Glavin fires memories of Scots fans while Barnsley rejoice in return of their king

There are those, and Michael Parkinson is probably not among them, who regard the phrase as an oxymoron to stand comparison with "government organisation" and "marital bliss", but the appointment to Barnsley’s managerial team of former Celtic midfielder Ronnie Glavin has certainly gone down a treat with supporters.

Glavin, 48, has given up his prestigious position with Wakefield and Emly to take over a troubled club, hamstrung by administration and prohibited from purchasing players. He and co-manager Gudjon Thordarson were given their thankless task after the long-awaited takeover by a consortium that included Davie Moyes’ brother, Kenny.

Barnsley fans, who also bestowed legendary status on another illustrious Scotsman, John Hendrie, have come to rely on Ronnie. After all, he was the curly-haired bundle of dynamism whose ballistic missile of a shot twice helped the club to promotion 20-odd years ago. He was their player of the year in 1980 and ’83, and even had a song devoted to him on the terraces:

"People say that football’s borin’,

"Ronnie Glavin’s always scorin’,

"Can you hear the Ponty roarin’,

"Ronnie is our king."

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All of which reverential treatment is rather amusing to those from north of the Border whose memories of him are altogether more embarrassing. Sure, he won the League Cup with Partick Thistle in 1971, before joining Celtic for 80,000 in 1975 and becoming their top scorer when they won the title in 1977. He even played for Scotland in a 3-1 defeat of Sweden at Hampden in 1977.

But Glavin is perhaps better remembered as the character who, in 1979, the year that he fled to Barnsley in a 40,000 transfer, was up in court, accused of setting fire to his sports shop in East Kilbride.

Ronnie, who guided Wakefield and Emly through an FA Cup third-round tie against West Ham United, combined duties there with a job at Nike, another sports firm that went swoosh. Of course, this unseemly show of pyrotechnics led to all manner of merciless digs from Scottish fans. Among the better offerings was that which accused Celtic of abandoning a bid for Austrian playmaker Marcus Schoppes on the basis that their midfield line-up would have read: Glavin, Burns ...

ONE can but hope that no jiggery-pokery is going on at the picture desk of the Daily Record.

The morning before they published a wincingly-muscular photograph of Serena Williams, so that she might be compared with Iron Mike Tyson, her sister, Venus, was captured on camera with an alarming outbreak of stubble on her chin. A snapshot of the elder sister’s jaw line was magnified, the growth picked out by an investigative white circle, and the story accompanied by a "stubble fault" headline. I must say the whiskers would have been more convincing had they been daubed on with a marker pen by my three-year-old son. It brings to mind the habit at some newspapers of exclusively revealing new football strips, a coup arrived at by plastering Barry Ferguson’s head, Monty Python-style, on to a shirt that looks no different from the previous one, save for a couple of white lines scrawled across it.

This paper, of course, would never compromise its principles in such a way.

BEFORE Silvio Berlusconi compared the German MEP, Martin Schulz, to one of Hitler’s concentration camp guards, a well-known Spanish football journalist was struggling to extricate foot from mouth.

In their eagerness to cover every cough and spit of David Beckham’s televised medical on Tuesday, Sky Sports included an item about the exclusive hotel in which he was residing, near Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent.

"Ronaldo was here before he signed, and so was Zidane," explained Guillem Balague, the channel’s Spanish football expert. "Also, eeza concentration camp for the players before big matches."