room but for that encounter between Peter McNeil, his brother Moses, Peter Campbell and William McBeath.
Their first match was an unlikely affair against Callander FC at Flesher's Haugh on Glasgow Green.
The pitch was open to all-comers, so to claim it for your game you had to make sure you were there first. The home team played in street clothes, with the exception of four "guests" who, as they were members of other clubs, already had their own strips. The ball was second-hand.
The result was 0-0, but that didn't matter. Rangers had been born.
The famous 'RFC' Scroll crest is now instantly recognisable to football fans across the world and is steeped in history.
It is believed to have been used by the Club since its formation in 1872 although the oldest item to be found with this crest stamped on it is from 1881-82 season. The Rangers-Celtic Old Firm rivalry is one of the oldest and fiercest in world football, dating back to the late 19th century when Celtic were founded in Glasgow's East End.
The teams first met at Celtic Park on May 28, 1888 in what was also the Parkhead club's first-ever match. Around 2,000 fans saw the home side win 5-2.
The nickname 'The Old Firm' originated during the early year of the 20th century when the clubs began to dominate Scottish football and the term in part referred to the financial benefits associated with their frequent meetings.
No two teams have dominated their national championship as much as Rangers and Celtic - between them they have won 96 of the 114 Scottish titles available since 1890.
And they have also contested numerous dramatic head-to-head encounters.
Taking over as manager from William Wilton in 1920, Bill Struth was Rangers' most successful manager, guiding the club to 14 league titles before the onset of the Second World War. On 2 January 1939 a British league attendance record was broken as 118,567 fans turned out to watch Rangers beat Celtic in the traditional New Year's Day Old Firm match.
Leading the club for 34 years until 1954, Struth won more trophies than any manager in Scottish Football history, amassing 18 league championships, 10 Scottish Cups, 2 League Cups, 7 war-time championships, 19 Glasgow Cups, 17 Glasgow Merchant Charity Cups and other war-time honours. During the wartime regional league setup, Rangers achieved their highest score against old firm rivals Celtic with an 8–1 win in the Southern Football League.
Our tour guide was Chris and what was evident right away was his love for the club. Couple that with his knowledge and constant research into all things Rangers, and you have a fantastic Club Ambassador. A big thank you to Chris for being such a terrific host.
Whether you’re a football fan or not you too can experience the magic of this world famous stadium with your very own 'access all areas' pass!
On the Ibrox Tour you will get exclusive access to the home dressing room, climb the marble staircase and explore the illustrious Trophy Room. Plus take a virtual tour of the Club's state of the art training facility at Murray Park and run down the tunnel before taking a seat in the dugout.
Ibrox Tours run every Friday, Saturday* and Sunday* and are priced at just £8 for Adults, £5.50 for Children/OAPs - Kids 5 years & under go free and a family ticket for 2 Adults & 2 Kids is £24.50.
*Not on match days.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
“When mother was a little child, she’d need two or three French grammar books which couldn’t be easily found and cost a lot of money. “You will need this in two years time from now, in high school” grandma had said. “In two years time? From now for the year after next?” “These, she had told, were far more useful and essential than a doll whose her head, arms and legs would eventually fall all! I, of course, insisted that nothing would fall off!” - Lily Tsoni
Greek writer Lily Tsoni is the writer of “Josephine, the black, the white”. It is a vivid recollection of the Author’s childhood memories. Lily says that her chronicle is a “book for all, teens, tweens, young adults, their parents and grandparents.
“I hope it will ignite happy memories within all my readers. It is a happy box of childhood innocence and blissful thoughts.”
As a young girl Lily recorded vivid and cherished details of her childhood. “I stored them in my heart,” she said. “In later years I decided to open my heart and share its contents and so have written this memoir.”
The book has been described as a charming, cute and evocative memoir by Richard Hunter, Professor of Classics, Cambridge University. Lily runs her own publishing house and is a permanent member of the Greek Literary Union. She is also a TV and radio journalist and presents shows about culture, the Arts, ecology, children’s issues, health, and of her travel experiences throughout Europe.
Lily is passionate about a wide range of community issues: “I support equality, human rights, education, the Environment, animals and criminal Justice. These matters have always shaped my thoughts and expanded my thinking.”
Lily is a volunteer for the Arts & Civilization of the Municipal Art Gallery in Lamia, Greece and also attends Classics at Cambridge. Writing though is her favourite pastime: “I have been writing for years. There are many things in my drawers waiting to be put on paper. I have a second book planned too and will continue to publish my writings.
“My intention is to complete a further two books by Christmas. One of a child’s experiences at Christmas - but when I say child I also refer to those adults who still shelter a child inside of themselves. It's a glittering celebration of a special time of the year.”
