The Hidden Hills Asylum For The Criminally Insane looks different at night than it does during the day.
On my previous visits this place has reminded me of a high-class health farm or a four-star hotel, located in nice surroundings, catering perhaps to the rich.
In the darkness it looks like some vast, shambling haunted house.
Even the sight of my friend Dennis Northwood, standing in the car-park waiting for me, as cool as he ever is, impeccably dressed, professional and calm, does not shake the feeling that I’m the star of some scary movie and that somewhere an audience is screaming that I should run.
Perhaps it’s not this place at all. Perhaps it’s that for the first time since I started coming here I am scheduled to meet someone truly scary.
Once upon a time, when he was still a footballer, they used to call him The Beast, such was his ferocity and viciousness. He was scarcely more rational when he sat in the dugout.
Many dressing room doors bore the brunt of his fury.
Many teacups were smashed against the wall.
Even before they sent him here, most people thought that he was a bit out there.
My PA summed it up when I told her who I was going to see.
“He’s a nutter,” is what she said, and shivered.
He is kept in the basement, like some real life Hannibal Lector.
The basement is where the most aggressive patients in the hospital are, and as we head down the winding stairway, which seems to have been carved right out of the earth, like we’re descending into Hell, Northwood tells me that our patient will be in full restraints, but that even so we have to keep a distance.
I jokingly ask if he’ll also be wearing a muzzle, and my friend adopts a serious look.
“He chewed through the muzzle,” he says. “Don’t mess around here.”
We get to the lowest point in the facility and find a smiling guard. He is reading The Celtic View.
Northwood shakes his head.
“Isn’t he angry enough today? Tell me you didn’t hang the green curtains again?”
The guard points up the corridor and yes, green curtains are draped across the front of what I can only assume is the cell of Graeme Souness.
We can hear him ranting and raving as we get closer; something about Protestant supremacy and the removal of a picture of the Queen from his cell.
I feel suddenly apprehensive, but Northwood gives me that calm – and calming – smile and we carry on.
We pull aside the green curtain like it’s the big reveal.
He is sitting at the back of the cell, in full restraints. Foam dribbles from his mouth in a steady stream, but he’s trying to get free. This guy is full-on rabid.
I ask Northwood if he’s on any medication and he tells me yes and proceeds to read from a chart a dosage which is so high that I’m stunned. How is this guy even conscious, far less this animated?
Northwood pulls out a set of keys and starts to open the cell door, and I take his arm, but he assures me that everything is alright, and it’s when we get in there that I notice that Souness is quite literally bolted to the wall.
It’s not just the straitjacket; that’s strapped to a metal bar that runs along the back of him. It’s about eight feet long. He’s going nowhere.
There is a table in front of him, and Northwood beckons me over and asks me to sit down so that I can start asking my questions. “Don’t expect coherent answers,” he told me over the phone. “He’s a little too far gone for that.”
As I take my seat I hear a blood-curdling shriek from somewhere else; even Souness flinches at the sound.
I look at Northwood in alarm.
“Simon Jordan,” he says, “from down the hall.”
I grimace. This place really is different at night, it’s creepy, and especially down here.
Nevertheless, I take my seat and I open up my book and flip to the list of questions I want to ask.
I skim them.
Most of these are fairly tame. I decide to go straight into the big stuff.
“Do you genuinely believe that Celtic are the ‘unacceptable face of Scottish football?’”
He shouts something I won’t even write down, it’s too vulgar and bizarre.
“Because, weren’t you at Rangers during their period of shame? Weren’t you there through sectarian and racist singing, and although you signed a Catholic player you presided over a club that was mired deep in sectarianism, as your own former captain Terry Butcher pointed out. Wasn’t that the unacceptable face of Scottish football?”
He spits foam and phlegm at me in a big gob and snarls something vicious.
“Since then, Ibrox clubs have sang about the Irish famine, mocked the dead of the Lisbon Lions, incurred UEFA penalties and even a partial ground closure. Their board has hired an Ulster Unionist to do their public relations. They have torn up commercial contracts. They have refused to honour deals. They have launched ludicrous attempts to decapitate the SPFL board of directors and smeared its members. They have threatened the entire structure on which the game’s commercial dealings is based. Was that an unacceptable face of Scottish football?”
He shrieks at me this time, full of venom and rage. His patient’s garments are now soaked with his own saliva and God knows what else. There’s blood running down his face too. I am handed a visor and told to put it on if I intend to continue. A glob of foam, streaked red, hits it and starts to slide down it the moment I manage to get it on.
