Bernard’s Story

Bernard ConaghanOriginally from Bath Street in Irishtown, Bernard’s love of Shels was inherited from his father. His most treasured memory of Shels was watching their victory against Hajduk Split in 2004. He recalls the exciting atmosphere of matches in the 1950s and 1960s, and great players such as Dermot Curtis and Ben Hannigan.

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Duration: 29:04 mins.

Transcript


Project Name: Shelbourne FC Oral History Project: Phase 1

Track Number: 02

Name of the Interviewee: Bernard Conaghan (BC)

Name of Interviewer: Marc Redmond (MR) on behalf of Dublin City Library and Archive (DCLA)

Place of Interview: Conference Room, The Lab, Dublin City Arts Office, Foley Street, Dublin 1

Date of Interview: 29 March 2011

Name of Transcriber: E–quip Business Solutions, amended by Ellen Murphy, DCLA

MR: This interview is taking place on the 29th of March, 2011 in the lab on Foley Street.  Present are Bernard Conaghan and Mark Redmond with the interview being carried out on behalf of Dublin City Archives by Mark Redmond.  Bernard can I ask you to tell us your full name, your date of birth and your occupation?

BC: Yes well Bernard Conaghan is my name.  Date of birth is the 20/08/48 and I’m a retired insurance worker.

MR: And how long have you been a supporter of Shels?

BC: Well from the day I was born really.  My dad was a Shels supporter.  I was born in Bath Street in Irishtown and I suppose it just was passed on.

MR: And you went to matches typically in the ‘60s was the big period, the early period for you, you were going earlier than that.

BC: Yes well I would have went, they played in Irishtown Stadium I think a year or two after they won the league in ’54 or ’55 and myself and my brother … my da would have brought us.  Now we lived in Bath Street so we only had to come out the corner, around the corner, and Irishtown Stadium was there which was lovely and then after the match my mam, lord have mercy, would have baked jam tarts (laughs) and we went home and listened to Tony Sheehan and Philip Green on the radio, you know.

MR: And can you tell me some of your earliest memories of supporting the club?

BC: Well the earliest ones were about the matches in the stadium which was very open, it’s now a municipal stadium in Irishtown, but the real memories are – I moved to Ballyfermot, we got a Corporation house in ’56 – and I didn’t see football then till ’59 coming into ’60 and one of the lads I went to school with asked me to go to a Shels match, he was a Shels … two of them, he asked myself and another friend, Sean Dooley and we went to see Shelbourne and it was the start of the Gerry Doyle years and they beat Rovers in a replay in the FAI Cup and that was the start of my … the restart of my love affair with Shelbourne.

MR: And what was the atmosphere like generally at a home game when you first started going to matches?

BC: Not as big just then but within a few months like the attendances were absolutely … the atmosphere was electric, crowds were, you know, you had 15,000 probably at Tolka.  You went to Milltown, Dalymount – packed to capacity.  Just a beautiful atmosphere, lovely, probably cycled, people cycled or if you were going to Milltown to see Shels play Rovers you got off the bus and you had to walk down and all you could see was maybe 20,000 bicycles along the way.  Just a lovely, lovely time, beautiful, and even within the ground everyone mixed.  A lot of my friends were Rovers supporters and we went to matches together, never any trouble, just a beautiful lovely way.

MR: And do you think this has changed much over time?

BC: I do yes.  I think it’s changed in it now like in all aspects.  I think there’s this … I’m not saying win at all costs but the game … everyone wants to win and I’m no different to anyone but football, like anything in life, is to be enjoyed and just to be … and it should be and if you lose you are disappointed but you shouldn’t take it out on, you know, with this fighting thing and all this and I don’t like some of the … I know it’s part of football but I don’t like some of the … and I’m no prude … I don’t like some of the songs and some of the things that are said about people in the songs, you know, I think you can slag someone, to use a Dublin expression, you can slag someone without being offensive.

MR: Yes a couple of people that I’ve spoken to have mentioned that that it’s even found its way onto Facebook and that type of thing, kind of slagging off managers and players and it’s gotten very personal.

BC: Yes I heard that, yes.

MR: When did you think that started to creep in?

BC: Well I’m only back about really in the 8 years since I took early retirement because I worked late on a Friday and probably I didn’t notice it the first year or two so that would be about 2004 but definitely … now it could have been back since then, before that.

MR: Right.