Lily has lived in London and has been visiting annually one month at a time for the last 7 years: “I visit my son in London - I think it is the most colourful and promising capital in Europe. But sometimes you have to ‘mind the gap.’ I have also made many good friendships here over the years.”
‘‘Josephine the black, the white” was published in December 2013 and in the UK in March 2014 by Perfect Publishers. It is a pleasant read that can be enjoyed reading alone, on the go, sitting shaded under a tree, on a dull and dark rainy day, with children, friends and loved ones. Lily’s crafted narratives will evoke happy memories of childhood upon those who pick up the book. I very much look forward to her future books.
“Whenever I am in Lyon, I always dash to the second floor of Musée des Beaux-Arts to stand in front of Gericault Mad Woman’s portrait. Last time, the guard of the museum looked at me strangely when he heard me calling her... Maria!” Am I to blame that she is identical to poor Maria, Aristides’ sister, of my childhood years?” - Lily Tsoni
• Paperback: 216 pages
• Publisher: Cambridge Pen (December 14, 2013)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 6188104823
• ISBN-13: 978-6188104822
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Enamul Haque Junior has had a very eventful cricketing career so far.
The Bangladeshi slow left arm orthodox bowler was a mere 18 years old when he created history by becoming the youngest ever bowler to take ten wickets in a test match. The feat was ever the more significant as it was previously held by the legendary Wasim Akram.
Haque made his senior test debut in 2003 against England in Dhaka. He impressed the board of selectors enough to be awarded a rookie contract with the Bangladesh national team in 2004.
It was early 2005 when Haque came to the attention of the cricketing fraternity. Zimbabwe toured Bangladesh and Haque took 6/45 in the second innings. The haul became Bangladesh's best test bowling figures. In the second test Haque smashed his own record by taking 7/95. At 18 years and 40 days the fledgling star had surpassed a global superstar in Wasim Akram and instantly come to the attention of the cricketing world. His progress continued and by December 2005 Haque reached the milestone of 100 first class wickets after Rafiqul Islam was caught and bowled during a match against Rajshahi.
Haque is currently taking a short break in England during the pre-season and has spent his time catching up with friends, relatives and keeping match sharp by training and playing a cricket with Scintilla Cricket Club in Barking & Dagenham and the London Tigers.
He has been maintaining a strict health regime to keep himself ‘sharp’: “It’s hard in Ramadan but the month should not be used as an excuse to indulge in excesses. I am an athlete and just like many others I have to watch what I eat and when I eat. I have also been training and playing cricket during the weekends has helped me maintain a level of sharpness.”
“I’m on a pre season tour to London during the off season in Bangladesh. I will be playing a few games for Scintilla Cricket Club and the London Tigers to keep my fitness levels up during the off season."
Haque has been impressed by the standards of grassroots cricket in England: “I’m seriously surprised by the skill and stamina level I have seen. The boys I have played against have been dogged, skilful, determined and tenacious and play a seriously a good level of cricket. It’s very good for the game in England.”
We discussed the levels of interest in the game in Bangladesh and the prospects of the national team: “Cricket is a gateway to achieving your dreams.
“Back home people are crazy about cricket. It’s the number one sport in Bangladesh and there is so much passion. A good job is being done to harness this passion and promote cricket. With our current good development, astute selectors and coaches as well as a good crop of youngsters I am confident that in the next few years we can be a good nation of cricket.
“There are some promising youngsters. In Sylhet we have three up and coming left arm spinners who are progressing and will make a big impact if they continue to stay level headed and work hard, namely, Masum who plays for Sylhet Division and Jabed, who has represented Bangladesh under 19’s and Sylhet Division. There are quite a few stars in the making and I’m confident that our cricket future is in good hands.”
Haque has a good philosophy and understands the need to promote a sustainable legacy for cricket around the world: “Whichever country you play for, domestic cricket is the most important matter for cricketers. It is very important to have a well developed and continually improving domestic game as this is the one way of ensuring you have a very strong and capable national team.
“In Bangladesh, cricket at grassroots levels are continually looked over and talented players are supported in their bid to progress professionally. There is a working structure in place and this means that the Bangladeshi national team will reap the benefits."
Haque’s favourite players are Daniel Vettori and Sakib Al Hasan: “Daniel Vettori is only the 8th player in test history to take 300 wickets and score 3000 runs. He has had an amazing and dream career.
“Shakib Al Hasan is a complete cricketer. “I love his confidence, his bowling and his cricket sense. In my opinion they are cricketers that all younger up and coming players should take as role models.”
Haque has visited Lord’s to watch England play India: “The wicket in England is slow and low which is a change from what we are used to. This is a five test series and I’m very excited as like all cricket fans. I think the lack of a top spinner for India will hand England victory.”
