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Traynor's last ever newspaper column.




IT was never a job. More of an absolute joy, if truth be told.


But all good things come to an end and when they do, it’s important to end with some good things.


When writing this, my final newspaper column, the memories come flooding in. When the time comes to change direction and move on, let the best of those memories rush from every corner of your mind and keep the worst of them locked away.


If people who have abused you because of their own bigoted and narrow-minded ways, or events that might have saddened you deeply, are allowed light and oxygen you let them tarnish and blacken what you’ve done and achieved.


For instance, this column – the final one after 37 years in newspapers – could bang on about supporters who have spat on my coats and jackets, thrown all sorts of insults and occasionally bricks and bottles. But that would demean everything.


I could name managers, players, club directors and administrators who, because the truth can hurt, have wished me all kinds of harm and misfortune. But neither they nor their words mattered. They damaged and shamed only themselves.


So from Andre Agassi (tennis is such a wonderful sport) to Zinedine Zidane (football really is a beautiful game despite the money grabbers and crooks), it has been amazing. It’s been a blast. Uplifting but also a deeply humbling and, at times, disturbing journey.


When Scotland were in Bucharest to play a European Championship qualifying tie against Romania, a couple of years after that madman Nicolae Ceausescu had been overthrown by revolution, players broke down. So too did supporters.


It was 1991 and the horrors of the Romanian orphan crisis were becoming clearer to the outside world.


It was heartbreaking. Even the most hardened cynical hacks cried at the sight of swarms of hungry, distraught children wandering the streets begging for morsels.


I know I said the bad memories should be locked away but those kids, who snatched all the money we could muster as though we were making them instant millionaires, can never be forgotten.


Strangely, another memory also concerns tears. But this time they came from a Brazilian great sitting right in the middle of Avenue Foch in Paris at the start of the 1998 World Cup finals.


Nilton Santos was there with Pele, Carlos Alberto and another great, Alfredo di Stefano, who was claimed by both Argentina and Spain.


I was there because I’d had a say in selecting the team of the 20th century – just for the Record that team was: Lev Yashin, Carlos, Franz Beckenbauer, Bobby Moore, Santos; Johan Cruyff, Di Stefano, Michel Platini; Garrincha, Pele and Diego Maradona. Then I sat with Pele, Santos and Di Stefano listening to their tales.


It was fascinating, even when Santos, who had been a father figure to the deeply troubled Garrincha, wept as he spoke of the tormented genius and his final tragic years.


But there were loads of laughs with the greats of the people’s game to giants of other sports. Heroic characters such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, Bjorn Borg, Rod Laver, Ilie Nastase, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe (did I mention tennis is a wonderful sport?), Boris Becker, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Mark McGwire (baseball is such an hypnotic and simply beautiful sport, maybe even the best) and the 49ers’ Jerry Rice.


There are just too many to list. But it’s been a privilege to have seen them in the flesh and even under the threat of extreme torture, such as being forced to listen to recordings of SFA/SPL meetings, I could never say my job has been anything like work. It’s been a pleasure.


Until recently.


Unfortunately, there has been the last twisted and bitter year during which Scottish football, unable to deal with the Rangers crisis in a civilised manner, has tried to tear itself apart. All in the name of sporting integrity, of course.


Actually, for the last couple of years some of the most bilious types have been allowed to emerge from the shadows and spew invective that sadly became regarded as fact, even though what they were saying and writing wasn’t even close to being definitive. Or honest. Overnight all sorts of anonymous bloggers became experts. These champions of decency had all the answers. They knew better than anyone else. They said over and over Rangers would be done for cheating the tax man.


They were wrong, the Rangers Tax Case blog in particular. Yet he/her/they stated: “This blog has been accurate on all of the major points of the case except the one that matters most to date – the FTT (First-tier Tax Tribunal) outcome”.


Excuse me? Accurate on all the major points except the bit that matters most. And that’s all right is it?


That’s a bit like a team manager saying after a defeat: “Hold on, I picked the right team and I believe my tactics were correct. So the result doesn’t really matter.”


Dolts. The result is everything. If any of the Rangers Tax Case bloggers are trained lawyers, would you want them to defend you in a court of law?


Even now so many – and I include some fellow journalists – still cannot bring themselves to accept Rangers did not cheat the tax man by using EBTs.


One journalist declared it to be “a government conspiracy” when he heard the ruling in Rangers’ favour.


Perhaps in time more will be written about this kind of hack and the rabid desire to help bring down Rangers, a fierce desire that, sadly, was widespread. Actually, I’m sure more will be written about them.


Just when did they become consumed by such eye-popping rage? Was it always there, a dormant fury against Rangers and their fans, who deserve enormous credit for having saved their club, just waiting for the catalyst?


Now they can’t help themselves. They can’t stop foaming at the mouth and we can be sure their determination to have titles stripped will go into overdrive.


They need some kind of victory or they might explode and that would be terribly messy. All that bile all over the walls and streets.


Unfortunately reason was never allowed to be a player in this grotesque game, which quickly became dominated mostly by incoherent imbeciles fuelled by all that hatred.


And let’s not forget how some with telly platforms were prompted by those bloggers and ill-informed commentators. Stupidly they allowed themselves to be duped by supporters with dangerous agendas hidden under the banner of integrity.


And the result? Some of the most shallow and infantile drivel ever written. These egotists are so into

themselves they’ve no regard for the safety or wellbeing of those about whom they have written some awful and completely inaccurate pieces.


Despicable, pathetic little creatures craving some kind of recognition but lacking in conscience and morality.


I’m so sorry they’ve had to be thrown up into the same piece as some of the true greats and gentlemen of world sport.


However, that’s it. My work here is done and I’m glad – but just for the record, I’ve not been sacked or made redundant. I was asked to remain but my conscience won’t allow me to stay in our profession.


The kind of journalism needed by the country, never mind sport, no longer exists in enough of the media outlets.


But as I’ve said, the good memories of all those sporting greats will always outweigh the negatives, especially those that bubbled to the surface throughout this last year.


Thanks to sport’s real heroes I’ve had a ball and thank you for reading while I was with The Herald, the Daily Express and the Daily Record.


Good luck to you – and be careful about what and who you read in the future.


There are people out there calling themselves by different names.


But that’s not the bit that should worry you. They are calling themselves journalists.

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Except it isn't in the slightest

So despite all the bullshit above presumably he was persuaded to switch for the cash (if true)

At least we shouldn't have to listen to him on the radio anymore

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There was a time I didn't mind him on your call as he seemed pretty anti old firm and wasn't scared to mock their retard fans but the past few years he has just become more and more loathesome.  Scummy club, scummy fans, scummy staff............ he'll fit right in

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It doesn't look like he's changing his role at all, he's always been the PR man to their hordes of brainwashed cretins.

Beat me to it. I hope someone looks at his "journalistic" efforts of the last 12 months or so, there must be some sort of conflict of interest, or at the very least the dr should be asking for his wages back

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