BC: But I’ve noticed in the last few like some of the sayings and, you know, some of the attitude and then you have some of the rivalries between … like there was rivalry between Bohs and Rovers years ago and Shels and Drums and all these but it was a lovely rivalry, you’d walk along before the match and you’d walk along after the match with rival supporters.  Now it seems to be like that some of the younger crowd are nearly waiting to start trouble.

MR: Kind of an us and them.

BC: Yes, yes, yes it’s a very … and it should be us really altogether, the League of Ireland, you know.

MR: Yes.  And did you ever travel to any away matches in those days?

BC: No I never did because really in the ‘70s and ‘80s, not that there was a lot of success for Shels, but really I’d a large family, I’d nine in my family, and I was trying to work and rear a family and I earned decent enough money but it just couldn’t go to trips and then I wasn’t going regularly in the ‘70s and ‘80s to matches because the family was the priority and I just had to look after them.

MR: And in the early days when you were attending did you have any particular favourite grounds or least favourite grounds to go to?

BC: Well Tolka in itself was lovely now, you know, I always enjoyed Milltown.  I really just enjoyed all grounds, down in Waterford, they used to play in Kilcronan Park, Floral Lodge I like because I played on it myself as a school boy, I thought that was a lovely ground, it’s now a GAA.  And I just liked going to see football and it was just a lovely time, the crowds, as I saw, the atmosphere – everything was beautiful.

MR: And you mentioned that the relationship between supporters in the early days it was sporting and it was kind of upbeat and light hearted  even in the chants and stuff but did you personally experience any violence between supporters later?

BC: No I never personally now, a son of mine did now and he was just now inadvertently caught up, nearly caught up, between Rovers and Bohs.  He was going with his friend to see a Bohs match up in Dalymount but other than that I’ve never really seen any real violence now I must admit.

MR: And did you ever get the opportunity to travel to any of the European competitions abroad?

BC: No, again as I say going back to …

MR: Yes.

BC: … yes I just at the time money-wise even though I was earning money I was raising a large family and it didn’t stretch to going to football matches (laughs).

MR: And how did you typically celebrate Shels victories?  You were mentioning in the early days you’re mother would bake you jam tarts and stuff like that …

BC: Yes.

MR: … when you got a bit older would you have gone out for a couple of pints or …?

BC: Well not really because I really stopped going to see them when I was in my 20s in a regular way …

MR: Right.

BC: … and up to that … no really we just went to the matches, enjoyed them, were absolutely thrilled if they won, came home and whatever happened to be the … we might hop in for one or two but not a big session now and we came home and did our normal thing but it was just a great … it became part of your life and it was just part of everyday life.  If you won a match it wasn’t a special occasion.  But there was some terrific matches as I say within that time as well and some terrific occasions as well.

MR: And what would you say was your greatest moment as a supporter or as a fan Shelbourne?

BC: Well I probably have greatest moments, if I can say that (laughs).

BC: Well one of the greatest I think was the match against Hajduk Split, there in … I forget … 2004 I think when Dave Rogers scored the winning goal, that was in the second qualifying round of the Champions League, it just brought back … one of my sons was with me and his friend and I was actually in tears, it just brought back all the emotion of when I was younger and just a beautiful … the crowd was packed, there was great … like in anything there’s a great solidarity.  Maybe you’re one of the herd but it’s nice being one of the herd in an occasion like that and just a beautiful feeling.  That was one of the later ones now but I had some in the ‘60s as well but of the later ones that was one of the great ones.  And of course Shels winning the league, the three years and, you know, with Pat Fenlon.

MR: Any particular moments in the ‘60s that stand out that you’d remember?

BC: Oh god, two in particular, the ’60 Cup Final which was just … that’s my team really, I just enjoyed it.  I was 12 watching them, 11/12, and myself and my friend used to sit on the wall and we watched that team, the Cup Final, we hadn’t had a Cup Final since 1939 and my dad had been on duty at that when they beat Sligo Rovers 1-0 and so it was 21 years, they’d only won it in ’39, I think that was the only time they had won it up to that and just in ’60 they reached it and it was, as I say, the start of the Gerry Doyle years, Eric Barber and all that team, it was just a wonderful, wonderful team and to come away from Dalymount having seen Shels beat Hibs was just fantastic.

MR: And then do you have any recollection of the first game in the European Cup against Sporting Lisbon in ’62?

BC: Vaguely now, funny enough vaguely.  The Belenenses one I remember more now but the Sporting Lisbon I don’t remember as much now even though I was at, I went to most of them nearly, well every home match   really in those days, but if you’re asking me I don’t really remember it as clearly.