What next for this gifted bowler? “I have been fortunate to have role models from whom I have gained great strength throughout my career. There is Parvez who played for Sylhet Division, Rajin Saleh and Alok Kapali who have been great influences on my career and outlook in life. They represented Bangladesh with heart and soul and I am a big fan who adopted their game styles and incorporated them into aspects of my own play.
“On this point I would like to point out the impact and influence of ex international players like Khaled Mahmud Sujon and Minhaj Nannu on the game back home.
“These are people with super cricket brains and with Nannu becoming a director I am very hopeful and excited at how the game in Bangladesh will progress.”
“I hope that the current group can in the next five years set a goal and take Bangladesh from 10th to 6th in the rankings.
Haque is hopeful about next season: “I’m going to continue working hard, train, play and strive to get back into the folds of the national team. Nothing beats the feeling of stepping out and playing for your country.
“It is a very short career and my advice to young people is to work hard, be committed, and be professional. Cricket is everything in Bangladesh. It has given us dreams and allowed us to soar.
“My future? I will continue to train hard and I’m hoping win a recall to the national team. I’m a proud Bangladeshi. I've fulfilled many dreams through playing cricket and I hope my hard work will earn me a recall. I’m certainly not done yet.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Monday, July 14, 2014
Scintilla CC vs Newham CC
Venue: Bobby Moore Pavilion, Flanders Playing Fields, Napier Road, E6 2SG East Ham, London
Scintillating Scintilla CC stormed to the top of the table with a no holds barred beating of Newham CC in the latest round of games in the Essex County Cricket League (ECCL). It was the Barking & Dagenham Clubs sixth win in a row.
Scintila won the toss and with a damp wicket opted for Newham to bat first. Newham’s experienced openers held their nerve during an early Scintilla barrage and coupled with some loose bowling racked up 60 runs in 9 overs.
Scintilla introduced two debutants in Sabbir al Mahmud Sany and Mobassher Ahmed. Newham proved a tough baptism as 24 runs were conceded in just two overs and 36 runs in 5 overs respectively.
Ashfaqur Rahman Nobel replaced Sany and impressed with his in-swingers. Nobel grabbed 3 wickets in his 7 overs with a maiden over for his records.
But Kashif Iqbal of Newham CC seemed unstoppable as he pierced through Scintilla CC bowling attacks and fielding with the greatest of ease. He reached his half century but that was to be the end of the line. Up stepped Enamul Haque Jr to claim Iqbal’s scalp, caught at the covers by the evergreen veteran Sajal Rahman who took a gravity defying back leap and catch. The moment conjured by Enamul Haque Junior and Sajal Rahman proved an inspirational catalyst.
Haque Jr once again showed his class as he demolished the Newham CC middle order batting line-up. He finished his 9-over spell with 4 wickets and only gave away 20 runs to the opposition.
Scintilla CC captain, Faris Almas-Lee Rosmanizam decided to take up bowling spin from the other end and managed to support Haque Jr in restricting the runs. Rosmanizam ended with 1 wicket for 37 runs in 7 overs.
Newham CC were all bowled out for 195 runs in 43 overs.
An aggressive start from Scintilla’s top order batsmen dominated the opposition bowlers until Ashraful Islam was bowled as the opener alongside Sajal Rahman fully utilised the powerplay overs by clearing Newham CC deliveries frequently over the fielders. With this brutal display Scintilla CC reached 60 runs in just 6 overs.
Nobel again flourished with the bat as he struck 58 runs in his innings. He showed patience and calmness, and was ably supported by Rosmanizam (10 runs) and Bellal Hossain (39 runs). The talented Hossain reached a quickfire 39 from 29 deliveries before a mistimed shot and was caught out.
Nerves took hold as Scintilla CC lost another 2 quick wickets - Mobassher Ahmed and Ahmed Choudhury with 9 runs left for a win. Nevertheless, Abul Hasib (4 runs) and Enamul Haque Jr stayed calm with Haque Junior hitting a boundary to to secure victory by 3 wickets in hand and with 16 overs to spare.
Scintilla captain Rosmanizam said: “More points for Scintilla CC but we should have done better in all departments. There was complacency in the field and we must improve if we want to win the championship. Further work needs to be done and I hope the players learn from the mistakes as early as possible since the season is already half-way completed.”
Enamul Haque Junior said; “It was a tough game and there were some outstanding performances from Newham CC. It was a difficult win. A lot of the boys were fasting so the victory is extra sweet.”
Man of the match Ashfaqur Rahman Nobel added; “Newham CC are always tough and rugged opponents. I’m pleased with my performance but even more pleased that the team secured the points. I’m glad we don’t play Newham CC every week.
