Brad Welsh: ‘There’s more that unites us than divides us!’

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by Red Casual 15/10/19

The grudge was regional, Bradley was Hibs, we were Celtic; he was younger but you couldn’t help but look up to him.  Celtic played Hibs six times during the 1985/86 season, four in the league and once each in the cups, which probably built up this feud between two mobs in the football casual era during the eighties.

I remember at the start of that season thinking a smaller club such as Hibs can’t be up to much on the streets. This was a big mistake.  Looking back now you have to say they were Scotland’s best firm; a very organised unit who had a baby crew the same. Brad stood out from the rest and although aged only around 14 he was knocking lads out who were five years older than him. I was on the receiving end a few times myself, most notably during the League Cup match at Easter Road.  He was nightmare!

I recall a famous Celtic lad trying to deck him which backfired spectacularly.  The police grabbed us and told us to ‘pick on someone your own size’ while my mate stood with a broken nose.  You could see Bradley was a trained boxer and he had these eyes you could never forget. He would stand on the other side of the terrace from us like a golden eagle sizing up his prey. While lads were shouting in conflict over the fence, Brad would just watch, scanning the away end. He’d be wearing the most expensive and sometimes unique clothing and had a habit of analysing what anyone else wore. Bradley would become one of Hibs’ main faces when the CCS and BBC amalgamated into one.

By around 1989/1990 a lot of us, Brad included, had moved on from this scene. It was around this time I got to know him and I’ve loved him since, but he spent some time away and was a very private guy for many years.

I recall hearing him talk for the first time. Brad zoomed up to me on a mountain bike in Edinburgh having previously only known each other through our football rivalry. At the time he was running some decent club nights and I had been staying down south. ‘Alright ar kid?’ he asked, which was a pass as well as a greeting, then at 100 mph he would move onto the next subject before I had absorbed what he had just said. Which I thought was funny seeing as he always looked a man of few words as well as thinking that he may bare a football grudge or even look down on me, but this was never the case.  He invited me to one of his club nights and I arranged to meet him in the City Café. A few old faces I recognised from Hibs were also there which was slightly daunting, but it was all cool; I was Brad’s guest and through him I got to know guys that I still call mates to this day. It’s what he did, he brought people together.

I remember him still coming over as a leader with charm and charisma. He had all this philosophy and it sounded as if he’d swallowed a dictionary. I drank beer, he drank bottles of water with his ‘fit mind, fit body’ attitude. He liked to point out that ‘we were all just laddies from different cities and it was all cowboys and Indians ehh.’ He would always ask about other Celtic lads and how they were doing, especially ‘those McCann twins‘ who, like him, were trained boxers he respected.

I wouldn’t see Bradley again until 1995 when he and a few lads came to London for the weekend to see a famous boxing match and I arranged to meet him at a pub in Knightsbridge so he could visit Harvey Nichols. When I got there I noticed him and a couple of others standing on the centre island of the road leaning against the railings – golden eagle eyes was back! Old habits die hard and he’s just checking out who’s walking by. He tells me Chelsea sometimes move around that area but to be honest he was just posturing, he had moved on. He was still oozing confidence and again he wasn’t a drinker – his tipple was water.  We moved along to the Armani store after we’d been to Harvey Nic’s, Armani was the label for him and in true working class spirit he’d size up how to get his label as cheap as possible – and of course he did. We spent the day with him and his wee crowd from Edinburgh in a few pubs; I could have listened to his old stories and intense spirit all day.  I left later and they went on to the boxing.

Working Class Hero

It is something to be a working-class hero as John Lennon said. In later years I had the privilege of working with Brad on a few projects which should really be named solidarity; these were mainly joint ventures between the Celtic and Hibs fans.  His leadership skills came to the fore in a massive way and a couple of his many quotes being ‘it’s easier to be a good gadgie than c*nt’ and ‘there is more that unites than divides us.’

