Dec 062016

CLAN logo2With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus:Mix.

People from across the north-east joined forces at the weekend to raise thousands of pounds for a leading cancer support charity at its largest fundraising event of the year.

A total of 230 guests raised £38,600.00 at CLAN Cancer Support’s Christmas Cracker which was held at Ardoe House Hotel and Spa on Saturday, November 26.

The annual fundraising event, which sees individuals and businesses from across the north-east come together in support of the charity, included a drinks reception, three-course dinner, entertainment and dancing.

The Kilted Chef Craig Wilson from one of Aberdeenshire’s leading fine-dining restaurants, Eat on the Green, donated one of the main prizes for auction on the evening.

His VIP Pop-up Party package raised £7,500 and the winner will be treated to a luxury meal prepared by Craig at a location and date of their choice. The prize also includes a butler service as well as a singer and a piper.

The money raised on the evening will go towards the continued development of the wellbeing and support services offered by CLAN, free of charge, to anyone affected by cancer across north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland.

Dr Colette Backwell, CLAN’s chief executive, said:

“Our annual Christmas Cracker Ball is always very popular and it was great to see such a great turnout at Ardoe House Hotel and Spa on the night.

“It was a terrific evening, with the event bringing the magic of Christmas alive, and we are truly grateful to each individual and organisation that supported the event and helped to raise such a fantastic total by the end of the night.

“The money raised will help us deliver vital cancer support services right in the heart of communities from Stonehaven in the south to Orkney and Shetland in the north.

“We are committed to providing this support as close to the heart of communities as we can so that we make a difference to as many people as possible who are affected by a cancer diagnosis. The continued support of our fundraising events by so many people and businesses across the region means so much to us all at CLAN.”

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit

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Mar 282014

By Bob Smith.

Noo ye wee fite dimpl’t sphere
Let me mak es verra clear
Gyang doon the middle stracht an true
So’s an affa  gweed score a can accrue
Nae oot the cup a wint ye spinnin
Sittin on the edge a-grinnin
Thinkin  a’m nae gyaan ti drap
Eence mair yer score it wull be crap
Doon the fairways ye maan ging
So ma wee hairtie stairts ti sing
Lan’ oan the green near the pin
So anither birdie a can mark in
Be ye Titleist or Wilson Staff
Dinna behave like a soddin nyaff
Pick up yer skirts an hae a rin
If a happen ti hit ye ower bliddy thin
Dinna gyaang an try an hide
Jist on the fairways try ti bide
If ye ging duncin left or richt
A widna think aat verra bricht
A’m sorry a gid yer heid a dunt
So bide oot the bunkers ye little runt
In ma pooch ye can hae a rest
A’ll noo pit yer brither ti the test
Ye’ll nae bide fite fer verra lang
As roon efter roon a lit whang
Sometimes a doot ye micht git lost
Intae the whins ye can git toss’t
Puir ba a really lik’t ye fine
Please dinna lie there an pine
Some ither auld goat micht fin ye there
Eence mair some curses ye’ll hae ti bear

© Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2014
Image Credit:

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Oct 042012

By Bob Smith. 

We noo hid a seetivation
In Serie “A” last wikk
Far fitba player Miroslav Klose
Proved he wisna a cheetin dick

In the 3rd meenit o the gemme
Lazio seemed ti score
Napoli players were in a fizz
“Han ba” wis their roar

The ref near blew the fussle
Fin he saw the ba gyang in
Syne forrit steps Herr Klose
An admits the han ba sin

Honesty in a fitba match
Gweed sakes an michty me
Fan last did a hear sic a thing
Maybe awa back aroon ’53

Coaches in iss kwintra
Wull aa be haein a fit
At the thocht o sic honesty
Ca’in Klose a stupid git

The “maan win at aa costs”
Iss philosophy they div spoot
Nivver myn aboot sportsmanship
It’s oot the winda a doot

Fitba fans shud stan up
In iss gweed lan o Scotia
An tak their hats aff tae
An honest Miroslav Klose

©Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2012










Mar 152012

For the third time in less than a year, Dons fans and players of a certain age will be wearing mourning clothes, literally or figuratively. David Innes reminisces on Jens Petersen, a man whose dedication to the Dons in the 1960s makes him truly worthy of legendary status among Reds followers.

It was with heavy hearts that we learned of the death of Jens Petersen, a stalwart servant of the mid and late 1960s whose brave battle against death ended in noble defeat on 8 March 2012.

This follows far too closely the deaths of Eddie Turnbull in April 2011 and Francis Munro in August last year.

Another one of the Reds family has gone, and it hurts.

For the many friends Jens made during his time at Pittodrie, the hurt is because they knew him, they appreciated his determination to succeed and the inspiring leadership that he offered, but most of all, the lasting friendship that they formed with someone who is unanimously regarded as one of the genuine good guys.

Among the fans who remember Jens, it hurts because we too have lost someone we looked up to, someone who played the game in its proper spirit and a man who took delight in meeting fans, taking an interest in them and making them feel that they, as much as the players, were all part of the same whole.