MR: And who would you say was your favourite Shels players, if you had to choose one, or were there more than one?

BC: Oh god well I think the whole team really, the ’60 … the team that followed on, really the team in the early ‘60s was nearly the same team except that John Heavey replaced Finbar Flood and Paddy Bonham  replaced Teo Dunne, or Tony Dunne, Jackie Kelly … Tony Corrigan replaced Jackie Kelly and then Ben Hannigan is a genius replaced.  And I seen that in matches but to me Ben Hannigan had everything.  Didn’t really make it but was absolutely superb.  But the whole ‘60s team to me was brilliant.

MR: Going back a little bit earlier than that, to 1955, a couple of people have mentioned Eddie Gannon, would you have many memories of Eddie Gannon?

BC: Only vaguely now because I was only 6 or 7 and we were brought to the matches by my dad but you know the way probably when you’re 6 and 7 you were probably running up the terraces, up and down the terraces (laughs) myself and the brother and watching part of the match and seeing some of it so now I can’t really say.  I remember now some of them, Eddie Gannon and I think it was Salmon was still with them.  Who else was there?  Dermot Curtis may have been there, he went to Ipswich afterwards I think.  A few, I remember a few of the players but not now as clearly as … the 60s team would be ingrained and the 2000, you know, 2003 onwards sort of.

MR: Okay.  A couple of other people I’d spoken to as well had said that back in the early days and even in the ‘40s and the ‘50s and ‘60s access to players was fairly easy they were kind of … it wouldn’t have been uncommon to meet them walking down Pearse Street or … would you have easy access the players and stuff like that?

BC: Yes, yes I would have and I was only talking … I met Joey Wilson now, I was calling into Joey who played in the 60 Cup Final, and I mean he even mentioned that when they won the Cup in 1960 they walked from Dalymount, they weren’t brought in a coach they walked from Dalymount I think down to the Gresham Hotel, now they were the players.  And that was the way, yes, you could meet anyone, like down in Irishtown when I was first born, as I said, my da, the Mackeys and the Burkes were two very big families and you were either Shels or Rovers within that …

MR: Right.

BC: … and then the Greggs in later years, now Eamonn Gregg and all came in, and yes you could meet them around and that was lovely, the accessibility of the players and, as you say, you could meet them in an everyday situation.

MR: Do you think that’s changed these days, today?

BC: I think it had changed and probably because of the demise of the Celtic Tiger now I think in a way because players are on less.  Maybe players, some players began to believe their own … or the publicity in a way but I don’t think with League of Ireland players it ever totally became that they weren’t accessible because they weren’t on huge wages, they were ordinary joe soaps, maybe a little bit better than us in a way in earning power there for the Celtic Tiger years or for 5 years, but other than that I think they were always reasonable accessible and you could meet them now, you know.

MR: And who would you say was the best Shels manager?

BC: Oh god, well again Gerry Doyle was brilliant in different times.  Pat Byrne, who I didn’t see a lot of but would have been a good manager.  Dermot Keely, Damien Richardson.  I probably think just as regards what he did for Shels 4 years ago even though I don’t always agree with the way he played the football was probably Dermot Keely, purely on that, that he came in when Shels were really on their way out, got a team together and kept them in existence and for that alone nearly, yes.

MR: I was going to ask you about that, was there any particular period that you felt the club was at a low ebb or do you have any memories of any particular losses or disappointments with regard to the games or with regard to the way the club was being run?

BC: No, well again as I say I’m late re-starting back again, lads would have seen it the ‘70s and ‘80s with results which they were getting, coming into the ‘90s they began to get a few and they won three Cups, I think it was well run because Tony Donnelly came in at that time, Lord have mercy on him, and did a great job.  He bought Tolka with Ollie, I don’t know what the full set-up was.  So I mean I think in the ‘90s and then they won the double in 2000 which was brilliant and that was a lovely time.  So really it was when I came back around 2002/2003 in a regular way they were great for a year but then around 2004/2005 was when … 2006 really, there was inklings of things not right and that was when … and especially then when Ollie died or before Ollie died, Lord have mercy on him as well, that we realised how bad things were and that was a low ebb.

MR: Shels, they won the league in 2006 with Jason Byrne the top scorer …

BC: That’s right.

MR: … do you have any particular memories of that year or that particular season?

