HUDDERSFIELD Town’s final home game of the season on Saturday was largely about saying farewell to Andy Booth as a player – and rightly so.
It will be a long time before we see a player so loyal to his home town club. These days the trend is for players to chase money by moving from club to club.
However, Saturday was not just about Andy Booth – there was another man whose role is about to change. This is the man who brought Huddersfield Town out of administration in the dark days of 2003.
Without his actions six years ago, there might not have been a football club at all and the presentation to him was rightly deserved.
It appeared to me that a few fans have short memories and the applause on Saturday should not just have been for Andy Booth, but also for Ken Davy. It doesn’t matter if he is a Rugby League man at heart, he still saved our club and the people of Huddersfield – as well as Town fans – owe him a big thank you.
Leeds praise for Boothy
I WOULD like to say as one of the many Leeds United fans in Huddersfield how glad I am that Andy Booth got the send off he deserved and also that he got the goal he deserved and I’m disappointed like Lee Clark that he didn’t get his hat-trick.
Maybe he will get it against Leyton Orient on Saturday. What a great way to bow out on a brilliant career. Shame he didn’t make it in the Premiership, but their loss was Town’s gain.
I wish him all the best in the future as an ambassador for the club and feel this is a fitting role for him and for the future of Huddersfield Town.
I don’t know who they will get to replace him.
Well done Andy Booth for everything you have done for Huddersfield Town
Gurkhas or Government?
OUR Government has, after a lengthy review, published guidelines for the UK settlement of retired Gurkha soldiers.
The official line is that these are generous and will benefit over 4,000 people including close family members of those who have retired. Representatives of the Gurkhas interpret the same guidelines as being likely to help about 100 people at most.
With such a wide discrepancy, it might appear that one or other party to the argument is deliberately misrepresenting the position.
When the public comes to judge the situation they will no doubt consider the antecedents of both parties.
One side is renowned for demonstrating an unflinching sense – even unto death – of loyalty to Britain.
The patriotism of the other is open to question. One side is famous for integrity, devotion to duty and coolness under fire. The other is infamous for ‘spinning’, devotion to self-interest and introducing ill-thought out knee-jerk reactions to every emerging problem. Oh, and for calling in the anti-terrorist police to protect the security of, not the nation, but the party.
Whose side should we take in this debate?
A brief Gurkha history
GURKHAS have been part of the British Army for almost 200 years, but who are these fearsome Nepalese fighters?
‘Better to die than be a coward’ is the motto of the world-famous Nepalese Gurkha soldiers who are an integral part of the British Army.
They still carry into battle their traditional weapon – an 18-inch long curved knife known as the kukri.
In times past it was said that once a kukri was drawn in battle it had to ‘taste blood’ – if not, its owner had to cut himself before returning it to its sheath.
Now, the Gurkhas say, it is used mainly for cooking.
The potential of these warriors was first realised by the British at the height of their Empire-building in the last century.
The Victorians identified them as a ‘martial race’, perceiving in them particularly masculine qualities of toughness.
Following the partition of India in 1947, an agreement between Nepal, India and Britain meant four Gurkha regiments from the Indian army were transferred to the British Army, eventually becoming the Gurkha Brigade.
Since then, the Gurkhas have loyally fought for the British all over the world, receiving 13 Victoria Crosses between them.
More than 200,000 fought in the two world wars and in the past 50 years they have served in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Borneo, Cyprus, the Falklands, Kosovo and now in Iraq and Afghanistan.
They serve in a variety of roles – mainly in the infantry – but with significant numbers of engineers, logisticians and signals specialists.
The name Gurkha comes from the hill town of Gorkha from which the Nepalese kingdom had expanded.
Their numbers have been sharply reduced from a World War II peak of 112,000 men, and now stand at about 3,500.
During the two world wars 43,000 young Gurkha men lost their lives.
The soldiers are still selected from young men living in the hills of Nepal with about 28,000 youths tackling the selection procedure for just over 200 places each year.
Surely these loyal and fearsome fighting men who have served this country over the years should be allowed to live in Britain.
This Labour Government seems to hold on open door policy to all and sundry who illegally enter this country and then hand out benefit after benefit before these immigrants have done anything to enhance Britain and its economy.
Call me cynical, but I am quite sure that the Government will reverse its decision on the Gurkhas on a day when it has some extremely bad news to cover up with a people-friendly story.
James A Ellis
Tesco taking over
TESCO built a massive supermarket in my town, Prestwich near Manchester, a few years ago.
Now they are holding our town to ransom and pushing for expansion. They want the town centre to be extended closer towards their store, so they become part of the centre.
Everything you worry about happened here.
If you want to see for yourself, come and see the rundown state of Prestwich – nothing but charity shops, kebab shops and a grubby town centre.
I am one of the many visitors who come to Holmfirth occasionally to enjoy the atmosphere of a wonderful town,
I hope they don’t ruin it.
Thanks for honesty
ON behalf of the Parkinson’s Disease Society I’d like to say a big thank you to the kind person who handed in a money bag and its contents which had been inadvertently left in the ladies cloakroom during our Awareness Day at Huddersfield Town Hall on Thursday, April 23.
It could have ruined an otherwise successful day where one of the aims was to raise funds for research into this debilitating condition as well as to offer help and advice from various local agencies on this, the branch’s 25th anniversary.
Treasurer, Huddersfield Branch of the PDS
I DON’T understand why Kirklees Council wants to close Castle Hall School.
It’s like throwing away the heritage of Mirfield and its surrounding area.
I still think of Castle Hall as Mirfield Grammar School which I attended from 1948 to 1953.
The biggest change in my life was the 11-plus. We were all terrified of the test, but fortunately for me I managed to pass.
For a working-class lad from Kirkheaton, the school provided a glimpse of different things. It gave me an interest in rugby and cricket.
My English master Mr Barker, suggested I become a journalist because I was good at creative writing and my essays used to be published in the school magazine.
That was the start of my journalism career which took me to the Examiner and the Yorkshire Post.
Had I not attended Mirfield Grammar School, I probably would have gone into the building trade like the rest of my family. The school changed my life.
No need for new homes
I’M pleased there is much vocal support against Kirklees Council plans to build around Newsome and Castle Hill areas of Huddersfield.
Apart from the local Green Party councillors showing their disapproval, English Heritage also has grave concerns about what damage such plans could inflict on this area.
Can I remind those in our council planning department it is all of us who pay their salaries, therefore try consulting and listening in future because we all have a lack of confidence in them considering St George’s Square and the ongoing saga.
The south east of England needs new build houses urgently, but in Huddersfield we have numerous unsold houses and unfinished building projects – unless KMC knows of a imminent population explosion here.
New Laithe Hill