Saturday, 31 July 2010

The Tax Credit helpline is a joke! But I'm not laughing.

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I have already renewed my Tax Credits for this year,in fact I did it a few moths ago. However I still needed to tell them what courses my daughter would be on in the sixth form when she continues her education in September. I realized that I had not got back to them with this info,so on Thursday I tried to call them up to complete the update.

I tried 9 times through out the day but was given a recorded message that they were very busy and to call back. On Friday I called 17 times at various times of the day and guess what? Yes, I got the same message again!.....17 times!.
Today I tried again.....34 times throughout the day.....34 frustrating times...and still got the same message!
As the Inland Revenue has no facility to put you on hold or to allow you to try a different number all you can do is keep on calling.I have a suspicion that even if I continue to call right up until 8pm (when they close!) i still won't get through to these people.
I have decided to document this ridiculous situation on my blog so that when they try to patronize me about my late call when I do eventually manage to get through, i will be able to refer them to this posting to prove that it was not a lack of effort on my part.....more of a lack of service on theirs!.

Update!

After surfing the internet I came upon this info on the money saving expert website:

"Just so you know I've managed to get through this morning i tried the main number at 8am on the dot and still nothing so searched for other numbers and found these. I used the 01384 845032 and got through 1st time!

other numbers also found:

028 9053 8192
01384 845032
01382 711032
01506 478032
01506 521032
0191 644 4032
0191 541 8032"

Good luck to you all hope you all get through!

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Just over a month until we go to Euro Disney...yeah ha!

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Well, after we received the rather surprising (though not unwelcome!) news in May that my family and I had been selected to visit Euro Disney in September this year, we have been very busy sorting out all of the required documentation that is needed for the trip.The first little problem was that apart from myself, no one else in our family had a passport!, so, after a flourish of activity getting photographs,filling in numerous applications and locating birth and marriage certificates we sent the apps off and a few weeks later we got the 3 back for the kids, followed a couple of weeks later by Teresa's.
EHIC cards are now with us and only 2 or 3 days ago we received the return train tickets and hotel booking confirmation details for our days stop over in London from those kind folk at Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
The trip itself has been arranged and funded by The Alternative Hair Show, founded by a great guy named Tony Rizzo who's involvement with Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research came about due to the sad loss to Leukaemia of his son Valentino some years ago.
To say that we are all very excited about this trip would be a slight understatement, and now all we need to do is finish off getting everything ready so that we can all go on this fantastic break and have a truly memorable and amazing time :-)

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Friday, 30 July 2010

New test to identify patients likely to be resistant to Imatinib (Gleevec)

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July 29 (Reuters) - Researchers in Japan have designed a test to identify patients who are likely to be resistant to imatinib, the standard drug for treating leukaemia or cancer of the blood cells.


Such a test is important as imatinib resistance occurs usually to relapse patients, who tend to deteriorate very rapidly if they are given the wrong treatment.

In a paper published in Clinical Cancer Research on Thursday, the scientists said they developed a test which will help doctors tell if a patient with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is resistant to imatinib.

Imatinib, known by the brand Gleevec, is sold by Novartis AG (NOVN.VX) to treat CML and other cancers. It blocks the enzymes of cancer cells instead of killing all rapidly multiplying cells.

"Most patients are sensitive to imatinib when they are diagnosed with CML, but resistance can indeed be acquired during or after imatinib treatment," said Yusuke Ohba, an associate professor at Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine.

OMD Sealand 1981. School Trip to Paris

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OMD. Sealand 1981.Memories of my 1982 trip to Paris! :-)



Haunting but beautiful.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

"Look Out Behind You!"...OR....Mini me gets flattened by exercise ball :-)

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"Look out behind you!"



It's a shame that the England Football Squad aren't as accurate as me :-)

Kings Mill Charity Shop to Close after 22 years of fabulous service.




It has been announced this week that the charity shop that has been a fantastic source of funding for thousands of pounds worth of equipment for Kings Mill Hospital, is to close at the end of August.

Over 22 years the shop has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds,funded the purchase of hundreds of medical devices for various departments and has been a great asset to Kings Mills thriving community.

I have always found the volunteers that work in the shop to be amazing and genuine people, and for that reason alone I, along with many others,will be sad to see them go.

Well done to all of the volunteers past and present who have given their time freely to make such a worthwhile contribution to Kings Mill.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Matthew Robinson's "Swiss Roll" Bike adventure.