BC: Well just that it was a lovely year.  I went to every … I’ve been a season ticket holder for the last 8/9 years since I came back and just every match it’s just they played … they had a superb side, Pat Fenlon had gotten a superb side together.  Jason Byrne to me was a terrific centre forward, some people had doubts about him at times but I thought he was a superb player.  And just the standard of football they played, they played a nice brand of football, it was on the ground, it wasn’t kick and rush, and I just thought, you know, they well deserved the league that year.

MR: And that August actually in 2006 the centre back Jason McGuinness lined out for Bohemians against Shels setting up the winning goal for the Dalymount based club and Shelbourne lodged a protest, any memories of that or what was the controversy around it?

BC: No not really, now funny when you ask me that I’ve no real memory of that now when you asked me that, so I’m sorry, yes, some little things fade out of my memory so I’ve nothing of that at all now.

MR: And would you follow any other football clubs in Ireland or elsewhere?

BC: I follow United in England and I was actually there 2 weeks ago in Old Trafford for the first time and I loved it, I thought it was brilliant, but if it was at all stuck, if United were playing on the same day as Shelbourne I’d be down in Shelbourne because they’re my team and …

MR: And do you think that generally, for example, the way the national team did so well in 1990 with the World Cup and that, do you think that that has a spin-off effect with getting people back interested in local football?

BC: Not … well I can only speak personally; I don’t think it does now with local League of Ireland.  As I said I wasn’t really following them regularly in the ‘90s and they were getting decent crowds then now, I went to a few.  Whether the ’90 did that?  Now it would be interesting, after 2002 it didn’t really, I didn’t see any huge crowds, I was just coming back at that stage to follow Shels and even after our success, relative success, in the 2002 World Cup I didn’t really see any huge crowds even though Shels were successful in those years, very, very successful as regards the league anyway I didn’t see any huge crowds from then up to the time they were demoted.

MR: And one of the matches you mentioned earlier you said your father was on duty, was he involved in the club?

BC: No he was actually … I don’t like saying it sometimes (laughs) but he was a member of the Gardaí.

MR: Oh right, yes.  (laughter)

BC: Yes and he was actually … he didn’t see the goal, Sacky Glen scored the goal, Dixie Dean was playing for Sligo and the crowd behind one goal started pushing down and he had to turn his back and Shels scored down the other end so he never saw the goal that Shels won the Cup for the first time so he always regretted that.  No re-runs in those days.

MR: No re-runs.

BC: Yes.

MR: And besides actually going to the matches yourself were you or any of the rest of your family involved in the club in any other way or …?

BC: No I was never involved up to, as I say, when the financial thing came in a few of the lads got together to form the SSDG that I’m a member of and it was to offer a little bit of … we’re only ordinary joe soaps but it was to offer a bit of financial support and I’d like to think that in the last 4 years we’ve helped in some small way to keep the club going and, you know, and hopefully this year we might reach the pinnacle.

MR: And in a few of the other interviews it mentioned again about the financial troubles and all the rest of it and then the club moving around from place to place …

BC: Ah yes Harold’s Cross, yes.

MR: … to Harold’s Cross and out in Poolbeg.

BC: That’s it.

MR: Did you ever feel kind of, particularly after moving out of Shelbourne in 1949, they played the last one down there …

BC: Yes.

MR: … did anybody have any hopes about what it was … I know there was a lot of expectation about that particular pitch down near Poolbeg there, did you have any expectations about where that was going to go?

BC: Well we did because I actually played for Shels minors now, for the under 18s afterwards, and we played down in Irishtown Stadium which is the one you’re talking about …

MR: Yes.

BC: … yes and they had a big painting of that or drawing of it, the plans were in the dressing rooms, and I mean that was one of the finest pitches, I think that was under-laid with Cork and it was one of the best drainage pitches in the land probably.  Yes we thought it was going to come to fruition but I don’t know why whether it was lack of funds or whatever, I never knew exactly what happened now with that, but we would have thought that that would have been their home.  But then just when I came back in 1960 was the time they had gone, although when before that, a year or two, they had moved as tenants with the pros at Drumcondra at Tolka so they had a steady base even though they were only tenants they were in a steady, you know, they were in a regular room them and the roots were down there for years till they went on the move again.  (laughs)

MR: Well you’d have been a good 20 – maybe 15/20 – years away from it with family commitments and all that, what do you think drew you back to it again in the ‘80s?

