August 2918

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HMSA August Meeting Minutes – 30 August 2018


1.HMSA member Francis Mein has sadly passed away after a long illness.  He’d been unable to attend for a while due to illness.


2.The Association laid a wreath at Contalmaison in July.


3.The club have commissioned a bronze statue of the Haymarket Clock and asked the Association and other Hearts supporters groups (Federation of Hearts etc) if they would like to contribute towards the cost which is £10,000.  The Association agreed to pay £1,000 towards the cost of this.  It’s being made to commemorate the centenary of the end of the first world war and should be in the museum from the end of October.


4.Next month’s meeting will be on 27th September and we are due to have Craig Levein and the management team as our guests.  At present we are unsure if this will still be the case and will depend on Craig’s health.  He’s back at home now recovering and we sent him a get well soon card.  (The Chair would like the auditor to know that there was no postage costs as he hand delivered the card to the club  ).


5.Our sponsored players for this season are Steven Naismith, Steven MacLean and under 20,s star Aidan Keena.  We shall receive signed jerseys for these players at the end of the season which we will raffle at the Player of the Year Dinner in April 2019.  The winners will be presented with the jerseys by the players on the night.


The Chair introduced our guest for the evening David Tanner - David worked for Sky for 18 years and before that he worked for Radio Clyde and STV.  He’s born in the West of Scotland before moving through the East of Scotland.  He’s interviewed hundreds of top sportsmen and sportswomen over the years and has now set up the LongestForty production company with Scott Gardiner.


David first checked the room for any Hibbee Supporters before he got started  and confirmed he was honoured to be at the home of the league leaders.  


He told us about the last time he was here was for a Hutchie Vale dinner and he was asked as a favour to come along say a few words.  He asked what exactly they were wanting him to do and was asked just to tell everyone about all the famous people he’d interviewed.  He proceeded to tell stories about interviewing, Messi, Ronaldo, Sir Alex, Walter Smith, Arsene Wenger, Pep Guardiolo, Ronaldinho, Hans Eskillson , Matthaus, Plattini etc.  He got home and his wife said to him did you have a good night talking about all the people you’ve interviewed?  He replied yes, how did you know?  Because someone in the audience had tweeted “Listening to David Tanner – what a name dropping Arsehole!!”


On Monday 3rd September, it’ll be 30 years working in the media, he started aged 16 as a tea boy at radio Clyde. He had the name “Elsie” Tanner when he was growing up and he was so glad when Roscoe Tanner got to the Wimbledon final in 1979 as he got a much better nickname “Roscoe”.

Both his grandparents were blind, his grandad loved football though and the RexBlindParties are such a great thing for people who are blind. David and his dad used to do commentary for blind people and it’s so different from the radio or TV as they want to know every little detail, Radio and TV are not quick enough and don’t go into enough detail.


David’s son is a jambo and his first ever game was in May 2012 (not a bad game to choose), needless to say there are posters of Rudi all over his son’s walls.


His first ever interview was when he was still at School.  STV & Radio Clyde was like Anchorman with everyone drunk most of the time.  His boss came out the pub and told him that there was a famous footballer in the pub and he was to go and interview him.  He asked who the footballer was and he said he wasn’t sure as he didn’t follow football.  David said he didn’t know what to do and was told just to go and ask questions so I went into the pub and there’s ‘Slim’ Jim Baxter (most of you will be too young to remember him ) sitting in the pub pished and I was to interview him.  But that’s how it was for that generation of footballers, Dave McKay, Denis Law etc, they were all piss heads who loved to go out bevvying.


In his opinion Pele was the greatest player of all time.  However, arguably the best European player was Eusabio and when David was over in Braga a friend of his who was a press officer asked him if he’d want to interview Eusabio, how could he say no.  So they drove up to a little town in the country and there was Eusabio in a bar absolutely blootered.  I asked him what do you know about Scotland and he said, Jim Baxter, Willie Henderson, Jimmy Fxxking Johnstone .  I asked him if he thought he was the best European player ever and he replied, European, I’m Fxxking African, I’m from Mozambique!!