“Do you understand,” I ask next, “that commercial companies which deal with Celtic have been doing so through decades which include Republican singing and other things which might not immediately make them seem like attractive business partners? That, in effect, what you’re saying about the anti-monarchist banners affecting the club in a business sense is just wishful thinking or outright ignorance of what you’re talking about?”
At that Souness makes a very noticeable attempt to get at me, but the restraints snap him back and I see murder – actual literal murder – roll in his eyes for a second.
“Do you accept that when you talk about the world watching and not liking what it sees that you are, in effect, projecting your own views onto the rest of us, and that across the world people generally don’t care about any of this stuff, and that even here in the UK what the Celtic fans have done is seen by many as an example of free expression?”
He is starting to jerk and pull hard at the restraints, and I sense – and so does Northwood – that this is getting very dicey indeed and that we should probably wrap it up.
“You also realise that just because you are willing to see yourself as a subject and not as a citizen that many other people regard that as foolish and even outright insulting? Bearing in mind that Celtic’s fan-base is global, that it has just posted a superb profit in its accounts, is just about to embark on a tour of Australia and raise its profile even more, and taking into account that the fans who did this have known republican and Irish republican leanings, do you think that anyone was even surprised by this, and if nobody was then how do you see this damaging Celtic?”
He is spitting stuff all over the place now and I wonder how long even that iron bar, bolted to the wall, can handle this level of intense fury. I turn to Northwood and he nods. I can ask one more question and so I scan my list and make it a good one.
“Finally, don’t you think it’s a bit ridiculous to suggest that fans holding up a banner is the ‘unacceptable face of Scottish football’ when Police Scotland are investigating the supporters you praised just days ago? You think that what the Celtic fans did is somehow more damaging than the violent scenes which are being looked at from the Ibrox game?”
And now he does actually go for it, full on, and I hear a ripped sound and I realise that part of the straight jacket is coming apart, and we’re out of there quickly and slamming the cell door behind us, and he’s there, on the floor, crawling towards us like an animal, part of the straightjacket torn and still attached to the wall behind him … and he’s fuming at us, absolutely enraged, and I have never seen anything quite like it in my life.
“I think,” Northwood says, “those common sense questions really wound him up.”
Johnny Green says:
September 20, 2022 at 6:57 pm
September 20, 2022 at 6:58 pm
September 20, 2022 at 7:06 pm
September 21, 2022 at 1:10 am
September 20, 2022 at 7:19 pm
Exiled in Ard Mhaca says:
September 20, 2022 at 7:32 pm
Johnny Green says:
September 20, 2022 at 7:32 pm
Andy Murray says:
September 20, 2022 at 7:33 pm
September 20, 2022 at 7:50 pm
September 20, 2022 at 8:06 pm
September 20, 2022 at 8:47 pm
September 20, 2022 at 8:48 pm
September 20, 2022 at 10:48 pm
September 20, 2022 at 10:54 pm
Catherine mcginn says:
September 20, 2022 at 9:22 pm
September 20, 2022 at 9:52 pm
Stephen McAdam says:
September 20, 2022 at 10:19 pm
Tony B says:
September 20, 2022 at 11:37 pm
Michael Conway says:
September 21, 2022 at 5:42 am
Scouse bhoy says:
September 21, 2022 at 8:26 am
September 21, 2022 at 9:21 am
Well done James, I do prefer what is obviously non fiction,
As a player, Souness was a disgrace to the beautiful game. This was the quintessential hatchet-man, who quite deliberately set out to put fellow professionals out of the game for good. As a manager at Liverpool, this egomaniac sold his soul to The Sun. His story was published on the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
Souness-despised in Glasgow. Hated in Liverpool.
Peeness is a 100% Monkey Hun Bastard Wankstain!! Guys a SMUG Prik & always has been, a DUD as a Manager waeoot Mintys Millions backing him!! Put Liverpool back 30 yrs in wan season, a FUKIN TORY BASTARD!!
Yep, I think that just about sums him up.
Imagine a liar and a tax cheat giving any type of opinion about us , and remember 5 judges said it was tax cheating him and all his cronies then absolute shite bag.
He will insult Celtic FC, their fans and sponsors all he wants on Talksh*t as there will be no comeback. Its a station I haven’t listened to since Murdoch got his paws on it. I think most Celtic fans are the same. Just let him waffle away on Talksh*t and pay plenty of no heed. Must be eating him alive he’s not got a knighthood yet.
Men against bhoys……ya fud!
