Toon Talk Articles- Brian Hall

24 Hours Of News - Odd Questions?

  Kick off with football. Why not? It seems 'Ole Arry, the second-hand car dealer, aka the Spurs manager, is in open warfare with Tottenham Hotspur!  How on earth did this happen? The Cheeky Chappie, darling of the bulk of the southern media, former Top Man candidate for the England job, now seems, allegedly, on the verge of a departure from North London! Odd kick off! Another one took ....


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Thoughts Of Front Lines

THOUGHTS OF FRONT LINES     Listened to Edith Piaf the other night. Provoking thoughts of times of love. And Wars. On the latter, I asked myself what THEY thought, those on a front line.  One was at the Somme, knew nee French, but had to kna how to crawl. He had one advantage, he knew how to dae that anyway, having worked in Durham pits before they sent him ower there in the ....


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Sport

        Many of us have played various sports. Sadly, for me, mine is now confined to pool and dominoes, when I have a bit of spare cash. But I want to talk about tennis, believe it or not. Footy was my main game, until my potential career ended at the age of 17, despite a dodgy reappearance playing for South Liverpool in some kind of Conference League, whilst I lived in ....


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Monday, Monday. The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.

MONDAY, MONDAY. THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY.     Kick off with the good news. Congratulations to all those who took part in the 150th anniversary, raising money for charity on their route, against a background of torrential Cuban-style downpour. They achieved two things - commerating a date so esconsed in our proud, regional history and culture, and a canny bit cash is heading ....


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Racism In The Beautiful Game

RACISM IN THE BEAUTIFUL GAME   I can state something from the outset. As a former Gallowgate Corner member, and 70s and 80s away fan, when racism was very much around, I never had any time for it. I remember at Newcastle, for example, the leaflets distributed by the National Front, only for a fierce reaction to occur via the Geordies are Black and White Campaign. I could not care less if a ....


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Unwanted

    No, I am not talking about Sunderland fans when they visit the Toon for a derby match. Rather, I am looking at the unwanted arrivals that come through my letter-box, telephone systems, and computer.   For example, I keep getting leaflets from some firm dealing in shifting houses. They call themselves Accent Removals. Two problems here. The first is that I am not moving, but ....


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Jubilee Diary

    Given the fact that Mr Wraith of Toon Talk does not censor contributions, I can come straight to the point. I love the song, God Save the Queen, sang by the Sex Pistols, that is. Dont get me wrong though. I am not a killjoy, and was pleased people had a canny few days off, doing their own thing. But I have to confirm that the Great Hysteria never quite reached Byker or Heaton. ....


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Tribute To Bob Mcintyre- A Gateshead Man And A Mag!

      Bob was a very strong man, both in mind and in body. In his past, he clearly had used both those strengths. Much later in life, he lost much of that physical prowess, as he became disabled, but his mental, thinking power far from evaporated.. His background was rich in what he had experienced. Africa, South America, other global parts, and not least being brought up in a ....


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Sunday News

      I suppose I should start with some reference to the triumph of Chelski last night, when, at last, they finally bought the Champions League Cup. We have now ended up with the richest club in the world buying the Premiership in England, and the second richest one buying the European trophy. The old saying springs to mind - money talks, eh. Whether that is good for football ....


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Strange Times

  My last blog was based on the absurd aspects of life. Well, strange, and sometimes absurd, events have continued apace this week. Take football, in passing. We all witnessed an incredible over-hype surrounding the Manchester City Premier League title triumph. We heard about their supporters' decades of pain. Sorry, this did not quite wash with me, as unless my memory is really going fast, ....


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Absurd True Life Tales

    We all hear them, and real life comedy and absurdity is so much better than some made-up joke. Take a football one in passing, when some national characters actually stated that not only was Cisse's goal a fluke, but clearly was not goal of the season compared to the one scored by Peter Crouch. They were serious. Bloody serious, I would say.   Whether in the world of ....


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Footy And Mathematics

  I have often thought that Maths was taught wrongly in schools. I suppose that I would say that, given that I was a total disaster in that subject and when Goff the Teacher put a particularly difficult question to the class, and met silence, he would look over at me, and say " Bry, any thoughts"!  I would usually say that I would get back to him later on that one, as I felt it unfair ....


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Brians Blog

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER..OR DISEASE..     It can be very difficult for people to identify with aspects of PTSD, as it is classified in medical jargon. People can instantly spot a person trying to use crutches on a street, when he, or she, has one or two broken legs. Most of us can also recognise the sentiment of powerful and intense fear, and some have experienced even ....


