How Jim got his hands on FA Cup won by Everton
What, you may well ask, was veteran football man Jim Emery, now 73, doing lifting the FA Cup on high in the season 1994-95? It was just after Everton had won the trophy by beating Manchester United 1-0 in the final at Wembley.
Sure Jim, never played for the club, which is now making great progress in the Premier League, nor did he ever win an FA Cup medal.
The point is though that for 20 years Emery was a valued scout here in Northern Ireland for the Goodison Park outfit including that famous season when, managed by his friend Joe Royle, they put Man United in their place.
And Jim was a VIP guest at that final and joined in the celebrations afterwards. Which included being invited to raise the cup in a victory salute. Crippled with arthritis in both knees this former Linfield Swifts player, who also turned out for Exeter City and Walsall in England before managing Bangor in the Irish League and then becoming a scout, is hoping that under new manager Roberto Martinez, Everton, playing with the style that won them the Cup in the 90s, are on their way to another final.
"If the team get to the new Wembley in the FA Cup next May I'll be there again to cheer them on, arthritis or no arthritis," he said.
"Everton play in blue just like Linfield so I am an old blue nose. I'm a life member at Windsor Park and I'm still invited regularly to Goodison from where I've just received a bundle of Christmas cards.
"When David Moyes left Everton for United last year the directors were worried, but under the new man Roberto the team are turning on the style that won them success in the 80s with crack leaders like Howard Kendall and Royle. Yes, we can win the FA Cup this season."
Emery, who also played for Distillery, scouted too for the legendary Brian Clough when he was manager of Derby County.
The first player he sent to Everton was Alan McDonald who later moved to Queen's Park Rangers where he established himself in the Northern Ireland team. He also transferred Roy Coyle, later to be Linfield's most successful manager, to Sheffield Wednesday.
Moyes has been making heavy weather of his first season at Old Trafford and you can walk into any bookmakers today and get good odds on the chances of Alex Ferguson making a comeback.
Ex-Strictly dancer Camilla a joy to watch
I can't believe that Danish miss, Camilla Dallerup, will be 40 in April. The lady who was Strictly Come Dancing Champion with Tom Chambers back in 2008 doesn't look a day over 30.
She will be in town on January 3 with her regular dance partner, Ian Waite, appearing in front of the Ulster Orchestra and conductor Christopher Bell at their Viennese Night.
Just watching Camilla and Ian tripping the light fantastic on the strip of stage available to them leaves my heart in my mouth. But she and Ian are such professionals that their performance is a highlight of the show.
Camilla started dancing at two and won the Danish Junior Championships at 12. She later moved to Auckland, New Zealand, where she and Brendan Cole competed successfully before turning to the UK.
Camilla is married to actor Kevin Sacre and has leanings as an actor too, having been a hit in the stage version of Calendar Girls, which was at the Opera House.
"Ian and I run a dance business together and love the Ulster Orchestra sound -- it is so easy to dance to," she says.
"This is our eighth time in the Waterfront together with the Ulster Orchestra."
On the bill too will be soprano Ailish Tynan.