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He approached us here at HWS asking how receptive it would be for a joint food-bank collection at Easter Road in an up and coming Hibs v Celtic match. I thought it  was a cracking idea and the Celtic fans took to it right away.  So through Helping Hands – which was his solidarity idea – we set the wheels in motion. With ex-casuals from Celtic and Hibs helping to put it in place , the idea was for the Celtic fans to bring the usual food-bank supplies when they approached the away end at Easter Road and there would be tables to collect it. We also received cash donations from fans who didn’t manage to bring any food bags. Wee Jay Beattie and his dad came up with bags and wee Jay stood and helped us for a spell which again was outstanding, although he demanded a Helping Hands vest to wear.  The guys that Brad and Jim had in place knew the score, it was like a military operation, vans were already there to move the bags as soon as kick-off came.  It was relatively easy for this to happen and it mainly came down to connections and Brad’s spirit, energy and respect which was vital in making it a massive success.  The Celtic fans were outstanding in coming to help the disadvantaged people of Edinburgh.

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Boxing.

I visited Holyrood Boxing Gym only the once. It was a week day and I’d just popped in to see my friend. I regret not getting there for him to put me through my paces on a Sunday morning, but I believe Jake is stepping in and carrying on the tradition so I will be visiting for that very reason.  It has been hard for us here at HWS to write this article as his loss is still raw and hurts even as I type, but we shall do our best. The gym was Brad’s place and I witnessed his ethos again, a leader who gave massive encouragement. You saw that everyone who walked through the door of the gym was an equal, there was no heroes. Or maybe they were all heroes. Certainly by the time they left they felt that way, he built you up, he gave that confidence you needed, including weight loss and just as importantly gave mental health issues a proper outlet; his actual presence worked in tandem with it. He could give a couple of words encouragement that would lift anyone. He made me a better person and I know he did this for hundreds of others, he would go that extra mile to help a mate for nothing in return. But does this guy ever sleep? It appeared hardly ever, after he completed a Guinness world record doing pad work for 24 hours. If you’ve not seen this; check the documentary: ‘Bradley Welsh Tough Times’.

There was a football page online that Brad used to post on; basically ex-casuals who just chatted about old times. He was instrumental in keeping guys together on there and with his motto ‘more unites us than divides us’ he fostered a good spirit and it’s this spirit that lives on, with the page even bringing out a t-shirt in his memory.

Leigh Griffiths

When Leigh Griffiths went through a bad patch last year it was Brad who stepped in to help and put a few people straight. Brad knew Leigh as he was one of the many footballers who came down to help out with the kids through, once more, Helping Hands.  He got in touch with me and I couldn’t get him to calm down on the phone. Brad was reading stuff online from people mocking Leigh and mental health –  two things you just didn’t do. ‘Leigh’s a guy from the streets with magic at his feet who’s just going through a bad patch, he’s just a laddie from the scheme’.  He was rightly calling people out on Leigh’s behalf to explain their comments, LG, I believe, phoned Brad to thank him. Then it was onto business. Brad said that we needed to support him and wanted us to come together again and I totally agreed, as he said, ‘he’s one of our own mate’. Ironically there was another Hibs v Celtic match coming up at Easter Road and we put the message out. https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/holywellst.com/193

I would be on the phone to Brad most days; he was taking on a lot but never stopped helping where needed and was always thinking of what we could do next through his connections and mine.  The next joint venture was with the Green Brigade at Celtic. We had arranged to meet them and work on a solidarity banner in support of the working class and bringing attention to disingenuous charities. We had arranged for member of the GB to get free boxing sessions at the club at the next Hibs v Celtic game which in the end unfortunately didn’t happen.

The McCann twins were Celtic and mutual friends of ours who knew Brad all the way through from football, boxing tournaments and later, visits to see each other. Francie McCann – after being involved in a bad accident – was fighting for his life and in true spirit Brad wanted to help. Bradley had wrote, ‘FRANCIE was me, just born in a different city and followed a different team’. Francie was starting to make a miracle recovery and was recognising people and voices. One person’s voice was of course a stand-out and that was Brad’s. The McCann family held the phone up to Francie and the coach was doing his bit again. ‘Keep fighting Francie, we’re cut from the same cloth just different cities, you can do this … I’ll be there to see you Saturday’.  