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A Day Out In Durham City

      Given the fact that there is no football on this weekend - apart from us keeping an eye on the very complicated situation surrounding the European place via the FA Cup semis - I thought I might suggest an alternative thing to do. I did it recently, and visited Durham City. The arrival by train is itself worthwhile. You see that majestic, dominating Cathedral looking down ....


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Easter Message - A Time For Reflection And Revival

      I would love to write this as a religious piece. I respect anybody's right to believe in spiritual tradtions - always have done. My own upbringing was a Catholic one, for example. The only problem was it tended to co-incide with that time of the year when the footy season climaxes. For me, I still have a tiny regret that, at the tender age of 10 or whatever, I told my Mam ....


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Dont Cry For Them, Tyne And Wear - Or Tees.even. A Revisit To March 2011.

DONT CRY FOR THEM, TYNE AND WEAR - OR TEES.EVEN. A REVISIT TO MARCH 2011.     The season was over. There was only the FA Cup left to win. The manager was a disgrace. RIP, proclaimed one character.  And so the hysterical comments continued, through voices of many fans, followers, and ex-players, venting their rage at the massive calamity and failure which was taking place before ....


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Latest Football Rumours Surrounding Liverpool

    News is spreading fast that Newcastle United are prepared to put in a bid in for a goalkeeper. He set off his career as a left back, sought better climes away from that club, then returned up there on Sunday - later in the game, he found his true position, and gave in a startling perfomance for Liverpool in goal, having been asked to replace their Number 1 keeper, Reina, who ....


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A Few Bollocks Being Dropped

A FEW BOLLOCKS BEING DROPPED Well, the last 48 hours have certainly seen some bollocks being dropped. Where to start? Then again, where better, to begin this little piece with our friends down the road. The SAFC Road to Wembley with Mr Martin. Aye, it all went badly wrong, or right, depending on your point of view. Rumours were spreading that a semi-final was on the cards, and a triumphant ....


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Crossing The Mason-dixie Line - From Heaton To Byker

  The other Sunday, me and our lass crossed the Mason-Dixon Line to see a mate's new flat in the Byker Wall. Obviously, as you cross Shields Road, you can see St James Park from the distance when you land in Ole' Dixie. Good start, and then time to enjoy the Deep South of the East End. It was brilliant to be there for lunch, or dinner as we all call it.You see, North of that crossing into ....


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The Rapid And Unexpected Reappearance Of Steve Bruce

THE RAPID AND UNEXPECTED REAPPEARANCE OF STEVE BRUCE   A few decades ago, a bloke called Lord Lucan disappeared out of Britain and was, in theory anyway, never seen again, after a bit of a nasty plot. Now, I did not think for one minute that Steve Bruce, the committed, fanatical Mag - errm - and brilliant football manager - errm, again - would do a bunk permanently. But I was shocked to ....


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Memories, The Memories You Gave Me- Derby Days, Derby Days....

    Derby Days, eh. So many memories, some good, some bad, some ugly. Let us get the bad and ugly out the way first.   Where to start? I suppose I might as well gan a long way back to my first derby against our smaller cousins. SJP. As a very young bairn, I somehow ended up in the Leazes End, just after we had signed the Mighty Wyn. Wyn Davies, a future tower of strength for ....


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Battles, Combats, And I Divvent Knaa

    Well. This is the week of the Mother of all battles, but more of that later. Other ones are taking place. Take mine, for example, against a reappearance of my wonderful private landlord. Or his representatives, that is. I have stored various missiles- not military ones, I hasten to add- which may have to be used against the firm. Obviously, for legal reasons, I will not name the ....


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Kick Offs In The House

      We all know they can happen. People get a bit irritated, rows break out, and things occasionally get out of a hand. That is when a calm head is needed. Well, two events have certainly hit the headlines over the last 24 hours. Both happened in the London area, to be precise.    One was a belter - if you forgive the pun- as an Early Day Motion was put down in the ....


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Timing Is All

      Well, timing is everything, so they say. Obviously, I dont mean Mr Ashley and his cohorts getting their sledgehammers out when we were not at home last weekend - they obviously thought that was a canny time to move, eh. As if.   Best to stay off that subject, for the time being that is, as I have been in my own Choose Your Moment period. Aye, got to Day 5 of giving ....


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Tension At Entertainers' Clash With Liverpool

        We tend to call it PMT. Pre-Match Tension. It certainly appeared on a Sunday morning in October, as a small group of United fans prepared for the Entertainers' triumph against Liverpool's motley collection from the 90s. We knew we would win this return match, of course, but there was still anxiety in the air. Micky drove up to the flat at 9.30, and he was already ....


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