Behind the Scenes at the Football Museum

Meeting the Gub

You might think that there is no link here, but life is strange and I got to meet the Govanhill Gub (and his dad). I was going on my merry way, doing a bit of the old curating, when someone pointed out that I was the subject of a post on Follow Follow. You young pups who think made-up nonsense only started on social media in recent years - you don’t know you’re born.

It seems that I had been running round the Museum wearing my ‘Celtic 6 Rangers 2’ t-shirt (‘The Cry was No Defenders’). Some people do like jumping to conclusions. With a name like Gerard O’Brien, you don’t need to make too wild a guess, as to my footballing allegiances. I could only be more of an emerald stereotype, if I changed my name to Balaclava Armalite O’Fenian.

The allegation had supposedly come from a piece in Follow Follow. I laughed - for a little bit. It had the potential for getting dangerous. The object of their anger was actually in a case about modern fans - with other memorabilia - like a t-shirt ‘The Future’s Bright - the Future’s Orange’ and a ‘Tartan Army’ shirt.

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The idea that the Director of a national museum would take something out of a case and dance around, wearing it, was clearly not beyond the fevered imagination of some people. An immediate sacking would have been called for - due to gross indiscipline. As a trained curator, people used laugh when I took out my white gloves, to handle some family heirloom that had been pawed for a century. Jeezo - I start hyperventilating when I see an old shirt pressed into a picture frame. A few complaints about me, came in - all from Cumbernauld. I don’t know either...

Still - this small outbreak of mentalness had to be nipped in the bud. I found out Mark Dingwall’s email address. Via Mark, I got the Gub into the Museum, for a chat. His dad came along, too. He was one of the Rangers fans, who was old enough to remember when Rangers called Celtic ‘huns’. He was quite put out, that the boot was then on the other foot. It’s a funny old game, Tim.

The Gub wrote a piece in the FF magazine. It was quite even handed, whilst explaining that he and I would disagree on most topics. That is fine. In real life, he was not all like the person who could call me a reptile. Hey - we all have times when we use hyperbole. I tell kids that if they don’t do my homework, I’ll have them tied to a lamp post in George Square, so that totey weans can poke them with sticks and make unkind remarks about their hairstyles. That has no effect, either.

At least I was able to right a wrong. My antagonists were known and I could talk it out. It transpired that my antagonists were actually not really different from me. Sound and fury... When the Gub met me, he will have been smart enough to realise that I was just a guy who loved football as much as he did. I just worshipped, at a different shrine. I realise that this could be false memory syndrome, but I am sure the Gub wrote a warning piece in FF about the unknown origin of Murray’s money. The idea that Rangers’ seeming financial dominance over Celtic might not be a good thing. Mid 1990s?

I realise that problem solving with social media is no longer possible, in the same way. It is why I studiously stick to 19
th century football, on my Twitter account. I suppose you can get raging about my comments on the offside law or Charles Alcock (Liar Extraordinaire). If so, you have problems, that no meeting with me, will ever amend.

NB: I have misplaced the two relevant copies of FF. If anyone can help me out with an image, for my archives, I would be much obliged.