Letters, Monday, April 25th, 2011

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True trailblazer for black footballers

IT was great to meet up with the team from Show Racism The Red Card – football heroes Gary Bennett, Dean Gordon, Curtis Fleming and Trevor Benjamin in Sunderland.

I was able to give my thoughts as to why former Burton Albion, Hartlepool United and Derby County footballer Tony Parry should receive a posthumous top football award.

Entry into the Hall of Fame at Show Racism The Red Card for Tony Parry would see him inducted alongside some fantastic names such as Thierry Henry, Rio Ferdinand Chris Kamara, Les Ferdinand, John Barnes, Sol Campbell and the late Sir Bobby Robson, to name just a few.

Pioneers are such a rarity in sport these days, but back in the 60s and 70s Tony (pictured) became a genuine trailblazer right here in the North East.

Although not unknown in the North East, black players were all too few and far between in English football when he became a rookie Hartlepool United manager’s first signing in October 1965.

That manager was former Sunderland hero Brian Clough, who had just made the short trip from Roker Park along the A19 to become the new Pools boss when he signed Tony.

Tony worked as a council gardener and a storeman at Camerons Brewery, Hartlepool, to subsidise his meagre summer wage. How times change.

In 2011 we sadly still hear racist chants around the world at football matches. It is barely imaginable the things Tony heard at grounds around the country back in the 60s and 70s, when TV shows like Love Thy Neighbour were somehow deemed acceptable.

Sadly, Tony passed away in November 2009. Towards the end of his life he achieved much fame when Sky TV sports presenter, Jeff Stelling, revealed “Padger” was his boyhood football hero.

His place in Pools folklore and in clearing a path for black players is unchallenged.

I will keep your readers updated on my campaign to get Tony honoured.

Paul “Goffy” Gough’, Hartlepool

Price-rise moans

ONLY the other day I took my usual place in the queue of the famous Ormonde Street Post Office and a couple of the blue rinse brigade were talking about the increased cost of the Echo and how they would have to stop getting it.

These two woman must have been extremely greedy. I mean what’s a couple of pence difference going to make to anybody’s life?

I tried to explain to them what a bargain it was and how they would miss it but it was no use, they were adamant.

Well it’s about time folk like this got a life. I am sick of hearing folk moaning on about price increases.

If it’s not the Echo it’s the price of milk, butter, tobacco and alchohol. It’s almost on a daily basis I hear some moaning minnie complaining.

They do not seem to realise that the cost of living has to increase. If ever you mention the reasons for inflation, they just don’t want to know and go rambling on about how things have changed since the 40s.

Well of course they have, and folk get a much better better deal now than ever before.

Mick “The Pen” Brown

Highlighting ME

MOST readers know someone who is affected by myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), the chronic, fluctuating illness also known as post viral or chronic fatigue syndrome.

As May is ME Awareness Month, we hope as many people as possible will display our free posters and leaflets, to help to dispel the myths that still surround this widely-misunderstood illness.

As the poster says: 250,000 people across the UK have ME. Anyone, of any age, can be affected. Symptoms include overwhelming exhaustion, poor concentration and memory, unrefreshing sleep, headaches, muscle pain and problems with digestion.

For your free copies please send your name, address and the number of posters and/or leaflets you want to: M.E. Awareness, FREEPOST RSAC-SGCT-ZREY, PO Box 2778, Bristol BS1 9DJ or email admin@actionforme.org.uk

Thank you.

Sir Peter Spencer, Chief executive, Action for M.E., Canningford House,Bristol

Busy seaside

I READ in the Echo of people who don’t want Sunderland to be like South Shields or Blackpool. I think those people are “nimbys” (Not In My Backyard). Where do these people go for entertainment? South Shields, Blackpool.

When I was a kid, me and my mates would walk from Deptford to Roker with a bottle of fizzy water and bread and dripping sandwiches.

Sunshine Corner at Roker, the beach was full. When I was older we took our kids. The beaches were full, with deckchairs, wind-breakers, donkeys, the fairground doing a roaring trade, illuminations.

That brought people in from miles around.

J. Coates, Zetland Square, Roker, Sunderland