Author

Aidan Smith

Ken Buchanan, now 74, stands outside a bingo hall in Leith which used to be a cinema. It's where, as a kid, he watched The Bomber Brown and developed his interest in boxing. Picture: Alistair Linford

Interview: Ken Buchanan on Hibs, Josh Taylor, going full circle in Leith, getting a statue of himself and standing on Princess Anne’s toes

He walked into the party like he was walking on to a yacht. And that night Warren Beatty really did. Whether or not Carly Simon’s song You’re So Vain was inspired by Hollywood’s great lothario – and the debate rages to this day – the actor sashayed into the Tinseltown gathering and everyone swooned. Beautiful women fell at his feet. “Like flies round you-know-what,” laughs Ken Buchanan.

Boxing
Hibernian manager Jack Ross sporting a natty pair of boots. Picture: Craig Williamson / SNS

Aidan Smith: Jack Ross is right to voice concerns about fly-on-the-wall documentaries at his club

Last month when Tottenham Hotspur were struggling, and just before they really started to struggle, Mauricio Pochettino voiced his concern about having a docusoap camera in his face quite a lot of the time. It got in the way, it compromised him, it made him feel more like a producer than a coach. “I hope there is a happy ending,” he said of the series Made in Tottenham. Well, when it airs there won’t be, not for him.

Opinion
Peter Grant's Alloa Athletic side take on Elgin City in the third round of the Scottish Cup this weekend. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Interview: Peter Grant on why he felt ‘blessed’ to play for Celtic, why he’s a fitness fanatic and why he thinks Scotland’s current crop are mentally weak

Waiting for Peter Grant outside the Alloa Athletic colosseum, I’m thrilled by this juxtaposition: a catering van unashamedly calling itself Fatboy’s Snacks next to turnstile doors, closed for the moment, which obviously date from an age when the average physique of Fitba Man was officially listed as “skinnymalink”. Indulge in too many of Mr Fatboy’s tasty treats and you might not be able to squeeze in to the game.

Celtic
Raheem Sterling, left, and Joe Gomez at training ahead of the England v Montenegro match.  Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty.

Aidan Smith: Emotion! Needle! Edge! Energy! Dynamic! Anger! Fighting!’

On the morning of England’s 1,000th international breakfast telly was predicting a smashing, positively dashing spectacle, just like in the song about Ascot in My Fair Lady. I thought: aren’t they even going to mention the bust-up between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez? They did, right at the end of the report, and maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised it was downplayed because our dear friends in England love a coronation, or as close as football can get to one. Which is pretty close. Remember the big party thrown for David Beckham? I forget what it was supposed to be celebrating. Becks going five consecutive games with the same hairstyle, perhaps. Or eight games played from a standing position. Or the highest number of times he was first to jump on a goalscorer, literally piggybacking on the man’s fame to ensure his own prominence in the back-page photos. Or the highest number of times a goal was shown and bloody shown again – his last-minute free-kick against Greece.

Opinion
Fans greet George Best as he arrives to open the Euro Exhaust Centre in Edinburgh in January 1980.

Aidan Smith: Rubbing shoulders with ‘Gorgeous’ George Best at a tyre and exhaust centre

It’s not difficult to choose the highlight of my early years in journalism. Cub reporters on weekly newspapers
in my day were ambulance-chasers and hopefully still are. They cribbed, from village notice-boards, breathless intimations of bring-and-buy sales and the names of the soon-to-be-married. If your shorthand was up to it you might be trusted with the district court’s litany of scuffles and kerfuffles which had “disturbed the lieges”. So, yes: most memorable day? The opening of that tyre and exhaust centre in Restalrig, Edinburgh – no question about it.

Hibernian
Paul Heckingbottom and Neil Lennon, now both ex-Hibs managers.

Aidan Smith: Hibs fans once happy to wave Neil Lennon off would take him back in a heartbeat

The other morning Glasgow woke up in a state of delirium. Celtic triumphed stupendously in Europe and then a few hours later Rangers followed suit. In Sauchiehall Street, a member of the Copland Road cognoscenti spotted an aesthete in a hooped shirt. They sprinted towards each other, chest-bumped, fell over, picked themselves up, counted their sovvy rings, hugged passionately – then the Rangers man cradled the face of the Celtic man, stroked his cheek tenderly as he would a babe or a pitbull pup, and sighed: “I love you, you love me, whae’s like us, by the way?” OK, maybe not, but the victories in the Europa League were real, thrilling and deserving of acclaim. Meanwhile at the exact same moment Edinburgh woke up in a state of delirium but a different kind. Not the delirium of ecstasy and rapture but the delirium of dementedness and derangement.

Rangers 2
Adam Hastings, sitting outside the Murrayfield Hotel in Edinburgh, is gearing up for a big year with Glasgow Warriors. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Interview: Adam Hastings on the World Cup, his rivalry with Finn Russell and hair jibes on Twitter

Although he was as disappointed as anyone by Scotland’s early exit from the Rugby World Cup, Adam Hastings returned from Japan sufficiently emboldened by his man-of-the-match performance to take on a daunting task: he was going to get stuck into the big boxes stacked at the front door of his new pad and build himself some flatpack furniture, hopefully showing the same flair with which he’d demolished Russia.

Glasgow Warriors 1
Steve Fulton celebrates scoring against Hibs in the 1998 New Year's Day derby at Tynecastle. Picture: Neil Hanna

Interview: Steve Fulton on his Celtic breakthrough, winning the cup with Hearts and laughing off the ‘fat’ jibes

He was the kind of footballer who dear old Archie Macpherson would wax lyrical about, with the former schoolteacher never missing a chance to remark on his “educated” left foot. The line-up for this weekend’s cup clashes chimes loudly for this fellow, these fixtures having once provided both his sensational entrance and his greatest day. But for the last five years Steve Fulton has been earning his living as a labourer.

Hearts
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