Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Linfield manager David Jeffrey is no sporting bigot

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

Linfield manager David Jeffrey
Linfield manager David Jeffrey

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.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre