Now and again something happens that simply makes you stand back and say wow, there really are some good people in this world.
For me that happened this morning when I heard that Albion Rovers Football Club had donated £10k of their hard earned cash, generated I presume by their recent cup tie against Rangers at Ibrox, to the Cash for Kids charity here in the West of Scotland. It really is refreshing to see a club who, let’s be frank, really could do with the money themselves put charity before their need.
From this moment forward “the wee rovers” will be known as The Big Rovers but you know for me it’s not just about the money or the sheer good heartedness it demonstrates.
Last Sunday, the 9th March 2014, Albion Rovers walked into the lions den of Ibrox, forecast by all areas of the media to be a mere stepping stone on The Rangers route to a Scottish Cup Final at Celtic Park in May. That it didn’t turn out that way was down purely to their courage, ability and the self belief inspired by their well spoken manager James Ward. That said whilst that was impressive in itself there was something else that really impressed me on the day.
With the clock ticking down towards a historic victory for The Big Rovers The Rangers were awarded a highly controversial goal. The Rangers centre back, who had been moved to centre forward in desperation, clearly impeded the Rovers keeper Neil Parry and may well have forced the ball over the line with the use of an arm to add further insult to injury but it’s what followed that incident that really told me a lot about the club, the manager and his players. They acted as one in a manner which belied their status in the game, they refused to allow a blatant refereeing error to spoil their day. Despite the fact that the pain of losing a goal in this fashion, a goal that quite simply should not have stood, was clearly etched on the face of every Rovers player and member of staff wheeled into post match interviews with Sky TV they refused to blame the referee or complain with any great force that they had been treated harshly. Or as we say in Scotland – they wuz robbed.
For me the class and dignity demonstrated by the supposed wee club in the tie was a far stronger statement than any they could have made whilst justifiably ranting at injustice. Their bigger opponents could learn from them.
The fact that with a replay looming this club have decided to not only subsidise the cost of supporters buses running to the return match at New Douglas Park in Hamilton but taken the time to think of others and donate to a fantastic charity in Cash for Kids will have elevated their standing in many peoples eyes.
In the grand scheme of things £10k will not solve the problem of child poverty in the West of Scotland but the gesture is sure to inspire others to help Cash for Kids and I’ve got to say it help Albion Rovers in the future.
Well done to the wee rovers or the big rovers whichever they feel comfortable with but they have demonstrated a class and kindness in the past week which is to be commended.
Good luck on Monday and for the rest of the season, let’s hope the past week sees Cliftonhill host some additional visitors in the near future..
Tumble Drift out…