Later that night was when we got the news that Brad, sadly, was no longer with us.

Everyone has their own story to tell about Bradley Welsh and it seems it’s usually along the same lines as friend, inspiration, coach, life changer, charming, gifted and loyal. I think it was Irvine Welsh who said that you would only meet a few guys like Brad in your lifetime, which is probably true, but I’m still waiting to meet the second one.

Ironically just after his passing the next game at Easter Road was against Celtic. We had been told that the Hibs fans were having a minutes applause on the 48th minute and in his spirit I felt it was only right HWS should do one last thing for a friend. It was quite easy and everyone agreed …    https://wordpress.com/post/holywellst.com/336    Both sets of fans were immense and on the 48th minute we did the joint applause for Bradley Welsh. Once again the Celtic faithful rose to respect this working class hero.

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In among his parting words should he ever be taken at a young age was …

‘Ye see, Now try to be me. Me … me … me. Go and never forget.’

We can only try to be him. If you get halfway there you’ll be doing more than alright.

Depression sufferer makes complete recovery after being advised to ‘cheer up’

By Macaroon Bar 11/10/19

A lifelong sufferer of Depression has had their life turned around after being advised to ‘cheer up’.

As yesterday was Mental Health Awareness day. There was a ground breaking moment.

“It was my new line manager,” confirmed Archie C Young

“He’d spent a week mucking about with a spreadsheet and had run out of things to do so he called me into his office to ‘get to the bottom of this depression thing’.”

Mr Richard Head (Dickie) joined him and received his revolutionary treatment within minutes.

“Yeah, I told him about my condition, and he just leant back in his chair, folded his hands behind his head and went ‘you want to just cheer up a bit’.

“It’s changed my life. I mean, I’ve had nearly twenty years of CBT, anti-depressants and psychotherapy. If only someone had told me to cheer up all those years ago.

“He also mentioned that I should ‘snap out of it’.”

Richard Dickie Head, the line-manager, went on to explain the theory behind his treatment.

“Well, it’s just common sense isn’t it?” He told us.

“I mean, it’s fair enough to be depressed if, you know, your wife’s left you or you’ve lost your job or something, but if you’re just depressed for no good reason, then you just need to cheer up.”

He also mentioned that people with anxiety disorders should probably just chill out.

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Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has seized on the new developments in depression treatment, cancelling all finance for current treatments of Depression and issuing guidelines for Doctors to just tell sufferers to ‘just try and cheer up a bit’.

Have a fantastic day.

 

A Working Class Catwalk

First they hijacked the Skins then they came for “terrace dressers”. Two subcultures with origins in mixed race and the working class. Much like the Mods – working class lad or lass dresses up. Black and white unity if you like. A subculture. A movement. A trend. 
It’s 1983 and I’m walking through the Barrowlands in Glasgow on the London Road side. Me and a mate are dressed in post Two-Tone attire with wedge haircuts and baggy jeans.
“I’ve heard it said and I agree,‘Where’s the next scene?’ Nobody sees it coming, ah its over there.” – (Casuals DVD)
A Celtic fan walks towards us, “Cannae get moving for Aberdeen casuals lads eh?” We have no idea what he’s talking about. Then I see them – hundreds of lads walking past us dressed in sportswear and like us, they’re heading towards Celtic Park.
                     Soccer Casuals.
I didn’t know what I thought regarding the way they looked, it seemed almost mystical. It reminded me of rugby attire or perhaps skiing holidaymakers taking the wrong route. Although they looked like boy-next-door, you could see it had an edge which became apparent when they started having verbals with Celtic fans. History tells us the original idea to this look was anti-suss; not really intended to be stylish, it was more a disguise, replacing the bovver boy hooligan. This was a welcome change from stiff-arm boneheads.
To cut a long story short, within months I was hooked. Hooked on the clothes, the fights and everything that came with it for many years. You started to see this new-found look at Celtic after a wee while, but it was more an individual look rather than a collective response until the 1984/85 season when Celtic first had its own crew of this new subculture. We wanted to know more about this new thing. With the clothes evolving every few weeks we wanted to be clued-up and a step ahead.
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But where was the music attached to this? We were looking to London and the rest of England for its origins, initially we’re lead to believe it was born in Aberdeen, but how could it be? Aberdeen is remote and hardly trendsetting.

