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Live It Up 78: Holding out for a Hero – RIP Jim Steinman

The man who wrote Bat out of Hell and so was partly responsible for thrusting Meatloaf onto the world has died.

Despite not having much success on his own account Steinman had a few strings to his bow. As well as composing he was also a record producer and contributed not only to Meatloaf’s career but also to Bonnie Tyler’s, producing her two highest charting UK albums and writing her two biggest hits in the UK, Total Eclipse of the Heart and this one, Holding out for a Hero.

Bonnie Tyler: Holding out for a Hero

James Richard (Jim) Steinman: November 1/11/1947 –19/4/2021. So it goes.

Michael Collins

One of the most important cogs in the Apollo 11 team which made the first Moon landing (way back in 1969, 52 years ago!) has died.

While Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin flew down to the Moon in the Lunar Module, Eagle, Michael Collins stayed in Moon orbit in the Command Module, Columbia, keeping the whole mission together, orbiting the Moon alone – the supposedly loneliest human in the universe – thirty times before the Lunar Module returned Armstrong and Aldrin to Columbia.

Having started his career as a fighter pilot and going on to be a test pilot Collins was a veteran of Gemini 10 where he became the fourth human to space walk and the first to do it twice but retired from NASA in 1970 very soon after his most historic mission.

Michael Collins: 31/10/1930 – April 28/4/2021. So it goes.

Frank Worthington

Frank Worthington was one of those maverick footballers whose antics can drive some managers mad. Sadly he died earlier this week.

He was one of the flamboyant extroverts whose presence on a football pitch always implies the possibility of something memorable occurring but does not endear them to bosses who prefer a measure of control, to minimise risk. As a result, despite being one of the most gifted ball players of his generation he gained only eight caps for England.

By all accounts he was as extravagant off the pitch as he was on it.

This is an example of his sublime football talent – an incredibly inventive goal scored for Bolton Wanderers against Ipswich Town. With his back to goal and seemingly going nowhere fruitful fast, with one touch of the ball he created a scoring opportunity – and took it. It’s so good the clip plays it twice.

Frank Stewart Worthington: 23/11/1948 – 22/3/2021. So it goes.

Peter Lorimer

Another football name from my youth has gone. The death of Peter Lorimer has been announced.

He came to prominence playing in that great Leeds United side of the late 60s and early 70s, managed by Don Revie.

I actually saw him play once. He even scored. It was in a World Cup qualification game against Denmark at Hampden in 1972. Denmark outplayed Scotland all over the park except in our penalty box. Everything kind of petered out just before they reached there. Scotland won two-nil.

In the finals Lorimer was involved in the most bizarre free-kick incident ever to have happened during a World Cup. It was Scotland’s first game, against Zaire. Lorimer was lined up to take it when the ref blew his whistle and a Zaire player rushed out of the wall. Lorimer hesitated, waiting for the ref to blow for the ten yard distance to be re-established. He didn’t, and the Zaire player kicked the ball upfield. Lorimer scored the first in a 2-0 win.

Peter Patrick Lorimer: 14/12/1946 – 20/3/2021. So it goes.

Columb McKinley

I’ve only just found out that former Sons player Columb McKinley died last month.

A local lad as I recall, Columb first played senior football with Airdrie before moving to the Sons in 1975. He was centre half in the Sons side that made it to the Scottish Cup semi-fimal in 1976. I doubt a Sons team will ever achieve such a thing again. Had we won that semi-final we would have qualified for the European Cup Winners’ Cup, as the other finalists, Rangers, won the league. Sadly, despite playing well in the first game, we could only draw it 0-0. Hearts won the replay 3-0.

Columb McKinley: 24/8/1950 – 6/2/2021. So it goes.

Murray Walker

I’ve just seen on the news that Murray Walker for so long the voice of motor sport on British television has died.

I remember his distinctive voice commentating on Motocross (formerly known as motorcycle scrambling) in the 1960s on the BBC’s Grandstand; itself sadly long gone.