Result: Scintilla CC won by 3 wickets
Scintilla CC won the toss and elected to field
Newham CC 195 all out in 43 overs. Enamul Haque Jr 4 for 20, Ashfaqur Rahaman Nobel 3 for 23
Scintilla CC 196-3 in 29 overs. Ashfaqur Rahaman Nobel 58, Bellal Hossain 39
Man of the match: Ashfaqur Rahman Nobel (Scintilla CC)
Set in a Funk groove “What U C Is What U Get” tells a fictional story of a strange relationship between Prince and someone from another galaxy.
Warning – the song contains an explicit lyric. “I have produced a ‘bleeped’ version for more sensitive ears,” said Peter. He added; “It will be interesting to see how the song fares with the Prince fanbase. I’m pretty sure some will love it and others will hate it due to the various nods and winks towards the master himself. We shall see.”
The Bandcamp option is especially interesting, as it includes an exclusive “BUY IT DEARER” option – This means there are no Amazon fees and Peter and the team will be donating a full £2.49 per copy to the Hospice.
To purchase click here...
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Sunday, July 06, 2014
Thursday, July 03, 2014
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Football legend joins stars to raise awareness of refugees and £10,000 for the Mo Farah Foundation
A whole host of celebrities, including ex-boxers Frank Bruno and John Conteh and footballers Tony Adams, Joe Cole, Tony Woodcock, Gary Mabbutt and Nigel Winterburn, attended a Gala Charity Boxing Match between Repton and Gabala (Azerbaijan). The event was organised to increase awareness of Azerbaijan's 875,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees and to raise funds for the Mo Farah Foundation. Bethnal Green boxing club Repton stepped forward to stage a special charity night to mark World Refugee Week and also raise funds for the Mo Farah Foundation.
The popular boxing event was also attended by Tale Heydarov, the President of the Gabala Sport Club in Azerbaijan. Tale has been instrumental in building boxing in Azerbaijan and in particular forging international links to help encourage sporting development at a grass roots level in his home country. One of the initiatives he has spearheaded was this charity boxing bout between Gabala Boxing Club and Repton – the oldest and most famous boxing club in the UK.
The night was hosted by the European Azerbaijan Society, in association with ex Arsenal and England Captain Tony Adams and Darren ‘Dazzling’ Barker, the IBF World middleweight champion and former European, British and Commonwealth champion, and commemorated World Refugee Day. The presenter for the night was Gary Newbon from Sky Sports and the evening also featured appearances from reality stars Chloe and Charlie Sims.
Leyla Aliyeva, Vice-President, Heydar Aliyev Foundation; Syed Kamall MEP, leader of the Conservative Group in the European Parliament; and Lord Addington, Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Azerbaijan and keen sportsman attended the match, together with around 800 boxing fans and promoters, celebrities and pundits.
The main part of the evening saw eight enthralling bouts, with Repton’s promising young hopes in various weight categories being pitted against their counterparts from Gabala. Boxing, wrestling, judo and other martial arts remain popular across Azerbaijan. The country’s national boxing team brought home two medals from the London 2012 Olympics. The night saw some close split-points decisions and overall victory was awarded to the home team of Repton.
Frank Bruno said; “Azerbaijanis are a tough group of people and you’ve seen this tonight. They might be amateurs but I think many could easily turn professional. That’s how good they are.”
During the interval, a cheque for the princely sum of £10,000 was presented to the Mo Farah Foundation with the remaining proceeds donated to charities assisting Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs.
Jorge Tommie Anderson fought and won on the night.
Jorge won his match convincingly. He said; I’m really happy with the result and glad to have supported charity and raise awareness about a good cause.”
Tony Adams said: “The event is in aid of Refugee IDP week. I spent 18 months in Azerbaijan and now advise and manage the sports club. We have a very successful shooting team, football, with qualification for the Europa League and a boxing team.
“I’ve bought the boxers over to face the famous Repton club in this great venue in the east end. Gabala Sports Club has got a fantastic boxing team that has been training very hard for tonight, and I am delighted to be their manager.
“It’s great to support the Mo Farah Foundation. Azerbaijan has 875,000 refugees and IDPs and they should have the chance to return home. Gabala Boxers are proud to have visited London and fought their Repton opponents. It’s been a very good night. We’ve raised a few quid for the Mo Farah Foundation and overall it’s gone very well I think.
“Everyone’s enjoyed the evening and we’ve seen some excellent boxing. Brilliant! We have raised £10,000.”
Gabala FK is an Azerbaijani association football club based in Qəbələ. They play in the Azerbaijan Premier League, the top division in Azerbaijani football.
The evening also highlighted the new TEAS ‘Many Happy Returns’ (MHR) initiative. This is an opportunity for members of the public and politicians to pledge their support to help Azerbaijani IDPs and refugees to return home. It also gives the chance to sign a petition requesting the re-designation of World Refugee Day – defined after World War II – as World Refugee and IDP day. The MHR website athttp://www.manyhappyreturnsidp.comalso uses graphic novel form to explain the background to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.