Linfield manager David Jeffrey is no sporting bigot
Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts
Published 05/03/2014 | 01:30
It was in bewilderment and curiosity that I caught the beginnings of the Stephen Nolan radio show yesterday morning.
Could it actually be true that an elected representative had thrown on a Linfield football scarf to make recommendation that David Jeffrey should be honoured by Belfast City Council?
Not surprisingly, the motivations behind all this should be called into question. There ensued a debate, hosted and refereed by Stephen Nolan, that followed pretty much the same pattern as all his discussions. It raised some chuckles, gave you an insight into how naive some people can be, but by the end you feel hollow and scraped out. Used, even.
Get two people to shout at one other over the phone. Make a token effort to bring some order to proceedings. Repeat again. The whole thing was so depressing and childish and yet, indulged and encouraged. This is politics, we are told. This stuff matters. Yeah right.
Jeffrey should be commemorated for his sporting achievements. His record is impressive, even given the financial doping that exists in the Irish League and while he may enjoy and revel in playing the pantomime villain, his record of recruiting players from both sides of the community speaks for itself.
He is no sporting bigot, and while he may enjoy the odd bit of grandstanding, it was ironic the politicians on either side of the debate did likewise.
Ruth Patterson's appraisal of Jeffrey's career was so forced and stunted, you wondered how much was heartfelt. A consolation was the utter disgust of a good proportion of Nolan Show listeners. As ever in these cases, an election is never far away.