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Just a quick mention now about Matt Robinson who is, as I type this, finishing a 550 mile 7 day cycle ride to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Matthew sadly lost his mother Shirley to Leukaemia in November 2009, and as a tribute to her fight he has embarked upon this fine challenge. Well done Matthew and hope you finish without too much saddle sore :-)

To visit Matthew's blog page click HERE.

To donate,click HERE.

And yes mate, I am sure that your mum would be VERY proud of your achievement! :-)

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"Contains a source of Phenylalanine", but what does it mean?

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I have been asking myself this question for some time now after noticing that a lot of soft drinks and yoghurt's mentioned this unfamiliar name in their ingredients listings.

I found out quite early on that Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid and also 50% of a sweetener called aspartame which is widely used in a variety of foods including Cola, some yoghurt's and is also found naturally in foods such as eggs and bananas. What I have found out more recently is,to say the least, somewhat worrying reading!.

I won't simply copy the details onto my blog, but will instead supply you with a few links to the websites that I have found, and let you decide for yourself if we (the general public) are being exposed too a rather nasty additive in our daily food diet.

http://www.sweetpoison.com/phenylalanine.html Janet Starr Hull explains some facts.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070713074905AAXFB7Y Yahoo Discussion

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenylalanine Wikipedia entry

If you found some of these revelations rather worrying, maybe you had better hope that you are not effected by Phenylketonuria (PKU)!. What is that? Take a look HERE.

Perhaps we should all take more note of what our daily diets contain.....just to be on the safe side!.

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Tuesday, 27 July 2010

REMEMBER...............

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Nothing says "I Don't Know" better than a smile ! :-)

(Homer Simpson)

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Esperanto (Lingvo Internacia)...what a brilliant idea !

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I had heard of Esperanto (or Lingvo Internacia as it was first known) many years ago, but an article in a newspaper today rekindled my interest in this "International" global language.

The idea is simple. Why learn to speak several different languages when all everyone in the world needs to do is learn to speak a common one!. I have decided to give it a go just to see how I get on...watch out for some "interesting" posts in the future :-)

If you want to learn Esperanto, click HERE to visit the Lernu website.

By the way, did I mention "Mi havi sango Kancero"? :-)


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Parents of leukaemia child want to sue Icelandic power company

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The parents of an Icelandic child suffering from leukaemia are investigating their legal rights in preparation for a lawsuit against a power company which they blame for their five year-old daughter’s illness.

The parents want to sue Reykjavik Energy following a test which revealed their house has much higher than recommended electromagnetic charge readings. Unusual electromagnetic readings have been found in the homes of three Icelandic children with leukaemia.

To read the full story click HERE to vsit the IceNews Website.

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Monday, 26 July 2010

Jose Carreras loves "La Scala" .So do I,but mine's made by Volkswagen :-)

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Tenor Jose Carreras is to perform at Milan's La Scala for the first time in 14 years at a benefit concert.

The Three Tenors star will sing at an event to raise funds for cancer research at the Italian opera house on 10 October. Carreras has said that "every singer has a special love for La Scala".
The Spaniard spent almost a year in hospital and underwent a bone marrow transplant in 1997 after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

It's so good to see Jose is doing well after his battle against Leukaemia, and it's nice also to note that he has a special love for "La Scala". I also have a liking for La Scala, but of course mine is not a song but a very special Scirocco ! :-)

By the way Jose, if you ever fancy a trip in my Scala,just give me a call :-)

For more about this story click HERE to view the BBC News Website.
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Azacitidine boost for Leukaemia Sufferers

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A DECISION to block a cancer drug being prescribed on the NHS is to be reviewed.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said it would reconsider its ban on Azacitidine – used to treat a range of bone marrow disorders.


The drug gives some sufferers a few extra months of life.Mike Hobday, from Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We are pleased by NICE’s decision to review the use of Azacitidine.

“Patients with myelodyplastic syndrome, chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia, and acute myeloid leukaemia have very few treatment options and this drug could give them more time and a better quality of life.

“Everyone should get the drugs their doctor recommends, regardless of what type of cancer they have, or where they live and should not be penalised because of the type of cancer they have. Although a few extra weeks or months might not sound much to some people it can mean an awful lot to a family affected by cancer.”

For more information and to see comments about this report click HERE to visit the Daily Express website.

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Head lice shampoo may be linked to Child Leukaemia Risk

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Using chemical shampoos to get rid of head lice could almost double the risk of children developing leukaemia, scientists have claimed.Exposure to other insecticides while in the womb or as a child could also double the risk of contracting the cancer, they said.