BC: Well I was always there.  I watched matches, I went to an odd few matches with the two lads now and again and I’d six girls now, well I had three boys but I lost one in a cot death, with the two lads I went.  I never lost it, it was just that I couldn’t through circumstances, I worked late on a Friday, matches had gone to a Friday night and it was just impossible.  The job was there.  But what happened was when I took the early retirement I wasn’t working late on a Friday then and I said if I ever reach the stage where I’m able to go down regularly I’ll be back down because I don’t think … if you don’t follow football, as I say, again it is only a game …

MR: Yes.

BC: … but it’s still a huge part of people’s lives and it’s such a fantastic feeling.

MR: It’s a good way to spend retirement anyway as you were saying earlier.

BC: (Laughs) Well yes true.

MR: And do you know any women who are supporters of Shels?

BC: Well I know … the only one I really know, a few members, Maria Phillips who is on the SSDG with me and there’s a good few women who done a lot of work, Maria has done a lot of work with Carl her husband and … but there’s so many people like I come in and I’m here now and we’re running the programme but as I say I feel like an interloper at times because there’s so many people that have went through the real … well these are bad times now but hopefully they’ll get better but through the ‘70s and ‘80s when they moved to Harold’s Cross and all and there was no success and they never missed a match and I mean they could have probably said the same as I said but for me I had to put the family first …

MR: Of course yes.

BC: … and that was it like and there’s a lot of women who do great work.  Sorry Bernadette Frazer who’s involved with us as well does an absolutely tremendous … do the tea for the teams … I think she does it for the under … the 21s as well and she does it for some of the girls teams, I mean absolute commitment.  I’m amazed at what some people do.

MR: And what kind of relationship do you think there is between Shels and the wider community, do you think it’s a good relationship?  What do you think it has to offer the community?

BC: Well I think it probably gets lost because of the base, the fan base, like I was born in Irishtown.  All of Shels fan base would have really been down there.  I think with any football team offers anyone, to me now, a sense of belonging, that’s what it is, and whether it’s in the Drumcondra area even though the ghost of Drums might still be there or whether I mean like anything now the world is a smaller place now so a club necessarily shouldn’t be confined to one geographical area but I just think it gives a great sense of belonging.  There’s a lovely feeling and I think that’s what it can offer.  If people only realised for 2 hours on a Friday night what any club can offer, not just Shelbourne, any League of Ireland club, live football, a great sense of camaraderie, and just a beautiful … 15e in or a season ticket, sure my god where would you get it?

MR: What hopes do you have for Shelbourne in the future?

BC: Well the hopes I have are on a football … well one is that they stay as they are.  They are stable at the moment financially, that’s the first one.  The second one obviously would be to see them get back to their rightful place in the Premier Division and then just take it from there.  I think if they get back that will be a huge thing and I think things might follow on from then, crowds may increase and there may be more, obviously there will be more high profile on the television because once you go out of the Premier there’s not great coverage of the First Division and I think if Shels do that that would be my hopes for the future.

MR: And before we finish is there anything that you’d like to add yourself?  Any particular memories of your very early games for example when you were going with your dad?  Kind of anything that stands out?

BC: Not in the ‘50s but definitely when I went with my friends in the ‘60s I think just our dedication maybe in a way because my mam died very young at 51 in March ’63 and the FAI Cup Final was played in April, I’m nearly certain, and I always remember my eldest sister making a red and white flag for me and myself and my friend we cycled through the lashings of rain to get to Dalymount to see Shels beat Hibs.  They beat Hibs in both finals and they beat Hibs in ’63 and just seeing the likes of Paddy Roberts, these players, gentleman and beautiful players and Ben Hannigan and all the whole team playing, that’s my abiding memory of that.  Well I remember Shels facing Barcelona now, yes, and losing at home, now I remember that.  Yes sometimes I’d have to be … because at times my memory fades away.  I remember the League Cup and FAI Cup double, yes, the League, Shels beat Bohs in the Final.

MR: That was in ‘99/2000.

BC: I was at that.  ‘99/2000 that was their first double.

MR: Yes.

BC: And well I thought, you know, yes that’s, I remember that alright and I remember Belenenses alright and they beat Belenenses.

MR: That was in … what year was that in?

BC: That was ’63 I think …

MR: ’63 yes right.

BC: … ‘62/63 yes.  I’m not sure now, yes ’64 because, yes Belenenses, they beat them at home … no sorry they drew at home, yes, and drew 1 all the way, Shels won the replay 2-1, that’s one, I knew I’d get … I couldn’t remember that one.

