It won't be long before Liverpool legend Sir Kenny Dalglish is celebrating his 70th birthday.
I know this because, during a memorable but uncomfortable lunch with him at the Belfast Hilton's Sonoma Restaurant nine years ago, he told me he was 19 when he attended an Old Firm game at Ibrox Park in January 1971.
I say 'uncomfortable' because Sir Kenny is not someone who suffers fools gladly.
And if he suspects you don't know what you're talking about, this paragon of exactitude will challenge you at every turn.
He'd be brilliant as a presenter on Good Morning Ulster.
Journalist friends of mine in Newcastle said 'King Kenny' was a nightmare to work with when he managed 'The Toon' in the late 1990s.
So it probably wasn't a good idea to utter, with supposed authority, that the Ibrox Disaster he witnessed as a Rangers fan happened on New Year's Day.
It didn't. It was on January 2 that year, a Saturday.
What wasn't in doubt was the enormity of the tragedy on that cold, foggy Glasgow afternoon, when 66 Rangers supporters were crushed to death after the barriers on Stairway 13 collapsed at the end of the 1-1 draw.
It's a long-standing myth that the crush was caused by excited fans attempting to re-enter the ground following Colin Stein's last-gasp equaliser for Rangers, and not by the downward force of so many people leaving at the same time.
Such accepted hypocryphal recall lends credence to the notion that Ibrox 1971 is the 'forgotten tragedy' of British football.
It will of course be recalled in considerable detail over the next couple of weeks, with the 50th anniversary of what was, at the time, the worst incident to befall the game.
Like the Bradford City stadium inferno of May 11, 1985, when 56 people died and over 250 others were seriously injured, it tends to be eclipsed in public consciousness by Heysel (39 fatalities, just 18 days after Bradford) and Hillsborough ( April 15, 1989; 96 fatalities).
My age and shoe-size were roughly the same when Ibrox happened and - although I'd no affiliation to either Glasgow club because Bestie didn't play for them - the grainy black and white television images of those grotesquely buckled barriers haunted me for some time.
I found it inconceivable that 66 people, including young children, could go along to a football match and not come home.
I learned later about how traumatised Celtic physio Bob Rooney - a man I once had the pleasure of meeting in the 1980s - had desperately tried to resuscitate dying Rangers fans by administering the kiss of life.
I remember visiting a Scottish friend in Markinch, a small village in Fife, and not realising until I got there that it had been home to five of the youngest victims of the Ibrox Disaster - not only were they pupils of Auchmuty Secondary School in Glenrothes, but had lived within a few hundred yards of each other and had travelled together to that ill-fated game.
And I eventually discovered that the Ireland's Saturday Night, a publication which I would later have the privilege of editing, was the first newspaper in the world to report the tragedy.
My old boss Malcolm Brodie was at that game, initially to do a nostalgic feature - because exactly 32 years earlier, January 2, 1939 (played on a Monday, because "Ne'erday" had fallen on a Sunday) he had attended his first Old Firm game as a 12-year-old Rangers supporter.
It just so happened that that game had the largest crowd ever recorded for a league match in Britain; 118,567, 118,730 or 118,561, depending on which statistician you trust.
Ironically, there was no chance of such a heaving mass of people back in 1971 because an all-ticket 80,000 limit had been imposed "due to safety reasons".
When it became clear that something terrible had happened on Stairway 13, Malcolm called for a second edition of the sports paper - which had never happened before - and his deputy, Jimmy Walker, trawled the nearby pubs to round up the Belfast Telegraph's thirsty printing staff, then morphed into an impromptu 'copytaker' while his boss delivered the shocking story down the telephone line.
How could such a terrible incident as Ibrox occur?
Here's a possible clue from elderly Rangers fan John Hodgman.
Writing last week in the Guardian, Hodgman recalled:
"Celtic were winning with less than a minute left. Some of those at our Rangers end were already leaving in silent disgust when 'Slim Jim' scored with the last kick of the game.
"Several fans on the steep, wide and dilapidated Stairway 13 tried to get back up to join the wild celebrations, just as thousands of others - singing, chanting and, in many cases, drink-fuelled - moved towards the stairs to leave.
"I was swept down over the edge of the stairway in a tidal wave of humanity... we realised that the crush was getting worse because of the thousands behind us piling down on top of us."
You may have spotted the reference to the legendary 'Slim Jim' Baxter and pointed out, Dalglish-like, that Baxter's second spell at Rangers had ended long before January 1971.
And you'd be right; the Old Firm encounter Mr Hodgman was referring to took place in on September 16, 1961 - nearly a decade earlier.
It would become known, to the scores of lucky-to-be-alive Gers fans who ended up in Glasgow's Southern General Hospital that day, as "the rehearsal".
It was four years before anyone connected with Rangers got in touch with the injured fans.
Club solicitors sent them a questionnaire - along with a stamped, addressed envelope - asking about what they recalled from that day on Stairway 13 and promising to reply about any subsequent progress made.
Sixty years later, they are still waiting to hear what specific safety work Rangers carried out in response to their suggestions.
Perhaps the real tragedy of January 2, 1971 is that the warning signs were already there, and shamefully ignored.
To borrow Spanish philosopher George Santayana's famous aphorism, "Those who cannot rememember the past are condemned to repeat it."
Sir Kenny Dalglish will know all about that. Fourteen years on from that day at Ibrox, he was a Liverpool player, watching forlornly from the pitch as Juventus supporters were crushed to death at the Heysel stadium in Brussels.
And in the dugout when the full horror of Hillsborough began to unfold in front of his eyes.