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Football: JOHN HILLCOAT.

GONE yersel MSP Tommy Sheridan!

I was delighted with Tommy's sensational pounds 200,000 defamation damages triumph over the News Of The world.

Big Tam compared it to Gretna claiming victory (on penalties, mind) over Real Madrid in the Bernabeu.

He must have been SHOCKED when Brooke Mileson's boys got gubbed against the mighty Derry City in midweek then.

I've played away from home with Tommy for the past few summers during our annual 5-a-side football tournament in aid of Alzheimers Scotland.

I sent Mr Sheridan a text last week to congratulate him and his wife Gail on his superb victory and he sent back a 3000 word "thank you" which included words I'd never heard of!

But I have to admit I can vouch for his lovely wife Gail with regards to him being hairier than Teen Wolf.

Don't get me wrong, I ain't in the habit of staring at blokes' bodies, but having shared a communal shower during our 5-a-side escapades, there's no doubt his body hair makes King Kong look like Kojak!

Tommy, a word of advice, follow my example and go to the nearest beauty therapist and get booked in for a back waxing session.

I'll admit it's absolute agony for the first few times but after a few visits you'll soon get into the swing of things! Well done again mate.

Meanwhile, Brechin City's season got off to a flier after our opening two games left us knowing we will be up there come April 28.

But last week's opening game against Peterhead had mixed emotions as we ground out a creditable point against a team well organised by gaffer Ian Stewart and his assistant Paul "Harry Hill" Mathers. We feared the worst after just two minutes as our skipper Steven Ferguson was carried off when one of our own players broke the wee man's right leg.

Brechin's answer to Frank Spencer, otherwise known as Scott Walker, was blameless in the collision as he mistook Fergie's shin bone for a round leather object and gave it an almighty a***e winder in a fashion only big daft defenders know how.

The wee man was in agony until physio Tommy Gilmarton was on hand to make sure Fergie received the best treatment possible.

But Fergie hasn't shirked from his captaincy duties. He phoned me at the crack of dawn on Friday to say he was in the process of arranging a Christmas bash for all the lads and ourWAGs and asked what would be an appropriate venue. What a TRUE skipper!

On Tuesday night we had a home draw against Morton in the CIS Cup.

The game was a good indicator of how much our tough pre-season schedule had helped.

Our boss Michael O'Neil and No. 2 Gareth Evans can take great pleasure in knowing their intricate pre-season planning has come up trumps when we recorded our first home win since Boxing Day as we came from behind to beat my old club 2-1.

But I was doubly delighted for young striker Chris Geddes who has worked like a Trojan for a starting slot up front alongside Paddy Connolly.

Wee "Shyness" is one of the most confident lads I've ever met.

When asked if he got to sleep after the euphoria of notching our opening goal on Tuesday night he replied, "Get tae sleep? Nae chance! I sat up aw night playing Championship Manager and bought myself for Inter Milan for THREE MILLION QUID!"

Young boys these days eh?

Paisley has been a great place to stay recently.

The sun has been shining on our beautiful abbey and the homeless dogs and cats that used to roam the streets of Ferguslie seem to be dwindling.

Even the wee Lacoste baseball cap wearing neds are handing back purses and wallets they stole from innocent punters (After they took the cash out obviously).

And it's all down to St Mirren's good start to their SPL campaign.

Gus MacPherson and his assistant Andy Millen have worked wonders and made sure fitness, organisation and team spirit are in place.

But I agree with the people who say the Buddies are a big club who should be competing in the SPL every year and not fighting it out in the lower divisions.

What people forget is St Mirren have been the victim of poor mismanagement in years gone by and the knock on effect from those days has affected a club that has easily the potential of outfits like Kilmarnock and Dundee United.

I'm delighted the for management team of MacPherson and Millen. I just hope the board of directors continue to help the Buds stay in the SPL as it's where they belong.

Well the more successful the club the less likely the neds will be hanging around. Well done Gus, you can do it!

'I played away with Tommy all summer'
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 13, 2006
Words:812
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