More name-dropping!

“Just a thought … by Paul Harper

Sorry, more name-dropping!

Let me tell you about my friend Ted. He was a proud Geordie, born and brought up in Morpeth, Northumberland. His grandfather, was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, having just become the father of Ted’s Mum, Muriel. Ted left school without any qualifications, and as a youngster joined the Presbyterian Church Youth Fellowship, one day the Church Minister said to him “I think you’ve got leadership qualities”.

After a lifetime of taking on many challenges and changes he retired as a Professor at Strathclyde University, and was also awarded a CBE for his work with young people.

One of the jobs he undertook voluntarily, was to be a member of the Panel which decided who, from the voluntary sector, should receive New Years Honours.

As it this time of year again, it made, think “Who would I award a New Years Honour to, no doubt you can think of people of your own choice, I suggest Three:

Firstly Clive Myrie, often seen on TV reporting from a danger area, currently Gaza, press a button and he is presenting “Mastermind”, with skill and professionalism.

Secondly David Beckham, not everyone’s choice, he has raised thousands for UNICEF as their children’s ambassador.

I struggled to find a third, so decided to award collective honour, to all those in our Three Churches, who are first to arrive before the Service, to prepare and last to leave, after clearing up.

It was sad to hear of two losses from the football world recently, namely Tom Harris, President of Taunton Town FC, being almost opposite to where I worked in Lisieux Way at the YMCA. We enjoyed a strong working relationship, whenever I want to see him, he was always there, either in the office, or busy with a tool or paintbrush. When Taunton played at Wembley in the Final of the FA Vase, it was very special to see Tom lead the team on to the  field!.

Latterly the great Sir Bobby Charlton, who I had the pleasure of meeting when he came to the YMCA as part of a campaign we were involved in called “Looking after your heart”. We invited some children along who were disabled, that to even kick a ball was a major achievement. Sir Bobby was showing them various skills, when some press representatives wanted him to move on, he declined saying “I will move on when I’m ready”.

Later I reminded him that I saw him score two goals for England Schoolboys against Wales in 1954. He didn’t appear to be over impressed!

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