It was as a commentator on Formula 1, though, for which he was best known, for both the BBC and ITV in a stint lasting over twenty years. After his retirement the sport somehow never felt the same. Shockingly, that commentating retirement was itself twenty years ago.

He was one of those few characters associated with a particular sport whose fame and personality allowed them to transcend it.

Graeme Murray Walker: 10/10/1923 – 13/3/2021. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 201: That’s What Love Will Do – RIP Trevor Peacock

Trevor Peacock, who was best known as an actor (particularly as Jim Trott in The Vicar of Dibley, died earlier this week.

However he was also a songwriter, with several hits to his credit in the early 1960s, though they were performed and sung by other people. Mrs Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter was a no 1 in the US for Herman’s Hermits, though it wasn’t released as a single in the UK.

This one was a No 3 in the UK. It is a very “early 1960s” sound, from a tiny bit before my time.

Joe Brown and The Bruvvers: That’s What Love Will Do

Trevor Edward Peacock: 19/5/1931 – 8/3/2021. So it goes.

Willie Whigham

I see from the club’s website that Willie Whigham, who played in goal for Sons for some of that post-promotion 1972-3 season has died.

While never managing to replace previous season’s goalie Lawrie Williams in that generation of Sons’ fans affections he is nevertheless a well-remembered name for those who witnessed those great days for the club.

William Murdoch Morrison “Willie” Whigham: 9/10/1939 – 4/3/2021. So it goes.

Ian St John

So now it’s Ian St John who has died.

Having made his name at Motherwell he became an integral part of the first great Liverpool team of my lifetime, the first Shankly-managed one, and also played what now seems a paltry 21 games for Scotland, scoring nine goals for the national side, including two in that great sliding-doors match, the play-off with Czechoslovakia for the right to go to the World Cup in Chile in 1962. Scotland were ahead with a few minutes to go but lost a goal before the final whistle then two more in extra-time. Czechoslovakia went on to reach the World Cup final. What if indeed.

St John’s great years as a player were a bit before my time but I do remember the possibly apocryphal story of a Church billboard in Liverpool asking, “What would you do if Jesus came to Liverpool?” to which some wag had added below, “Move St John to inside-left.”

After his retirement I remember a TV competition to find a new commentator for televised football matches in the run-up to the 1970 World Cup. The competitors were anonymous before the voting. However I knew I recognised one of the voices but couldn’t place it. Then came the reveal of the runner-up (who I now see but hadn’t remembered till looking it up actually tied with the winner) – Ian St John. The winner was a Welshman named Idwal Robling who apparently did go on to commentate on games for Match of the Day (never broadcast at the time in Scotland so I never heard any of them) and later mostly for Welsh games.

But it was as co-presenter of Saint and Greavsie, an ITV equivalent of the Football Focus of today but with a more light-hearted approach (and which was broadcast in Scotland) that St John was more familiar to my generation. The banter between St John and the other presenter Jimmy Greaves was always good-natured and entertaining.

John (Ian) St John: 7/6/1938 – 1/3/2021. So it goes.

Jackie Bolton

I see from the club’s website that Sons’ centre half from that otherwise immortal team of the 1972 promotion, Jack Bolton, has died.

The line-up for most of that – and the preceding – season is imprinted on my memory as I heard it annnounced so many times over the Boghead tannoy:-

Williams, Jenkins and Muir;
Ferguson, Bolton and Graham;
Coleman, C Gallacher, McCormack, Wilson and B Gallagher.
Substitute, Donnelly.

Jackie, as we fans knew him, played 111 times for the club overall but unlike many of his centre half successors I can’t remember him ever scoring for us. (In those days centre halves moving upfield was still pretty much a novelty.)

As I recall he was about the last piece of the team-builidng jigsaw that manager Jackie Stewart put in place. Certainly without his influence in defence I doubt promotion would have been achieved that season, notwithstanding that side’s formidable attacking prowess.

John McCaig Bolton: 26/10/1941 – 22/2/2021. So it goes.

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