Casuals had NO right-wing origins. Right-wing cranks would have you believe it’s mutually exclusive for a modern day hooligan to be a one dimensional patriotic Stone Island geez who will have zero creativity. They will jump around to bands like The Specials; sing along to their lyrics as with The Farm, The Housemartins, The Clash, Paul Weller and The Beautiful South; ignoring or unprepared to check what their message is.
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Before Waxy Lemon et al. you had the NF and BNP on a recruitment drive with football firms around the country. So we end up with the obligatory stiff arm salutes trying to hijack another subculture by the end of the 80s and into the 90s. So where does it start and finish?
Fascism is anti-working class; it attempts to control and split them. Fascism is not compatible with original 80s football lads and lassies. We were rebelling against Thatcher’s Britain; it wasn’t even political to be a football casual, it was born out of football and there was no music or music bands originally attached to its origins, you had to look for music that fitted.
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This started in the North West, particularly Liverpool, a working class city going through major hardship at the time. When Liverpool regularly played in Europe during the late 70s and into the 80s, their fans brought back with them these obscure sportswear labels. “A crocodile? What’s this all about?”
With a bit of robbing on the way, it was working class lads on the take looking for their own one-upmanship. The trainers the Liverpool lads found were also obscure and were easy pickings given the fact they were normally on display outside shops.
They then went on their own personal trips to bring back this new trend, usually sportswear such as trainers and tracksuits not really seen in the UK. When the lads kicked this off it started being worn at the football. Was this supposed to be stylish? No – it was anti-suss.
“By the time London has its own version of this, it’s Arsenal that lead the way, there certainly wasn’t much right-wing within their unit especially with the amount of black lads within their ranks and leading them.” – (P. Hooton; TAL Fanzine) 
The London Casual was born from modern soul boys and dub music then onto the football terraces and had a lot of Afro-Caribbean chaps leading the way. 
“Casual style in London grew out of the late seventies soul boy scene this was inherently racially mixed – the idiots who wanted to be racists became boneheads. Our fanzine Boys Own was very left wing (mainly because of comrade Steve Mayes, who also went to Chelsea with me) and we deliberately set out to stir shit up”. – (T. Farley; Skiddle 3rd March 2016)
Casuals as a concept finished around 1989. The anti-suss part had been sussed and it went mainstream. After this you just had trendy hooligans, although you may ask “what’s the difference?”
“I am a member of Football Lads and Lasses Against Fascism (FLAF) and believe that we as football fans have a duty to reject the hateful message of the ultra right. They are the tools of the ruling class and always blame the wrong people when the going gets tough. We can all support our own teams and even countries – although I’m not a patriot myself – but we also need to protect our own communities and those less fortunate than ourselves. As The Who said: we won’t get fooled again!”–  (P. Thornton; FLAF article 27/8/19)

It’s maself! That time again; pour yerself a drink, huddle round for the Friday IN and OUTs

IN:

The fella that owns the Brannigan Crisp Factory.

Citalopram.

French Eddie.

‘I wanna be Edouard’ song.

The marvellous Angie Blunn.

The all time greats!

Asking folk if they want a beer or a thick ear!

Having a beer and a thick ear coz yer a greedy bassa!

The new Adidas Spezial range.

Chilled Peroni.

Multi personality disorders!

Hard Rock Cafe, good music, good scran.

Up and coming Liam gigs.

Kinning Park laughter with Stevie G.

Getting close to ski hat time.

Ten bacon rowellls!

Doing a massive Ring-a-Roses to 99 red balloons with yer buddy’s down the boozer.

Alpha Industries Polar Down Jacket.

Beef Hula-Hoops!

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OUT:

Danny Dyer in Eastenders with his invisible wheelbarrow!

