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Sir Bulldog Craggwood

How we became friends - Tim Booth and Gordon Strachan

How We Met: Tim Booth & Gordon Strachan - 'You're not turning up in one of those dresses you wear on the cover of the album are you?'

Tim Booth, 54
With fellow Manchester University students Jim Glennie, Paul Gilbertson and Gavan Whelan, Booth (left in picture) formed James in the early 1980s. The group has sold 12 million albums, with hits including 'Come Home', 'She's a Star' and the UK number two 'Sit Down'. Lead singer Booth lives in LA with his family

I've been a big Leeds fan since I was eight years old, and as an adult, Gordon was my favourite player. He was astonishing: great linking play and someone who submerged himself to the needs of the team – and there's something heroic to that.

When we released the album Laid in 1993, I was living in Manchester, and going over to see Leeds games when he was captain. I left some signed copies of my album for the team and Gordon rang me up and invited me to come to a game. He said: "Those dresses you wear on the cover of the album – you're not turning up in one of them are you?"

He's exactly as he seems on TV as a pundit; funny, self-deprecating and highly intelligent. When he moved to Coventry [in 1995 as player-manager, becoming full-time manger until his sacking in 2001] we kept in touch. I felt he could talk to me: the soccer world is a macho place and you don't see many men [showing their] vulnerabilities. I'm a man dangerously in touch with his feminine side; my lyrics are vulnerable – and Gordon and I clicked into having these intimate conversations quite quickly. When Coventry got relegated he was devastated; he felt he'd let down the people of Coventry.

I'm still filled with self doubt when I perform; it's where the lyrics come from. And from conversations I've had with Gordon, the inner critic is strong with him, too. He told me once how, when he was playing at Manchester United, there was a row of old men who hated him. Week in, week out he could hear them slagging him off, saying "Oh that ginger wanker, he's so shit!" The whole stadium was singing his praises but the ear picks up the five to six criticising you.

Gordon is as famous as Beckham in Scotland. When we went to Glasgow for the Celtic-Rangers Scottish Cup Final [in 2006], you couldn't walk 10 yards without someone on the street coming up to talk to him. Fame is a fascinating drug but he handles it brilliantly.

Gordon, like me, is virtually teetotal. But on one occasion I went back to his house for a glass of champagne. Some kind soul kept topping us up and by 3am we'd been through five bottles. I was so ill I stayed at his home for two days.

He comes with Lesley [his wife] on every James tour. When the band has had issues, he's been my confidant and has helped me make the group more cohesive. He's always been there for me: when my mother was dying he was there and when my kid was born Gordon and Lesley were among the first people we saw; I really love this man, he's family.

Gordon Strachan, 57

After starting his football career at Dundee at 14, Strachan went on to rack up a further 635 league games as a player, with the likes of Manchester United and Leeds United before switching to management, at Celtic and then the Scottish national team. He lives in the West Midlands with his wife, Lesley

James's music has always made me happy. When I was playing at Coventry we'd warm up to James, using the stadium speakers. And I used to sing "Laid" to myself during games.

We first met at a Leeds game, in 1993. I was playing for his team as captain and like myself he was in his early to mid thirties. I was a bit wary at first: I remember saying to him on the phone: "I hope you're not wearing a dress like on your album." The Leeds United players' lounge in Yorkshire was not the place to dress like that. I think he found me fascinating.

In Scotland in the 1970s and 1980s we didn't do hugs: I can't even remember having a handshake from my father, so when this man my age comes up and hugs me and is very tactile… it was unexpected.

I have a fantastic lifestyle, so I've always felt that I shouldn't be under pressure, considering my dad did night shifts. But very quickly Tim became one of the few who could tell how I was really feeling within a minute of speaking to him; whether depressed or pressured, he knew if I was trying to disguise it. And the times when I've felt, "I'm beat," Tim would be my first port of call; he's a calming influence. Though when he got a call from me he probably thought, "Uh-oh, here we go."

Over the years, though, I think I've learnt a bit from Tim. And my boys speak to me now more openly than I'd ever done with my father.
I'll not forget Tim's wedding to Kate till my dying day. I'm from Scotland, my dad's never given me a hug, and we're all sat in a semi-circle in this field looking towards this tunnel-of-love gazebo with Tim humming a song he's produced for Kate, with the rest of us singing the chorus.

People find our relationship strange. The fact that we're from different places and we're such different people: he has this studious calm and is quite laid-back and I'm, I'm not. But we both have a profession that we love and a pride in performance and that's where we come together. I've seen him so many times, and he has this attitude of no one's leaving this arena till they're enjoying themselves.

