The November blog was all set to be a celebration of 700 miles in a month and 2000 miles in total, but the week has been overshadowed by the untimely passing of Paul McConville.
In a week when The Celtic Network did me the great honour of naming Von Schiehallion as an Honorary Internet Bampot, I want to remember Paul’s outstanding work over the past couple of years. For me, he was the ultimate HIB, for as an Albion Rovers supporter by trade, he put in shift after late night shift in the pursuit of the truth throughout all the shenanigans at Ibrox and Hampden Park.
I never actually met Paul, but like so many people who have followed the RTC story with an obsessed passion, he was one of the key players who took all that legal claptrap and turned it into something that we mere mortals could understand. And he always seemed best able to do it in the small hours. My memories are of yet another statement or yet another document surfacing on Twitter late in the evening, followed by a pronunciation from Paul that he was away to make a coffee before a session at the keyboard to seek clarification on multiple points. Paul was fantastic at ripping apart the guff that came out of Jabba, Green, Whyte and the Mob of Murrays. More than once I waited up, usually with a late night aperitif, to peruse the fruits of his labour, and to offer thanks in the small hours for his unstinting work. Paul McConville was what Twitter is about: a bloke, so busy in the love of his work, yet always ready and able to engage in Twitterous banter.
It was because of people like Paul McConville that I got so hooked on the whole RTC carry-on and it’s because of people like Paul that the SFA will never be allowed to get away with the skullduggery that has gone on behind the scenes to tarnish the game of football in Scotland. They might think they are winning the battle because people like Ogilvie are still in office, but the people who really matter, the fans, led and supported by people like Paul McConville, will hold the moral high ground forever: the war is ours. No matter how hard you try, you cannot deny the truth.
The work of guys like Paul led me ultimately to the likes of Phil Mac, Sir Bartin, Chuckles, Barcabhoy, Clarson, The Tribute Act and Lord Wordsmith. However whilst these guys amused me and kept me informed in roughly equal measures, Brogan Rogan and Jas were instrumental in taking my ideas down a completely different road altogether. I still can’t get my head around the fact that Jas is Wullie and Wullie is actually Jas but these two characters built on the groundwork that had already been done by Team McConville in the months prior. Brogan Rogan in particular was like a dog with a bone in his support of firstly Vanessa Riddle, then Oscar Knox and subsequently Mackenzie Furniss, and it was then that I realised that I had a new challenge in life.
It was merely the icing on the cake when TCN invited me to submit the LifeCycle project for inclusion on The Celtic Network list of good causes, and I will be forever thankful for that.
But today, my thoughts are firmly with Paul McConville and the family that he has left behind. The LifeCycle project simply would not exist if it hadn’t been for the voluntary forensic work that guys like him have been doing these last few years.