The Blogfather | Arseblog … an Arsenal weblog

He wasn’t an Arsenal fan, however he was once on the 1971 FA Cup ultimate. I wasn’t born but (I didn’t arrive till September of that double profitable yr), however he noticed Charlie George rating that winner and lie flat on his again at the Wembley turf to have fun.

Like such a lot of of his era, he got here to England from Eire to search out paintings within the past due 1950s, and I’m certain my love of soccer got here from him. There was once at all times a ball, at all times a kick-around within the lawn, or at the entrance garden of the fortress we lived in for some time (in truth, it was once a fortress).

Again then you might want to simply pass to a soccer fit. Rock up on a Saturday, and pay your approach into the bottom relying on who was once at house. He lived and labored in West London, and nominally he was once a Fulham fan. He liked Johnny Haynes, however he was once an enormous admirer of Jimmy Greaves too. He preferred gamers who may do issues with each toes, and he went to fits all over the place the town, simply because he may.

A few of my earliest reminiscences are of him taking part in soccer. He began lifestyles as a ahead (like my brother), however by the point I got here alongside and he was once togging out for the village workforce in Bishopthorpe (close to York), he’d moved again to centre-half (the place I performed my entire lifestyles). I’d stand at the sidelines with my mam. I don’t be mindful the video games or the performances, simply the truth that I used to be there and so was once he.


He was once beautiful strict once we have been younger. I believe it was once as a result of he had very transparent concepts about what younger males will have to and shouldn’t do. They will have to glance sensible, for instance, and undoubtedly now not put on denims. They actually shouldn’t watch Grange Hill, as a result of the ones kids have been mainly juvenile delinquents and didn’t recognize figures of authority sufficiently.

He labored so much despite the fact that, so it was once continuously drive-by stuff. He spent maximum his running lifestyles within the hospitality business – bars, eating places, inns. Lengthy hours, past due nights.

As soon as, within the again lawn, I used to be winding my brother up, as giant brothers do. He reached verge of collapse and unleashed a wave of expletives that may have made a sailor blush. Dad, almost certainly seeking to get just a little of leisure upstairs, heard the entirety, caught his head out the bed room window and it was once probably the most bother any little boy has ever been in sooner than or since. I felt unhealthy, and I purchased Tim some Cadbury’s Creme Eggs to express regret.


In 1996 he was once away on a golfing travel in Spain and fell in poor health. Cardiomyopathy. The diagnosis was once now not just right. He wanted a middle transplant. Within the mists of time it feels find it irresistible came about briefly, however it didn’t. He spent months and months gravely in poor health, out and in of clinic, however in any case they took his exact middle out and put any person else’s in.

It’s mainly a miracle, isn’t it?

While you take into consideration it, it’s completely loopy, however as I mentioned at his eulogy, it modified his lifestyles and it stored his lifestyles. He become a fierce recommend for organ donation. He helped discovered the Irish Middle and Lung Transplant Affiliation, and he went onto to chair the Ecu Middle and Lung Transplant Federation. He sought after to make sure as many of us as conceivable may have the benefit of the fantastic scientific developments, and the paintings performed via docs and transplant groups.

As you may consider, that roughly factor will provide you with a brand new standpoint on lifestyles. He was once definitely mellower post-transplant, however it coincided with us attaining a degree of grownup lifestyles the place your courting together with your oldsters adjustments anyway. We did a large number of stuff in combination. Golfing, pints, dinners, vacations, even the Arsenal.

I don’t know if the travel we took to London was once particularly to peer a sport, or if it coincided with one thing else, however he got here with me to the Emirates to peer us play within the Champions League. We performed PSV and a past due objective from on-loan Chelsea defender Alex noticed us crash out. No longer precisely a stellar evening at the pitch, however it was once nonetheless a just right one off it. We had post-game pints in The Tollington, he met most of the Arseblog staff, and he continuously mentioned how a lot he loved it.

He liked Arseblog and what it become. He’d learn maximum days. He’d say ‘A few of the ones chaps at the Arses are just a little fruity, aren’t they?!’.  He even listened to a podcast, inspired and rather astonished with how continuously, and with such variation, Ian Wright mentioned my title.


He hadn’t been smartly for a few weeks. I took him to the docs on February 1st. She instructed me she was once nervous about his kidneys. Years of anti-rejection and immuno-suppressant medication take their toll. Blood take a look at effects got here again that afternoon. He had to be in clinic.

I be mindful him waving to us from the ambulance sooner than it pulled away, his giant overcoat pulled tightly round him on a chilly night time. Over the following couple of weeks he was once handled for the an infection, he was once getting there, however slowly.