MR: And if you had to pick a definitive favourite game, one that’s going to stand out there, one that’s going to be permanently burned into your memory, if you had to choose one particular game is there any particular one that springs to mind that you’d …?

BC: Probably again it would be Hajduk Split now barely, there’s so many fantastic memories but the Hajduk Split purely for what it gave Shels, they were into the next round with Deportivo, they were then only 90 minutes away from qualifying for the group stage and just the sheer joy and when Dave Rogers follied in the goal it was just an unbelievable feeling and we were in the small … the stand, the Drumcondra side, and it’s so low down that just the crescendo of noise was just absolutely breath taking and  that would be probably if you asked me but by a very close head from some of the matches in the ‘60s.  The 2000 Cup Final as well with Bohs was tremendous but I would just put that ahead for what it could have given Shels in a European context.

MR: Is there anything else finally that you’d like to add?

BC: Well just all I would like to add, as a supporter and that’s all I am – I’m involved in the SSDG but I’m just a supporter the same as anyway, just the thanks to the people, all the other supporters of Shelbourne, who go to the matches, who do all the work – I do a bit myself, we do the programmes – and who help out in any way they can and they are the unsung heroes.  There’s one lad who cleans out and all and does all the seats and all.  I mean they are people that you mightn’t see mentioned in dispatches but they’re the real heroes of Shelbourne.

MR: And are there any either supporters of the clubs or people involved in the club or young players that you would say people should watch out for in the future?

BC: Well I think David Cassidy.  Well I mean he’s probably … Dave Cassidy was about 24, he to me is a Premier player.  I’m delighted he stayed with us this year.  We’ve another lad Kevin Dawson who is a brother of Stephen Dawson who plays for Leyton Orient he’s after coming from Fingal, he’s another lad to watch out for.  Conan Byrne who came, to me, I’m amazed, another terrific player and he’s a player who seems to be getting a bit of hassle from what I gather on Facebook.  Conan Byrne to me … so the likes of Cassidy and there’s others now, I’m trying to think now, Kevin Dawson, he had a very good game there the last time.  Teo Delaney in goal or Dean, well Dean is only about 26 and he’s a terrific player as well so there’s so many players.  But Casso could be … is a Premier player and Conan Byrne and most of the players are Premier players and that’s why it would be lovely to see them back in the Premier Division again.

MR: And do you think it’s important you mentioned earlier some of the chants are very personal and then you’ve got stuff appearing on Facebook, derogatory stuff about players.

BC: Yes.

MR: How do you think that is going to affect a player’s performance?  Do you think it’s water off a duck’s back most of the time or do you think it could, you know, obviously they’re going to be talking about some player’s girlfriend or …

BC: Yes.

MR: … obviously it’s not sporting and it’s not acceptable in most of the cases but do you think that that could affect a player’s performance as well if they’re being constantly badgered about something or …?

BC: I think it can affect, depending on the player.
I Yes, yes.

BC: Because it’s bound to I mean, depending.  I would be a bit … now people mightn’t think it, I would be a bit more sensitive and it would affect me I think especially if there was something said about family or something.

MR: Of course yes.

BC: But I want to spell this out no player when I played – now I didn’t play league one but I played a bit in my time, no player minds criticism if it’s constructive.

MR: Yes.

BC: But when things become personal … and I don’t, I just can’t see the reason that’s the main thing.  It’s like mindless vandalism …

MR: Yes, yes.

BC: … where someone breaks a bus shelter.  As my dad said he always could understand someone breaking a window to rob something, it was wrong but there was a reason behind it, and vandalism, you know, that’s nearly – what would you say?  Literary vandalism …

MR: Yes, yes, yes.

BC: … in that they go on Facebook and they take away someone character and make comments.  Why?  I just don’t understand it.  I’m upset now even talking about that …

MR: Yes, I can understand yes.

BC: … because I think it’s a horrible thing and I would love to go back … maybe we never will, I’d love to go back to maybe the halcyon days of where people mixed together and people talked well of everyone and made nice comments but if you have to make a bad comment as regards if someone is playing badly no problem at all with that but don’t make it personal.  A player doesn’t deliberately … no player deliberately goes out to play badly and that’s what people should remember.  We all played badly but we didn’t deliberately, things go against you for no reason, there might be no reason for people playing badly or for whatever and no-one deserves to be hammered like that.

MR: Bernard thanks very much for your time, thanks a million for coming in this morning.

BC: Not at all Mark and thank you.  Thanks very much.

MR: That’s great.  (recording ends here)

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