The Bin-men leaving yer bin as the lids 5cm open!

The ‘I’m not a racist, I have a black friend’ comment.

Islamaphobia.

Kid on hardmen, keyboard hero’s.

Compliant SEVCO lickspittle media articles.

People texting themselves whilst sitting opposite each other!

Sticky Buns.

Kinning Park Rowing Club.

Head-mash situations with head-mash people.

Black dug running wild in teens and every f**ker else!

The Sun newspaper.

The Daily Mail newspaper.

Anything by Meat Loaf especially that:  ‘I won’t do that’ song

That Simply Red song: ‘Lovvvve the thought … lovvvve the thought!’

 

 

That’s that then!  Love it or leave it, delete it, report it, avoid it or embrace it.  Have a decent weekend.  Switch off everything at night.

Friday ins & out shake it all about …

IN:

Hair Transplants

Machine Gun style laughter in the workplace.

0-2 at Kinning Park Rowing Club.

Johnny Marr being a Tim.

The Helping Hands Solidarity.

Reebok Classics with cords.

Boys Own T.

Wigan Hot pie!

Thangs and Hings instead of Things.

Mid-life infernos.

Wohhh your so fine you blow my mind!

Harry Lauder – Stop yer Ticklin Jock

Smoking like a fish!

The start of the diet.

Watching yer onions grow.

Rita Ora again!

Francie McCann’s big smile!

Magnum Classic

Telling people ‘they ain’t seen nothing yet!’

Asking the Barman for a drink that all the young yins drink these days!

People who pil-fridge from M&S Food shop and give it to the homeless.

Justifying necking a whole box of Go Ahead Bars!

Aldo’s Hot Dogs.

Any record by Harry Lauder!

A flag on behalf of good lads!

Asking ‘s’appenin?’ on a Conference Call.

Saying ‘Cheers now’ after a Conference Call.

Framed picture of Griffiths waving the tricolour!

Liam Gallagher getting the Rebs on!

Testing all the aftershaves in Debenhams.

Smoking out racists on social media.

Diet Irn Bru.

Zipping up yer Boots!

Big Boots Big Toots!

Bowie – Starman full blast! 

 

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OUT:

Love Island.

Keyboard warriors with invisible wheelbarrows.

song on the radio, lyric: ‘wanna fu-oo-oo, but I’m broken hearted Cr-cr-cry but I like to party’

Old song on the radio lyrics: ‘Cry me a River!’

Inheriting a Darth Vader mask for Sleep Apnea.

The neighbour still calling you Aldo and asking ‘s’appenin!’

Blokes with t-shirts saying ‘I don’t need to google’ on it.

Weatherspoon’s.

The Scottish Press and lickspittle SEVCO stories.

Getting texts telling you you’ve won a Diet Coke if you … sign up to …’

Getting a leaflet through the door every two days for Dominos Pizza!

Anxiety stigma ‘why don’t you just set yourself a 30 minutes worry period a day’

Not getting 30 mins cardio a day.

The Voice… f*ckin cringefest!

Islamophobia.

People slurping yogurt on the train, scooping with the silver lid.

Media witch-hunt against Jeremy Corbyn.

Sevconian Moon Howlers.

A student cafe in Manchester called ‘Nom Nom’

5p a bag!

Getting asked if you want a bag!

£75 average for Adidas OG’s.

Walking into cobwebs.

Mental Health Stigma number 2,100 ‘eat more fruit’

Steven Gerrard (what a trumpet he really is)

David Jeffrey’s Snippets.

Boring Brexit debates.

Evil Tory bassas!

That’s all folks, remember it’s only a lark.  Keep on Keeping on, switch everything aff at night, eat yer greens and tune in.

Friday night Ins and outs, on social media platforms only, exclusive to Holywell Street. Ready, steady go …

IN:

Cameron Diaz for Sunday Beer Fear.

Pinky out Espresso drinking.

Day’s out not Nights out!

Priya Sharma from Emmerdale.

Chilled Peroni.

Four f*ckin chunky kit-kats £1 Asda!