I think he handles the pressure a lot better than I do. It's only now that I'm 57 that I can look back at my career and think, "I was no bad at that!" But when I was playing I never thought that I was fantastic, I just wanted to be a good teammate.
When I was having a lousy time at Middlesbrough [in 2010], I drove away listening to James's greatest hits. I got sacked on Monday, but that night, I felt better.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news...of-the-album-are-you-9457521.html
Grind

Good dat.
fartcatcher

cheers your lordship

great story.

hadn't heard it before
smiling badger

How bizzare. Its funny how two different people can strike up a friendship and to a point that they do become real close. They do seem like proper good friends too.
Frazier Cranium

Brilliant.  I don't know much about Tim Booth though I was assured many years back that he was gay.  Not that ti matters, I was also persuaded to believe that he is one of the best front men in the history of popular music.  Saw him on The One Show last week, and he comes across as a hero just about, a very modest, intelligent, genuine talented fella.

Strachan?  Well what's not to like? One of the few non-Revie players imho who was usually but not always, fantastic.  Heard plenty from Leeds fans at what a good chap WGS is but I've never met him.

I gave Paul Reaney a hug, two weeks ago today, just thought I'd mention that.  I wasn't wearing a dress either.  Nor was he
Grind

Frazier Cranium wrote:
Brilliant.  I don't know much about Tim Booth though I was assured many years back that he was gay.  Not that ti matters, I was also persuaded to believe that he is one of the best front men in the history of popular music.  Saw him on The One Show last week, and he comes across as a hero just about, a very modest, intelligent, genuine talented fella.

Strachan?  Well what's not to like? One of the few non-Revie players imho who was usually but not always, fantastic.  Heard plenty from Leeds fans at what a good chap WGS is but I've never met him.

I gave Paul Reaney a hug, two weeks ago today, just thought I'd mention that.  I wasn't wearing a dress either.  Nor was he


Do we really want to hear about your naked romps with Speedie?

Speaking of taking kit off.....

See that Gordon Strachan? I've got both of these



and



* Adjusts skirt *
Grind

Gordon was the only wearer of the long sleeved #7 in 1990/1.

The second one (1992/3 # was also worn by Cantona and Rod Wallace.

I can understand Wallace and Strachan sharing a shirt - but Eric must've been at least four inches taller than the other two?
Grind

There's a bonus "Leeds" player in this image......



I've probably shown something similar on here before, but the embroidered "player shirt" badges are much more impressive than the embossed ones found on replicas of that era.



"Thread" hijacking over!
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

Grind

Ace!

Anyone else wondering how we managed to lose all that.

If he'd stayed more local, we could have sung "Gordon is a Mekon."

* Sits down *
fartcatcher

Quote:
Reporter: "Gordon, can we have a quick word please?"
Strachan: "Velocity" (walks off).
smiling badger

We seem to do well with ickle ginger Scots.
After watching that and seeing that footage of lifting the old League 1 Cup it makes you realise that we have won very little since and are very unlikely to either in the near future.
Heyho

smiling badger wrote:
We seem to do well with ickle ginger Scots.
After watching that and seeing that footage of lifting the old League 1 Cup it makes you realise that we have won very little since and are very unlikely to either in the near future.


But it wasn't just about Strachan was it. It was a team that just gelled. Wing backs before they became the norm with a midfield prepared to support them. A hod carriers charisma to help us out of Div 2 then the class of McCallister to help lift the Div 1 title. All that an a lumbering centre forward who could actually utilise the wing backs.
smiling badger

I didnt mean it as though it was just Strachan. Just meant that we have had a couple of real good solid players over the years that did their all for the teams in which they played. And they were ginger and Scots. Strachan and Bremner.Both the teams in which they played were something else in comparison to what we have today.
Late Doors

Well bugger me, who'd've thought. Can just imagine wee Gordon driving back from 'boro with "All out to get me" on. Nice as well ain't it, two people you don't really know but love in all other ways. Kinda confirms your own views of the pair.

Strated to lose it all with them pillocks down Mill Hill. At every stage WE seem to have shot ourselves, we can blame all and sundry but all the bad things have happened within the club, no one else or nowhere else.
Frazier Cranium

And Cardiff, LD, I would say that that experience started the rot on the field too.

Ridsdale would blame O'Leary and ITV Digital and NEVER himself
fartcatcher

Strachan, McAllister, Batty, Speed. Best LUFC midfield ever. imo  
Frazier Cranium

What, over Bremner, Giles, Lorimer and Gray (as an exampled of a Revie midfield 4)?



Not that Wilko's fab 4 weren't top class like.
fartcatcher

Frazier Cranium wrote:
What, over Bremner, Giles, Lorimer and Gray (as an exampled of a Revie midfield 4)?



Not that Wilko's fab 4 weren't top class like.


It's a close run thing but I reckon they were better as a midfield although Revie's team was stronger overall.

Strachan's fitness was amazing for an old chap. I believe he used to eat seaweed for all the vitamins and minerals etc.

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