It was right, and fitting, that Celtic should be the opponents for Artur Boruc’s final football match. He gave the better part of his career to two clubs, ours and Legia, and it was good that they came together to give him a proper send-off.
Tonight I’m going onto the Endless Celts podcast to discuss Boruc, amongst other things.
He had standout moments between the sticks, but I will never be able to think of him without a negative. To me, his time here has a big dark shadow over it, the shadow of what was permitted to happen to him in our media, our football bodies and our judicial system.
The decision to cite him for “breach of the peace” in 2006 has been the subject of acres of coverage ever since, and people are always reminding me of the “fact” that the Crown Prosecution Service later “clarified” that he wasn’t fine for the Sign of the Cross he made but for other gestures. Their assurance to that end cut no slack then or now.
From the moment that gave finished, the narrative put forward was that he had been done for that gesture. The Crown Office didn’t comment until the furore became too loud to ignore. By then, every Catholic organisation in the country was in uproar, politicians were weighing in with their utter disgust and the story was threatening to go international.
Read the reports at the time. Read the police statement and the initial statements from the CPS. Every one of them mentions the Sign of the Cross. Every one of them makes it clear that they believed it played a role in “inciting the crowd.”
That “crowd” reacted to a Catholic footballer doing something he did before every match.
They were the problem here, people so intolerant that the mere sight of that drove them to screaming hysteria. That our society sought to protect their rights and not those of our keeper has never been anything other than appalling.
I have always been glad that civic Scotland responded to that incident as they did. But Police Scotland took it seriously enough to initiate a complaint. The CPS took it seriously enough to initiate proceedings. A prosecutor stopped it from going too far, to the point where there was an actual prosecution … what disgrace that would have brought to our nation.
Yet I have always wondered what would have happened if it had gone the full way.
Obviously I am glad, as most of us are, that Boruc was never subjected to the full effects of the law, but a trial would certainly have cast a light on the complainers as well as the man at the centre of the storm.
It would have cast a light on their own beliefs and behaviour.
Let’s not forget, not one camera in the stadium that day captured Boruc’s other alleged gestures. This was all “eye witness testimony”, much of it from raving lunatics who freely admitted that the sight of a Catholic engaged in a simple act of religious observance pushed them to foaming, splitting apoplexy. That would have been interesting to see.
Still, I think that the very idea, and that it was taken seriously by some high profile people, did shame this country, however briefly, and it’s a stain that remains to this day.
Later on, he would generate more “controversy” by the mere wearing of a t-shirt with the Pope on it, something which drew predictable hysteria from several lunatic Ibrox fan groups and a DUP MP.
Our media, who were obssessesd with Boruc’s behaviour as much as his goalkeeping, were abysmal.
Those in the press who promoted the idea that the Sign of the Cross, or the wearing of a t-shirt, was something that could, and should, be prosecuted should still be hanging their heads in shame, as should those police officers and court officials and the handful of idiots in politics who pressed for it.
The whole country should have. Much of it did.
They spared the rest a truly epochal disgrace and embarrassment.
That will not be forgiven, nor easily forgiven.
Nor should it be.
July 22, 2022 at 5:11 pm
July 22, 2022 at 5:32 pm
Colin Couipar says:
July 22, 2022 at 7:48 pm
harold shand says:
July 22, 2022 at 5:46 pm
July 22, 2022 at 5:49 pm
July 22, 2022 at 7:37 pm
Colin Couipar says:
July 22, 2022 at 7:54 pm
Johnny Green says:
July 22, 2022 at 7:57 pm
July 22, 2022 at 9:35 pm
July 23, 2022 at 12:15 am
Thomas M Daley says:
July 23, 2022 at 4:54 am
July 25, 2022 at 1:49 am
Thomas Daly says:
July 26, 2022 at 3:24 pm
“What school did you go to son”enough sad
I sure wish the case against our keeper had gone the whole hog, courts
prosecutions etc……and then the whole world would have been alerted to what its really like in the” greatest wee country in the world”
Enjoy the rest of your life Artur!
i read one of the papers the other day ( pretty sure it was the Record ) describing him as a ‘ Crackpot ‘
Strange that the CPS and police never said anything to gazza for his flute playing. I think he got a warning from the SFA the second time he done it
As much as I detest the English Establishment, the Scottish Establishment is even more sinister. Hopefully the is a separate layer of hell reserved for them. God bless Artur, God bless Celtic. Hail Hail.
Sadly, it has been “forgiven” and most certainly forgotten. In future, and instead of reacting to such things, there should be a campaign to encourage these bastards to progress with their prosecutions. Then again, the Neil Lennon assault at Tynecastle prosecution didn`t go too well.
Yet when Goram saved a penalty from big Pierre, he screamed into Pierre’s face ” fuck you ya black [email protected]”…..and it was totally ignored by all and sundry.
That was the advantage of being an orange goalie as opposed to the holy goalie.
And no doubt the bigot who instagated has been promoted through the ranks just waiting to tarnish the greatest sporting football entity on the planet Glasgow Celtic but we will not tolerate anymore
oh! what a sad little bigoted and racist country we live in. By the way, don’t expect anything to change much if independence is gained. More of the same! HH
They can flaunt their Billy boy and orange memorabilia with impunity. Well if Boruc had been prosecuted then T-shirts with John Paul would be joined with the Sacred Heart, Vatican and “You don’t scare me Nuns taught me” shirts.
Civil disobedience of blessing oneself boarding trains, aircraft with “May the Blessed Virgin watch over you” to shop assistants in Tesco instead of ‘thanks’ would be my new “Normal”
John, it would be more of the same only a lot worse and more often.
It`s a pity more players didn`t expose them in their own country, even if it was after they retire. They`ll have even more juicier tales to tell.
I have absolutely no respect for any so-called catholic player that played/plays for them. Even the manager from France, the one who was running the marathon in the Sahara just before he went to them, declared right away that he gave up the Catholic faith at 15.
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