Hibernian Soapbox: a dreich day out with mime artists and casuals

Pete Sixsmith goes to Edinburgh, inspects the Fringe programme and then sees a match that makes him question his decision to watch football and not a spot of drama. A question reinforced by grim post-match encounter with the non-attending Hibs “casuals”, desperately sad and sub-human relics of football’s dark, yob days …


What is it
with our pre-season and heavy rain?

Three years ago, a downpour of biblical proportions deluged Dublin, leading to the cancellation of our game with Shamrock Rovers, two years ago the heavens opened as we arrived in Amsterdam, soaking those of us who had packed, rather than worn, waterproofs while last year we were soaked in Sinsheim prior to the Hoffenheim game.

This year, it was Scotland’s turn to turn the water on Wearside’s finest, as the rain came down in stair rods over that nation’s capital, turning Easter Road and its environs into a passable imitation of the streets of Venice at low tide. When it rains in Scotland, it does so with a vengeance, almost as if it wants to wash away the memories of Union in 1707.

Read moreHibernian Soapbox: a dreich day out with mime artists and casuals

Millwall: hard to like but some of their fans care

Before I say anything else, let me offer the thought that Millwall fans – decent ones, anyway, and please do not automatically assume decency and Millwall are mutually exclusive terms – have a point when they say a few missiles thrown by gormless hoodlums should not tarnish an entire club.

Read moreMillwall: hard to like but some of their fans care

Niall Quinn, Titus Bramble and presumptions of innocence


Click here and you will quickly see what you are invited to sign. Most of us pay lip service to notions of justice. In practice, we repeatedly encounter anomalies …

Niall Quinn stands convicted on one count – not knowing the difference between refute and deny – but is absolutely right to put out a dignified club statement* emphasising that Titus Bramble, arrested on suspicion of rape, maintains his innocence.

Niall was also wise enough to the potential charge of hypocrisy to avoid adding that whenever an individual is charged with a crime in the UK, and indeed his own native Irish Republic, there is – notionally at least – a presumption of innocence. It is nevertheless worth pointing it out: Bramble has not even been charged; if and when that occurs, he must be seen as innocent until and unless found guilty.

Read moreNiall Quinn, Titus Bramble and presumptions of innocence