We have lost a hero.

Jens arrived in Aberdeen with fellow Danes, Jorgen Ravn and Leif Mortensen, all signed by Tommy Pearson in 1965, when Scottish clubs realised that Scandinavia was a new hunting ground for players of good quality who fitted into the Scottish style of play. Whilst Ravn and Mortensen left Pittodrie after a short while, Eddie Turnbull spotted that Jens had something special that would fit with the Turnbull football vision and not only kept him on at Pittodrie, but made him a key member of the first team.

In 1966, the jewel in the Reds’ crown was Dave Smith. His performances in midfield and in the curious “sweeper” role that Eddie Turnbull introduced meant that he was an attraction for bigger, more predatory teams. I recall, to a background of Yellow Submarine, the news coming through in August 1966 that our star had signed for Rangers and that the Dons were £45000 better off.

The money was unimportant; we had lost our most influential player. How, the devastated 9 year old me worried, could we go on without Dave Smith? Eddie Turnbull had a cunning plan: Jens Petersen.

What the Boss had seen in Jens was someone who could naturally play the role that Smith had made his own, a man possessed of an unflappable temperament, comfortable with the ball at his feet in defence or midfield, an athlete, excellent in the air and with an ability to break from defence with the ball, striking panic into the opposition, a sight to behold.

US sports fans were amazed that the players did not wear body armour

The statistics tell us that Jens Petersen made 203 appearances for Aberdeen and scored 11 goals.

These are merely numbers. Influence and dynamism cannot be enumerated.

It’s a long time ago, but I can still remember his late spectacular goal against Morton to put us into the League Cup semi-final in 1966, my uncle’s surprised comment, “Look, the Dane’s wearin’ san’sheen”, when Jens decided that a frosty pitch later that season needed alternative footwear, and his ill-luck in the 1967 Cup final where his shot into an open goal was miraculously saved by Celtic’s Ronnie Simpson’s sliding clearance from the goal line.

When Jens left the Dons in 1970, his number 6 shirt was bequeathed to Martin Buchan. That illustrates the level of talent at which he operated.

My own contact with Jens was limited to a couple of phone conversations about the 1967 Washington Whips. Chalky Whyte gave me Jens’s number and encouraged me to call him in Denmark. He answered in Danish. I said, “Hello, I’ve been given your number by Jim Whyte”. Jens’s response (and that of his wife Dora when I called on another occasion) was that he was delighted to speak to me, but before he spoke about the USA in 1967, how were his friends at Pittodrie?

My lasting memory of the discussion was that he was asked by a US interviewer, “Petersen, have you ever burst a ball with your head?” and that US sports fans were amazed that the players did not wear body armour. His English, and Dora’s, was better than mine and he was a joy to interview.

Chalky, Ally Shewan and Ian Taylor have often spoken to me about the friendship they maintained with their great pal Jens and their memories and anecdotes will help ease some of the hurt that these guys and their colleagues are feeling.

Jens was only just 70 when he died, which is no age at all these days, and he was an outstanding athlete, still running marathons into his 60s.

The Northern Lights are significantly dimmer with his departure.

Image Credit: Aberdeen Voice is grateful to Aberdeen Football Club for use of Photographs. 

Nov 172011

When the clocks go back, this doesn’t mean that gardening duties stop, unfortunately. Bucksburn in Bloom’s President Drew Levy offers some timely tips for November as winter approaches.

Leaves seem to get everywhere and cover everything including your lawn, flower beds and paths, but once collected, they make excellent leaf mould.
Your lawn might be covered in leaves and raking can be a chore – so take out your mower, attach its collecting box, select a high lift setting so as not to cut the grass and use it as a vacuum cleaner.
Not only does this make it easier to collect the leaves, but it also helps chop them up, aiding the rotting process.

They can go on your compost heap or into your compost bin, but remember to cover them with an old piece of carpet or close the compost bin lid, as they’ll all blow out again if you don’t.

If you don’t have a compost bin, but have a spare area at the side or back of your shed, you can collect them as before and put them in black bin liners or empty compost bags, adding just a little water to moisten them. Tie the top of the bag and put some small holes in the polythene with your finger to allow air in to help the rotting process.

The leaves will, over winter, turn into leaf mould, which you can put into your flower beds. If you have Acers in your garden, their leaves take a little longer to rot down due to their structure, but they will still turn into the leaf mould that you are looking for.

Worried about your garden pond freezing during the winter? Just drop a couple of tennis balls into the water and this will keep the iced water moving and help prevent the cracking of the pond liner or sides. If you have fish in your pond, take out the tennis balls during the day so that there is a hole to allow the fish to breathe and a place where you can put in their food.

If you haven’t put your spring bulbs in yet, there is still time to plant them before the end of November.

Plant pots which stay outdoors all winter can be helped from freezing to the floor and cracking by cutting small squares of wood to place under them to raise them up off the frozen ground.