Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

A Christmas message: David Jeffrey hit the wrong note, but it wasn't 'deplorable'

Singing the Blues: Linfield manager David Jeffrey

Breaking news...David Jeffrey will be headlining at the Royal Variety Performance next year.

He'll be singing Blue Moon and Blue Suede Shoes with an encore of Thank You Very Much for Jimmy Callacher...

It's unknown if the Linfield boss will be dusting down his version of We are the Champions. Cliftonville's Tommy Breslin and Stephen Baxter of Crusaders are on stand by for that particular number.

Okay, okay, enough, before my old friends at Glentoran start accusing me of not taking this issue seriously.

Quick recap on the back story.

A few months ago the Belfast Telegraph revealed that Glentoran defender Jimmy Callacher was unlikely to sign a new deal and was set to join Linfield, making the same move that Oval heroes Sean Ward and Andrew Waterworth had decided upon in the summer.

And so it has come to pass.

Obviously the Glens weren't happy about Callacher opting to leave and last Thursday issued a strong statement outlining details of the contract offer and their frustration that the player saw his future elsewhere.

One night later a video appeared on YouTube showing Jeffrey, at a private function, singing a song thanking Glentoran very much for the same Jimmy Callacher.

A Linfield fan had uploaded it on her Facebook page and within minutes the clip was on YouTube being viewed by thousands watching the Blues boss, whose vocal range, I have to say, is limited in comparison to his hero Bruce Springsteen.

The next day Linfield, about to make a clever signing in Ivan Sproule, beat Ballinamallard 3-0 to go back to the top of the Irish League, but all the talk in the local game related to Jeffrey's warbling.

Clearly embarrassed, he quite rightly apologised to Glentoran and his own club, who released a statement declaring Jeffrey's actions as 'deplorable'.

Big Davy hit the wrong note, but 'deplorable' sounded a bit strong to me.

Silly maybe, naïve definitely, but deplorable? What's deplorable is some of the stuff going on in Belfast City Centre at the moment where ordinary decent men, women and children are having to look over their shoulders while out doing their Christmas shopping for fear of some madman leaving a bomb nearby.

Wisely, the Linfield board normally wait, take stock and assess before making statements on controversial matters. This one seemed a little rushed and almost too quick to stick the knife in to the manager.

Jeffrey's old school where social networking is concerned. Twitter is as much a foreign language to him as Swahili, but he'll have learnt a valuable lesson from this... that in the modern world with phones used to record more now than to actually talk to someone... private moments are few and far between.

It wasn't always like this.

Years ago managers, players and officials could get away with anything at these private club functions and often did.

I imagine when they heard about Jeffrey being captured for eternity, they were mightily relieved technology was not so advanced back then.

Happy Christmas.

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