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McCurry - dirty hun fuck or typical tabloid non-story

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At work so can't see the video, but you can by clicking the link




SPL referee Mike McCurry filmed singing Rangers anthem in church


Sep 21 2008 By Steve Dinneen


THIS is SPL referee Mike McCurry belting out Rangers anthem Simply The Best in front of his stunned congregation.


This video footage shows the controversial whistler leading a chorus of the song in his church - the day after the Ibrox team beat Celtic in a crucial Old Firm game. The Tina Turner hit is a huge favourite among Rangers fans and the club play it over the public speaker system before games.


The film shows the Baptist minister donning a giant foam hand.


McCurry, 44, was at the centre of controversy in May after a series of blunders in a match.


Dundee United manager Craig Levein accused him of bias after his team lost 3-1 to Rangers.


Then his affair with 21-year-old Sunday school teacher Victoria Mathers was exposed in June.


He went to ground for two months but returned to top-flight action three weeks ago and today takes charge of a match between Kilmarnock and Celtic.


The video shows him handing out red and yellow giant foam hands to the congregation at Mosspark Baptist church in Glasgow.


He jokes he had always wanted to send a football player off in the last match he referees while wearing an outsized glove.


He introduces the "last hymn", saying: "Can you put the words up on the screen please?


"We'll sing this then we'll say closing prayer. If any of you are going through a hard time, I'd be delighted to pray with you.


"The bottom line is, this is a great church and we've got a great God. He's simply the best.


"Most of you will know the tune - the words might be a little bit different. We're going to stand, point, sing, clap, do whatever.


"And we're going to tell Jesus we think he's simply the best."


The video then shows McCurry dancing and clapping his hands as he sings along. He cups his hand to his ear, mimicking the famous "I can't hear you" goal celebration used by footballers.


The congregation applaud when the song finishes but many look bemused during the performance.


One assembly member said: "Everyone knows it's a big Rangers song and there were a few raised eyebrows for him to be giving it laldy the day after an Old Firm game.


"He did make clear it was praising God but to be asked to sing that song on that day did surprise people a little bit.


"The lyrics change in church to 'He touches my heart' instead of 'I'm stuck on your heart' and I'm sure there was no malice intended."


A member of McCurry's assembly said the classic anthem was played on March 30 - the morning after Rangers had beaten Celtic 1-0 at Ibrox.


The match was widely seen as a title clincher for Gers but they were overtaken by Celtic in the race to the SPL title.


Yesterday there were no replies to calls to McCurry's mobile phone or to the church.

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I think perhaps the Sunday Mail should read this article by dandy Michael Grant in todays Herlad:




Please, get a life

ON THE SPOT Michael Grant


BELIEVE IT or not the supporters of Celtic and Rangers do not have a monopoly on causing offence, or taking it, at football matches. Stadiums are the only public platforms in Britain where hateful, venomous sentiments aren't simply expressed but sometimes belted out in full-blooded songs and chants. Things are heard on terraces and in stands which aren't going to crop up any time soon on an edition of Songs of Praise.


Tottenham have strong connections to the Jewish community so rival supporters at some of their matches think it is clever to make long hissing sounds to signify the Nazi gas chambers. Nice, eh? That almost seems circumspect compared to "songs" about the Munich air disaster which occasionally assault the ears of Manchester United and their fans. Rangers have sometimes had to put up with something similar about the Ibrox disaster.


No-one in their right mind can hear any of those little ditties, or some of the others that very occasionally pollute grounds across the land, without recoiling in disgust. The natural reaction is to wince. It is immediately obvious to all that a line has been crossed in these cases, as it is when a comedian misjudges his audience and comes out with a sick joke which stuns the room into silence.



Those examples are among the indefensible extremes. Not all songs and chants are open to such black and white interpretations. Over the past few days Scottish football has had to make up its mind on where a relatively new number, The Famine Song, sits on the sliding scale of offensiveness. Is it a tasteless wind-up or is it bigotry?


The full lyrics are foul and bigoted, and thankfully they are unsung. Any prosecution in this case will have to be based on what is actually heard at matches, namely repetition of the chorus, "the famine's over, why don't you go home".


It took the singing of it by Rangers fans at last month's Old Firm game to turn it into a political issue. To me it was uglier when it went up in the Ibrox stands against Dundee United in May simply because Noel Hunt was on the ball. If Rangers fans defend the song as a tit-for-tat wind-up of Celtic supporters for flaunting Irish tricolours rather than Scottish flags, what was the justification for directing it at a single Irish player from another SPL club?


But worse has been sung at Celtic supporters, and by them. Worse has been sung at Rangers supporters, and by them. Identifying the authentic level of offence caused in Old Firm disputes is a task muddied by the fact that those who are genuinely aggrieved are eagerly accompanied and usually outnumbered by others whose primary motivation is to seize the chance to get their rivals into trouble.


So it is that all sorts of governing bodies and authorities get inundated with correspondence from upset "victims" of some supposed outrage or another.


The Famine Song is the latest, or at least it was until some Rangers fan contacted the Spanish consul-general and baffled the pour soul with complaints about internet death threats made against Nacho Novo.


I don't see that The Famine Song mocks or is derogatory about the tragedy of the famine itself, as some have tried to suggest. But bringing the famine into things at all is gratuitous and in poor taste, so why mention it?


If the point those Rangers fans are trying to make is that Celtic are mawkish about their heritage and more visibly an Irish club than a Scottish one, surely singing only "why don't you go home" would satisfy whatever urge they seem to have to get their message across.


Even if the chorus is tame compared to the lyrics, it is unhealthy for Rangers to have The Famine Song in their fans' repertoire.


The controversy around it last week raised a broader issue. We are in an age where anything said or sung at a match can be recorded, posted on the internet, broadcast, forwarded, reported, complained about, acted upon and occasionally banned. This can be a good thing - at long last that line about being "up to our knees in Fenian blood" isn't heard any more - but football must be vigilant. Terrace culture will be slowly strangled if people run to the authorities as soon as they've heard something they don't like.


For years Aberdeen supporters have been called "sheep*******s" by other fans. If we're going to start taking everything at face value, then to be accused of bestiality is about as grave an insult as you can get. But did any of them squeal - to the police, to the National Farmers' Union - about it? No, they took it on the chin with a bit of humour and even began singing it against themselves.


The easily offended among the Celtic and Rangers support would seem incapable of that in similar circumstances. Whenever one lot casts a hook the other one takes the bait. Some spend hours searching for evidence of the very behaviour which supposedly offends them.


Celtic play Manchester United next month and doubtless some puzzled English journalists will appear on the scene and ask about this furore over The Famine Song. As the baggage surrounding Scotland's two major clubs is depressingly explained one more time, they might step back and give a look which says "my God, do all you Jocks live in the dark ages?"


You can understand why it would cross their minds that we have nothing better to do than go to football and obsess about Irish history. And for some of us that really is offensive.

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As much as I dislike Mike McCurry, this is just a non-story. Simply The Best was a hit for Tina Turner long before Rangers got a hold of it, as long as he wasn't singing anything sectarian in church, then he can sing what he likes.

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What a ridiculous story, We had a baptist group come to my school and they are always doing this happy clappy stuff and turning popular songs into religious songs. Simply the best isnt a rangers song, dunfermline used to play it before the players came out well before rangers did.


McCurry is a total idiot but the tabloid press are making them look silly with this story.

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