Skip to Content

Big Jimmy from Glasgow

Two weeks ago, I was interviewed by the BBC World Service as our European tour was coming to an end. Christian and I were in Malaga. The interview took place at Phil and Alice’s, surrounded wet laundry in their computer room. It was a cold rainy day in Malaga.

London Calling

In Auckland, New Zealand, it was a warm, end-of-summer morning. My dad, big Jimmy from Glasgow, was lying in bed, headset on listening to the BBC World Service, drifting in and out of sleep following the live roundup of football action from across the UK. It’s been the same procedure for him for as long as anyone can remember. But that morning at 4am, there I am on the radio talking in his ear and Jimmy, with no forewarning of my appearance, was suddenly awake.

A week earlier in Dakar, I couldn’t help but think of him as we sat in Mbacke’s flat in central Dakar. We were sitting with the family in a circle in the living room, eating from a communal plate containing a fantastic traditional meal of Senegalese rice and fish, when suddenly there was a cry of “goal” from the commentators on the TV. I excused myself, jumped to my feet and raced into the TV room. Rangers had scored in the 93rd minute at Ibrox. 1-0 against Celtic. I raised my fists and cheered and thought of my dad, at home in Auckland, who was certainly watching the game as happy as Rab C Nesbitt at Italia ’90.

Back in Bamako, the phone rings — it’s Matt Davies calling from the BBC. I’m slightly nervous at the thought of millions of people listening to our live conversation. But this time, I know my dad will be listening live in New Zealand.

Written by on Friday, March 19th, 2010

1 comment on this post

  1. Bob Neiderhiser April 9, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    ahh the beautiful game. Where would we be with out it. Nice blog will check back again to see if you have any updates

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Ball 2018 left England on 25th March 2018 and travelled to the World Cup in Russia.

The Ball 2014 kicked off from England on 9th Jan 2014 and headed to the World Cup in Brazil.

The Ball 2010 left England on 24th Jan 2010 headed to the Opening Ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Ball 2006 travelled from London to the Opening Ceremony in Munich, Germany.

The Ball 2002 was carried 7000 miles across Europe and Asia to the World Cup finals in Korea & Japan.