Does this mean my street credibility is about to soar?
For being a reporter, I have been jostled by striking miners in south Wales, threatened by nasty little Proddie thugs in east Belfast (and by nasty little Catholic thugs in west Belfast), had guns pointed at me by curfew-enforcing and possibly crack-crazed soldiers in Sierra Leone and advised to make myself scarce at demos in Islamabad and in Serb villages on the Kosovo border.
Oh, and I’ve been stoned by Muslim youths in Vénissieux and once tried in vain to negotiate a “ransom” to repossess the expensive camera nicked from my photographer when she was beaten and robbed by African youths in a dodgy Parisian suburb.
But never until now have I been denounced in print as a “left wing/commie pinko” journalist.
Turn to page 43 of the new edition of A Love Supreme and there it is. I am condemned by “Tommy Coates, Suddicker……exiled in Cardross, Scotland” for an article welcoming the new Irish supporters of – and massive financial support for – the club Tommy and I both love.
But it’s best that I allow my words, and his, to speak for themselves. The next posting here – and it will follow quite quickly – will be the piece I sent to the ALS and which appeared, from memory, in the last edition but one.
If anyone has contact with Tommy, let him know that I will then run – at similar length and subject to changes only on grounds of decency or defamation, which I am happy to negotiate – his response.
In the meantime, as the third article in this mini-series, I will post his ALS letter – in which he expresses his unease at the “Paddification” of Sunderland AFC – in full. You may be our judges.