Wednesday 21 October 2009
Following Ivan Ponting's excellent obituary of Alex McCrae (17 October),
writes Tam Dalyell, could I add that during National Service basic training at Catterick camp, the first time we were allowed out after our six weeks' call-up was to go to Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough, where we saw Middlesbrough 3 Burnley 3 in December 1950? That afternoon McCrae was on the same level as Wilf Mannion and Burnley's Jimmy McIlroy.
After his return to Scotland, working at Leyland Bathgate, then the biggest concentration of machine tools under one roof in Europe, McCrae, without financial reward, devoted endless hours to coaching youngsters from Stoneyburn, Blackburn (West Lothian) and Bathgate. In 1965, Arthur Bottomley, MP for Middlesbrough East and the Commonwealth Secretary, who was then immersed in the Rhodesia crisis, introduced me to his lunch guest George Hardwick, the former Middlesbrough stalwart and England captain. I mentioned my friend and constituent Alex McCrae. Hardwick turned to Bottomley and said, "You know, Arthur, it was Alex McCrae who more than any of us made the lad Delapenha" – Lindy Delapenha, the first Jamaican to play top-flight football in England – "feel at home among the boys." George Hardwick was in a position to know.
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...
£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...