He was paid £15 to be the Tea boy at Radio Clyde and he got the chance to work alongside some great people, Gerry McNee, Bob Crampsie, Derek Johnstone, Hugh Keevins to name just a few.

He recalled Hugh Keevins before a Dundee United game stating the Kevin Gallacher had just “Pissed a late fatness test”.

After Rangers beat Celtic 5-1, Chick Young was interviewing Billy McNeil and Derek Johnstone started talking to Billy McNeil through his ear phones.  McNeil’s comment “I might have known you’d fxxking turn up” was thankfully beeped out thanks to the 10 second delay.


However, another time, they weren’t so lucky and almost led to the radio show being closed down.

It was season 90/91 and Joe Jordan had taken over at Hearts with Frank Connor, this was a change from Hearts usual signing policy at the time which was looking for players / managers with at least 10 years’ experience at Rangers .  

Derek Johnstone was speaking to Frank Connor and they thought they were on talk back where you can hear each other but it’s not going out on air.  That’s what they thought and hadn’t realised they were on air.  Frank says to Johnstone “how you doing, ya fat orange Bxxxxxd”, Johnstone say to him, I’m doing well, are you going to rename the School End at Tynecastle the Lourdes End?  This went on for a bit and Chic Young was listening in his car laughing when he realised that he wasn’t working and he shouldn’t be able to hear what they were saying!!  Anyway, it made the front page of the Sun, Record and the Mail.


David told us about how one of his jobs was to edit interviews with players that they did on a Friday as they all referred to tomorrow, whereas they were going to be playing the interviews on the Saturday.  He had to go through and remove all references to tomorrow every week which was a pain so they decided that when they interviewed the players they would get them to refer to the game today even though the game was being played the day after.  This was ok for everyone, except for Anton Rogan of Celtic who just couldn’t get his head around it no matter how much they explained.  Eventually he came out with “Yes, I’m really hoping we win the game yesterday ”


At that time Radio Clyde was getting about 0.5 million listeners each week and this increased to around a million on Old Firm day.  It was huge, the total audience was around 2 million and a quarter of them were tuning in each week.


When Gerry McNee went to STV, he asked David to go as well and that how he started in TV along with some of the best people who’s names’ have great rhyming potential.

Shereen Nanjiani, Jim Delahunt, Gerry McNee and of course Jim White.


Nowadays, you get abuse on twitter, but he recalls back in the day when Jim White received some fan mail which was an envelope with a jobby in it.  Going forward, we gave an award each year for the person with the most Fxxk Ups – A Jobby in a jiffy bag .


Back then, the Glasgow boys didn’t want to come through to Edinburgh, so David had free reign to cover Hearts.  It was a great team at Hearts where a lot of the team that had almost won the league around decade earlier were still there.  Unlike now, there were people who talked up the game in Scotland, Wallace Mercer and Jim Leishman were two people who really talked up the game.


He recalled at the team speaking to Craig Levein and the torture he went through with his ACL injuries which Craig did at a time when very few players came back from that injury.  He remembered Craig saying to him that it’s painful and then the nerve endings go so you can’t feel anything and you think you’re ok, but you try to get up or run and the leg just gives way.  He remembered watching the cup final in 1996 and seeing Locky go down and then get up and try and run and he realised what had happened to him.  

(He wasn’t 100% sure but he thought that George Burley was the first player to come back from and ACL injury).

At was at this time that he met one of the nicest guys in football, someone that was so friendly and always willing to talk and just a great guy – Robbo.  He’s a special player and person and David is trying to get Robbo inducted into the SFA Hall of Fame.


