I was being driven about the famous Easterhouse scheme in a taxi for reasons too dull to be discussed here today, when we chanced upon a floral tribute on a particularly desolate corner. Apparently it was a tribute to deceased alcoholic ex-footballer John Divers.
The taxi driver used that 'what a terrible waste' voice as he related the sketchy details of Mr Divers life, the highlight of which appears to have been playing for Clyde in the 1955 Scottish Cup final against Celtic. The end result of which was hanging about a street corner, slightly pissed, on a grim scheme.
This prompted me to do a bit of research and come up with virtually nothing, other than a passing reference in a Scotsman article on some obscure 1st division match that I cannot find, now I need to link to it. An unsung hero, a tragedy, you might think, I disagree.
Tomorrow the passing of George Best will be mourned. Well I say mourned, obviously it will be ostentaciously ignored by po-faced broadsheet snobs who despair of a public that mourns publicly. 'For God's sake the stinky proles don't even take the cellophane off the flowers' they sneer. Fuck them and have a good weep, if that's what you fancy.
I think we mourn the deaths of these people most of us don't know because we feel, perhaps subconsciously, that talent or status should protect us from the problems we all grapple with daily. Sadly it doesn't, a talented fuck up is just a fuck up with a gimmick.
Far more tragic than the lives of either of these men is all the talent that either never sees the light of day or is totally ignored when it does manifest itself. At least both of them got a chance to shine. Any country that was truly dedicated to achievement would prioritise education and by that I mean real education. Not the trial by sarcasm most of us are subjected to.
In Easterhouse alone I could pick out five or six people who should be running the country. Particularly the women who in true soap opera style have organisational skills that would awe the world, if only the world knew about them. Yet all of that is ignored, the hundreds of community projects run on voluntary labour seem to count for nothing.
I say we give anyone that ever struck a chord or overcame the numerous barriers to achievement a whacking great round of applause. If anyone cries tomorrow then cry for Mr Best and the talent he pissed against the wall by all means, but cry harder for poor obscure John Divers. Then cry hardest of all for all the George Bests and John Divers that could have been but never were and never knew they had it.