On Monday February 15th I were given a telephone name from a health care provider. He’d been in poor health, in order that they ran extra assessments. Certainly one of them was once for Covid-19. It got here again certain. We spent a yr doing the entirety lets to stay him secure throughout the pandemic, and in some way he picked it up within the Coronary Care Unit of a clinic.

But over the following week, he didn’t actually increase any of the most important signs. On Monday February 22nd he referred to as from his mattress, we spoke about him coming house. He couldn’t wait to get again to his chair, in entrance of the fireplace, to observe golfing and CNN. We questioned how sturdy he’d be, what care he would possibly want. How we would possibly have to conform the home. Downstairs bed room, stairlift, that roughly factor.

Then … day 10. Covid hit.

Did you ever get winded? It’s horrifying, isn’t it? The ones few seconds the place you’ll’t catch your breath. Believe that always. He wanted oxygen, then extra oxygen, then the entire oxygen it’s conceivable to present any person.

We have been fortunate in that we have been allowed in to peer him. We were given to speak to him. That can at all times be a convenience, however seeing your dad on his personal in a six mattress ward, surrounded via and hooked up to machines, suffering to respire is brutal. You wish to have to assist in some way, however you’ll’t.

We have been clad in such a lot PPE, robe, mask, goggles, gloves, that he concept we have been docs to start with. Perhaps that’s why he instructed ‘them’ he didn’t need to die in clinic.

He died in clinic … within the early hours of March second.

He’d been thru such a lot. The guts transplant, he beat a lung most cancers state of affairs, he had an ongoing prostate most cancers state of affairs, however he couldn’t beat this. He was once 84 and he’d lived a just right lifestyles, however it doesn’t make it any more uncomplicated to peer any person you’re keen on die like that.

I’m now not going to evangelise to someone, however I will simplest urge you to be wary. I do know we’re all bored to death with restrictions and lifestyles being the way in which it’s. I do know there may be mild on the finish of the tunnel as vaccines are being rolled out, however this virus continues to be available in the market and it’s nonetheless unhealthy. Probably the most inclined amongst us are nonetheless liked and beloved members of the family and pals. Please don’t lose sight of that amid frustration, all of us have a duty to one another. Any individual’s age or their underlying situation doesn’t lead them to expendable.

Watch out. Take care of every different. Every a type of statistics launched day by day is an actual particular person, with many extra left in the back of. Wash your palms. Put on a masks – at worst it’s a gentle inconvenience, at best possible it saves lives, perhaps even your individual. Get the vaccine when you’ll.

My daughter, who I haven’t observed in particular person for over a yr now, couldn’t get house for her grandad’s funeral. The funeral at which simplest ten other folks have been allowed. That’s now not how we do issues in Eire. There was once no wake, no telling of reports about the only simply long past. The laughs you’ve gotten at occasions like that appear incongruous to the placement, however they’re a large a part of how get thru it.

Like such a lot of different households over this remaining 12 months, we have been aside at a time once we had to be in combination. Simply a few weeks up to now my giant cousin Adrian, a Gooner and only some years older than I’m, was once taken via Covid too. He wasn’t aged, he wasn’t top possibility. I needed to ring my dad in clinic and inform him, and whilst the workforce in there have been so pretty, he had no person to percentage that grief with in particular person.

The give a boost to mechanisms we now have in position to deal with such things as this aren’t there any longer. There are very glaring affects of Covid on our lives, however there are malingering ones which I don’t suppose we’ll come to know for a while but.


No matter nurses are paid, they deserve two times that, and extra. They’re wonderful. They don’t wish to be clapped, they wish to be paid correctly. Chances are you’ll now not want them now, so most likely they don’t check in, however there’ll come a time when you’re going to, and they are going to be wonderful for you and your circle of relatives too.

They shouldn’t must combat for the repayment they deserve. We will have to be combating for them. We will have to be offended on their behalf. Battle for healthcare.

Pay them correctly.


My dad was once a fantastic guy. Actually humorous, sort, beneficiant, a just right one that was once the linchpin of our circle of relatives, and we’re going to pass over him extraordinarily. He was once smartly cool too, I imply, have a look at that 1960s sunglasses/rollneck motion he had happening.

I’m experiencing a large number of feelings presently, and it’s going to take a little time to procedure, as they are saying. These days despite the fact that, I simply need to keep in mind him in a good approach. A person who had an enormous affect on who am I, any person who – once I call to mind him – makes me smile.

It’s completely shit he’s now not going to be round anymore, and the cases of his passing have been deeply unsightly. It’s been a actually tough few weeks, to be fair. On the other hand, he gave me the power to get thru this, and in this Arsenal weblog I’m gonna take the landlord’s privilege and set myself up with a tap-in to complete.

Love you Dad, and as a smart guy as soon as mentioned, you have been f*ckin’ very good.


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