Jim Jeffries then came into Hearts and he took a real shine to him, you used to interview him rather than the press conferences you get now.  He remembered going down to Pinkie (in Musselburgh) to interview JJ and he was asked to referee the sprints.  After every one, the player who lost started arguing with David.  Another time, he recalled getting there and JJ turned round and waved to him, then a few seconds later turned around with a face like thunder “HEY YOU”, “you said that Killie had more possession than us at the weekend, that’s rubbish”.  David then told JJ that he wasn’t at the game and just read a script.  “Ach well, fair enough” said JJ and there was grudges held.


It was such a great team Hearts had then, we Flogel, Adam, Rousset, Salvatori, McCann, Cameron, Weir, Naismith, Ritchie etc.  However, the one player that really epitomised that season was Stevie Fulton, David Recalled that Bruce Rioch signed him for Bolton but he wasn’t playing, so Steve’s agent Bill McMurdo called Bruce to ask why he wasn’t playing and was told “Stevie knows why” so McMurdo as Fulton and he said “I don’t know why”, this went on for a while until Bruce eventually told him it was because Stevie smoked.    Anyone, when he wasn’t playing he put on weight.

In 97/98, Stevie had lost a lot of weight and I asked him how he’d did it and he told me that he used to eat chips every night but the gaffer won’t let me eat chips anymore.  So I asked him if you feel better and Fulton said “naw, I miss my chips ”.

Hearts should have won the league that year, Rangers were knackered and Celtic eventually just stumbled over the line to win the title.  He recalled the noise at Tynecastle when Quitongo scored against Celtic.  


David then got a job at sky and it was mental what you were expected to do and be Sober!! At STV, everyone was pished most of the time, he remembered Jim White interviewing Walter Smith and Sir Alex and the camera kept focussing on the side of Jim White’s head and when asked what was going on was told “Yes, it’s because the director’s wasted”.


David recalled the time when Amaruso was out of contract and Rangers had just beat St Mirren and he grilled Amuruso and he admitted that he wanted away from Rangers.  

Then next day he was down watching Ayr United train at a public park with Gordon Dalzeil taking training and this guy came up to him and told him he was out of order and he couldn’t speak to the captain of Glasgow Rangers like that.  It was Sydney Divine giving him a telling off.


He also remembered the Scottish Cup draw with Rod Stewart where he was pished.  It was after the Albion Rovers v Celtic Game and Rod turned up with Black Leopard Skin scarve, a John Motson coat, completed tanked up.  I said hello to Rod and he said “David, it’s Sir Rod”  Rod was like a bingo caller, his eyes were blood shot.  It’s the first time he’s done something that’s went viral.  He was getting messages from people from all over the world asking about the Scottish Cup draw.

The next day in Waitrose in morningside, an old woman said to him you’re the man off the TV, can I get a photo and autograph.  I spoke to her for a bit and she ended with “So, what’s the weather going to be like Sean? ”  


He recalled doing a cup draw at the Usher Hall with a hero of his Billy Connolly and got a fit of the giggles when he said Brilliant and going for a pee at McDiarmid Park and Sean Connery was taking a pee right next to him.


His new company, The Longestforty are having a dinner with Gazza at the EICC and David’s happy to offer a 25% discount for Hearts Shareholders.  He did one a few months back with Bryan Robson (who signed Gazza for Middlesbrough), Robson told him that Gazza was bat shxt crazy.  He recalled a time when Gazza was at Lazio and he called Robson to say that he’d set fire to is room mates’ pubes and just needed to call him to let him know.

When he signed for Middlesbrough for about £3m, his legs were gone, at the same time, Middlesbrough got a new Team Coach, anyway Gazza and the new Team Coach disappeared and he had stolen the bus and was driving down the road, picked up two old ladies who asked where he was going as they were going to Gateshead, I’ll take you, hop in!.  Ended up hitting the bus stop and the police brought him back.


David thanked everyone for having him at the monthly meeting and if you enjoyed it, tell your friends and if you didn’t he’s Sean Batty 


We finished with the Raffle which raised £400.