Souness…. The hardman who never tackled a player head on in his life Always from the back or the side. And incidentally he is a Hearts supporter.
James, great dissect of another hun loving money grabbing tw**. He was a thug on a football field and only successful during the cheating years at ipox. He is a nobody which is demonstrated by his comments today.
As i said the other day, the world watch waiting and watching and applauding our action on sunday.
Him and jordan are so far away from reality it is scary as lots in their position say the same.
Our day will come. It is coming faster than these guys thing.
Souness ran the show at Ibrox for a couple of seasons. You’d see him smirking in the dressing room, whilst his players chanted obscenities about the Pope, Catholics, and different ethnicities. That’s why his ‘crusade’ against Celtic is so predictable. A bitter little man, who can’t accept how loathed he is around Merseyside. A grovelling sycophant, begging for a knighthood.
he’s a fukn joke…as is that station…
sinclair suspended for tweeting the truth….
man arrested for holding blank piece of paper..
CONTRADICT THE ESTABLISHMENT AT YOUR PERIL !!!!
such a shower of fukn hypocrites….
the speaker of the house…”the funeral was the greatest event in the history of the world…”
only the british/english would come away with the shit we’ve seen in every media outlet this week…..arrogant,entitled bastards….them and they’re supporters..
James, another entertaining Hidden Hills episode/chapter. Given the recent interview with Michael Nicholson in the Herald today regarding the Celtic input to the new UAFA financial regulations, I wonder if you asked Graham’s thoughts on this, would his head actually have exploded with rage ending his pain. My point of the post James is also to ask if you will be following up said article/interview with a piece detailing the new regs, and also do you think that the supposed lack of Celtic’s action to pursue the SPL/SFA’S reluctance to act on the flagrant ignoring of FFP rules by Sevco have indeed managed to take it out of the domestic rulings and forced the hand of the game’s ruling body.
PS, James, given MN’s newness to the CEO seat, can we assume that the much maligned Peter Lawwell was instrumental in these new rulings, given his role in UEFA?
Souness didn’t sign ‘Petit Merde’ to end Ibrox’ sectarian policy, in the 1980s. It was business related, with a bit of vindictiveness thrown in. His supposed code of ethics dissapeared when hearing anti Irish bile…every other week.
As I posted earlier this nonsense coming from a guy that worked for the old club that had a apartheid signing policy a poisonous club with the worst hoard of orcs in world football!! He himself like many others of that posion had to beg them to behave in Seville!As world football knew and feared the worst! From a fanbase steeped in racism, fascism, sectarianism and hatred, one that threatens players very safety as we know fine well every corner of that cespit they rain bottles! Broken ones at that with no arrests!! Says it all ! Hate filled creature that feel validated in being offended by even the colour Green!! And attack when they see it! Well if the odds are stacked in their favour!! Could write a book on those cretins!! Utter filth so no souness we need not fear anything our club is a Real Gobal one loved the world over that’s fanbase saved it in its time f need!! Why? Cause we are the club!! Built on charity, unity and love!!The oldco that stole 10s of millions from old lizzie crown and didnt pay national insurance contributions and this clown was also a recipient of an ebt!! Eh didnt like that being mentioned! So no you fool we wont be apologising for nothing!! If the halfwits of ibrox need a monarchy to kneel to as so they feel some sense of belonging! Good luck but here in real world we have that belonging in a country of 90 percent working people there is no need or want for an entitled family that seeming are there for ” tourism”! Pathetic Celtic should go after this clown!
Sourness has never got over his humiliation, when he was manager of Blackburn, by Henrik et al, who tore him a new one over 2 legs in European competition, after he had crowed about boys against men.
His face on the touchline the night of his humiliation in the second leg tie, is a sight that will live long in the memory.
Celtic has lived rent free in his cess pit of a head ever since.
Brilliant and sums this hollow head up,he has never ever mentioned his 2nd team Liverpool when there fans booed loudly the national anthem at Wembley & the English FAs cancelled games right after Lizzie died as they said they could not guarantee silence at English games
Trump and the tory party do not have a look in when the sevco media drag up a negative celtic story. We should all bombard sky sports, talk sport, bbc, radar , and the sun scum with that sectarian video of his oldco team .
These last couple of days have been difficult for all things Ibrox. The royal Misery-Fest is officially over. The Klan, and Souness, are going through a cold turkey process. They’re obviously missing all this death and gloom. Grovelling is also an addiction. But, the ghoulish SFA has just handed them an additional fix for tonight’s game. Naturally it’s in their interest to prolong the Mourn-Porn.
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