Not forgotten

Phil O’Donnell would have turned 36 today, the same age as me (albeit only until June). Calls for a wee dram and a re-watching of the ’91 Scottish Cup Final video tonight I think, if only to reinforce just how badly we could do with him back in our midfield at the moment… 

EDIT: Coincidentally, it was also the 13th anniversary of Davie Cooper‘s untimely death a couple of days ago, too. Unbelievable that two of that cup winning team died in their 30s, while just doing their job.

Life after Phil

I like this idea. Motherwell fans have had two weeks to pay their respects, and Hearts fans have already paid theirs with a minute’s applause before their last two games (and fair play to them for doing it the second time– not entirely sure why they were asked to do it more than once…)

Let’s just get back on with the fitba’ now– it’s what Phil would have wanted!

RIP Phil O’Donnell

Numbed by the news when I got home last night that Motherwell captain Phil O’Donnell had died after collapsing during the game with Dundee Utd yesterday.

I well remember his debut against St.Mirren in the 1990/91 season, when as a 17-year-old he was given the complete runaround by Kenny MacDowell. At the end of that season, he scored his first goal for the club– in the memorable Scottish Cup “family final” at Hampden Park. Ironically, that was also against Dundee Utd, in a game which was also tinged with sadness– the managers of the two teams were brothers Tommy and Jim McLean, whose father died a couple of days before the final.

(That cup winning side seems somewhat jinxed, now… it also featured Davie Cooper, who was to collapse and die a few years later on the training ground at the age of 39. And two of our other stars that day never played again, forced into early retirement through injury.)

So, thanks for the memories, Phil. Thoughts are with your family and friends today, especially to your wife, kids, and nephew and Motherwell team-mate David Clarkson who’s been a revelation this year– I hope he can find it within himself to pull on the claret and amber jersey again after what he witnessed yesterday.

Plus ça change

Just a bit deflated that one of the most inexplicably wrong refereeing decisions I’ve seen cost Scotland a draw against Italy this afternoon, but I don’t think it would have been enough anyway, and I’m certainly glad we’re not sitting waiting on the France result on Wednesday. Can’t fault the lads for another great performance (bar the first two minutes), bring on the World Cup qualifiers!

(To be fair, the ref ruled out a perfectly good Italian second goal for offside, and failed to disallow ours for the same offence… but to lose like that was just rubbing it in, really.)

Och-aye-demy

Just noticed that KDE’s Akademy conference is taking place in my old stomping ground of Strathyclyde University’s Computer Science Department in Glasgow… pity there are no usability sessions on the schedule, might have been tempted to gatecrash for nostalgia’s sake :)

Back in my day (1989-93), the Graham Hills building was called Marland House (we’d just bought it off BT), and its main function was to house a lab full of QLs that Sinclair had donated. Despite the stories in the press at the time, every student didn’t get one to take home– AFAIK they all stayed in the lab, and all we ever did with them was our 68k assembly language assignments (as set by Duncan Smeed, who’s probably still setting them today…)

The top few floors of the Livingstone Tower, on the other hand, housed (as they still do) the staff offices and the 3rd and 4th year computer lab, which at the time had just been kitted out with smart new Sun terminals (ELCs, IIRC– which looking back at them now were the forerunner of Sun Rays, I guess). Little did I know then…