Speaking through your nose on a conference call.

Baking a can of strongbow and calling it Sunday roast.

Mistaking baldy people for each other.

Tripping up Fascists.

Tripping up men with man buns.

Winning the pottery.

The arrival of mint flakes!

Lady’s with thigh tattoos (again)

Gerry Cinnamon.

People asking for In’s and Out’s.

Andrew Wevvers Weatherall.

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OUT:

Adults chanting ‘oggy oggy oggy … oi oi oi’ when the plane lands in Turkey.

Thinking yer ten years younger than folk, but you’re ten years older.

Totties instead of Tatties (Fife twang) Loddie instead of Laddie (Fife twang)

Lassies saying ‘cheers now’ after blowies for beak.

30p for the f*ckin toilet at a train station.

Yer nephews cutting cucumbers with their chins.

Capitalist Cold Callers: ‘remember the accident you were in’

Last train whoppers.

Last Bus Whoppers

Man Buns (again)

The Barbers floor mob!

Folk moaning about the hot weather!

The trendy concept of ‘street food’

Judges on Food Reality shows.

Steven Gerrard.

Domino Pizza leaflet through the door once a week.

FB Snides throwing out fishing bait to attract wrong un’s.

Photo Booths at Weddings.

Muso’s.

SDL members with teeth like a fruit loaf!

Wee black-mutt visits when the weather changes.

People saying ‘so I got them told…’ when they told them fuck-all

The comment ‘I’m going on my hollibibs’

’amazeballs’

 

Thats yer lot and remember it’s only a lark.  Switch everything off at night, mirror signal manoeuvre and off ye go. 

Hope in Humanity

By F. Fox 18/8/19

I am a simple man.

My aim is to help others whenever possible, whether that be of any religion, creed, culture or status in humanity. We all really should want to help one another, human beings are like that, aim to buy into each other’s happiness not into their misery.

There should not be a need to hate and despise one another.  There is room for everyone,  the good earth is rich it provides for everyone.  This way of life can be free and beautiful but we seem to have lost the way.  Greed has barricaded the way this has caused the world to hate and poisoned a lot of souls, blindly goosestepped into misery and bloodshed.

The world has developed speed but this has also shut ourselves in. The machinery that gives in abundance is leaving humanity in want.  This knowledge has left us cynical leaving us to think too much and feel too little.

Machinery needs replaced by more humanity, kindness and proper intelligence. Without these qualities life becomes voiding and all gets lost.  Now, the areoplane and the radio brought us closer together, the very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in humanity it cries out for universal brotherhood in the simple humanity of us all. Yet even now, as you’ll read this you will hear my voice trying to reach the unreachable throughout this world of ours,  for the despairing men, woman and children the victims of a system that makes people torture and imprison innocent people.  The misery that is now upon us is the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress.

Hate and Bitterness.

The loathing will pass through the political system but as the political system perishes the power of the people will return. Young military members will no longer give into this system, the one that enslaves you and regiments your lives telling us what to think, what to feel, treat you like cattle and use you as cannon fodder. No more giving ourselves to the machine-men with their machine minds and machine hearts.  These military people don’t have to hate; you have the love of humanity in your hearts, only the unloved hate.    There needs to be a stop to fighting for slavery and more for liberty.

In the 17th chapter of Luke it is written,  “the kingdom of God is within man” not one man or a group of men; but all men. We have the power and knowledge to create machines and the power to create happiness, the people have the power within to make life free and beautiful,  stressless and wonderful.

In the name of this so called democracy let us all use this power  let us all unite, let us all fight for a new world a decent world that will give everyone the chance to work  that will give the elder people security and the young hope for the future.

Politicians have risen to power but they lied with false promise. The promises were never to be fulfilled. Let us fight to relieve the planet from these mental chains to do away with National barriers, to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance.  Let the people fight for a world or reason a world where science and progress to all man-kinds happiness.

Hopefully we can come out of the darkness and into a new world, a kindly world where people can rise above hate and their greed also their brutality.  Look for the soul that belongs in all of us.