As predicted, today has been busy. But don’t panic – I’ve got us covered with a gentle melody from [wince] 25 years ago. Yes, it’s the gentle harmonies of The Beautiful South with Bell Bottomed Tear. And I’ve chosen the live version because it features Paul Heaton, Sheffield United fan and ex-pupil at my Infant school*.

Taken from their 1992 album, 0898 Beautiful South (the dialling code representing premium rate phone calls – mainly sex lines – at the time), this was TBS at their peak – the third of their seven Top 10 studio albums, and also featured 36D, We Are Each Other and the brilliant Old Red Eyes Is Back.

At the end of the original video, our selfish male protagonist finds himself on a Mediterranean beach, faced with a number of angry women brandishing baseball bats. Baseballbatophobes will be pleased to hear that there’s no such nastiness in this live version.

* when I say this, I mean that we went to the same infant school. I don’t actually own an infant school or anything.

Heaton on Evans

Paul Heaton is the latest (first?) big name to disassociate himself with Sheffield United over the Ched Evans affair, and his statement hits home best for me right now.

It is with great regret that I announce my resignation as patron of Sheffield United Community Foundation.

I firmly believe that Ched Evans has the right to rebuild his career in football but rebuilding a career should not involve walking straight out of prison and into the shirt of the club he so badly let down. I believe he needs to move away and move on, and the club itself needs to lift its reputation out of the gutter.

He’s the fourth Blades patron to part company with the club, the others being TV personality Charlie Webster, 1960s pop star Dave Berry and school food and health adviser Lindsay Graham.
Oh, and Jessica Ennis wants her name taken off our away end. I think we’ll survive.

But Heaton is the first one to say anything meaningful about his decision.

United need to make a choice now. If they’re going to re-employ Evans, they must do so; if not, they need to end his training agreement with them and move on – quickly. Dragging their feet on this is dragging the club down – it makes the Board look weak and indecisive, and Heaton is right about the damage to the club’s reputation – it’s happening already, so something needs to be done.
But I like his reasoning on Evans not coming back to United. He did let the club down and while I still believe that he is fully within his rights to ply his trade again, maybe that’s the reason that it shouldn’t be at Bramall Lane.