The findings will fuel concerns about the increasing incidence of childhood leukaemia in Britain. Around 500 youngsters under 15 are diagnosed with the illness each year.

To Read more Click HERE to visit the daily Mail Online.

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Friday, 23 July 2010

Off to the Annual National Scirocco Register meet today :-)

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So here it is again...has it really been 12 months since the last national meet? So far today I have spent quite some time loading up all the things that we are going to need for our 2 night stay at the White Pump Farm Campsite in Staffordshire, all I can say is that I am glad that we are not going for any longer as the trailer is already full and I still have stuff to....well, stuff in the car!.

Oh well, better get back to the packing and try to not forget anything...although I always seem to!

RAF Cosford, here we come.....eventually :-)
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Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Samsung calls in experts to review leukaemia risks

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Giant Korean firm
has asked a US experts from medical schools to assess whether its semiconductor fabs in Seoul are responsible for a number of cases where employees contracted leukaemia.

Ten workers in its fabs have died from lymphona or leukaemia while 15 others have contracted the diseases.

Those figures are contradicted by a group of workers who have claimed that 20 people have died and 60 have come down with the diseases. The group, called the Guardian of Health and Human Rights of Semiconductor Workers want the investigation to extend into the past, when some of the ex-employees worked at the Samsung factories.

The group coordinating the review of the fabs will be a US consulting company Environ Holdings, Samsung said.

Read more: Click HERE.

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Vatican masts blamed for causing cancer in children

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Radio masts operated by the Vatican's radio station are causing cancer in children, a medical
expert has told a Rome court – resulting in six officials of the station being investigated for manslaughter.

The claims of Professor Andrea Micheli, from Milan's National Tumor Institute, focus on 19 child deaths from leukaemia or lymphoma between 1980 and 2003 in the Cesano area, north of Rome; Vatican Radio operates masts nearby in Santa Maria di Galeria.

Micheli, a professor of cancer epidemiology, says in his 300-page report: "The study suggests there was an important, coherent and significant link between residential exposure to the Vatican Radio structures and an excess risk of death from leukaemia and lymphoma in the children."


To read the full story click HERE to visit the Independent Newspaper Website.


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Man gets £175,000 for mis diagnosed Leukaemia....I wish!

Strange story really, but you have to ask what the hell the Basildon hospital were thinking when they diagnosed this guy with MRSA, then 5 days later decided he had Leukaemia (unspecified type) and only had 1 year to live!.

To be fair to Mr Moore the gentleman involved, there is probably a lot more to this story than the "£175,000" headline, and, having suffered similar worries,concerns and fear after my own diagnosis, i can say that the mental grief that he experienced is not a nice place to be.

Anyway, lets just hope that the jokers at the hospital departments learn from this very expensive lesson, and lets also hope that Mr Moore,should he ever read this, considers making a donation to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research or some other blood cancer charity to help thousands of others who sadly don't get told it was all just a horrible mistake :-)

To read the full story click HERE to visit the Daily Mail Website.

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Monday, 19 July 2010

iPhone 4 Antenna and calling problems. "Grip of Death"

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I just watched a video of the CEO of Apple addressing the widely reported issue of owners of the new iphone 4 having problems whilst making or receiving calls.

In the video he points out that after detailed analysis of the data regarding the amount of complaints Apple has received about this issue......only 0.55% of users had called to report faults and problems with making or receiving calls..............the other 99.45% just couldn't get a good enough signal to call apples support team :-)

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Karate Kid 2010 Film.Does Mr Miyagi Likes Scirocco's ?

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I only ask as, having seen the trailer for the first time this morning, I spotted something on the wall of Mr Miyagi's home when he was trying to catch a fly with chopsticks!. You have to be quick as it's only on screen for just over a second....but if you pause the playback at 1:50,isn't that a Mk2 Scirocco Schematic diagram on his wall?



So it's official.Not only was Mr Miyagi a really cool ass kicking pensioner, but he also had excellent taste in his motor cars!......I wonder if he actually drives one in this new film?

Update:

After a little more surfing around on the net it appears that Mr Miyagi (Han) does indeed have a VW Scirocco...but it cannot be viewed as a happy ownership!...

I spotted this passage in a review of the film on the Plugged In Online Site:

"In an intense scene, Mr. Han (Miyagi) takes a sledgehammer to the Volkswagen Scirocco he's been restoring. Every year, it seems, Mr. Han restores the car (in which his wife and 10-year-old son were killed), then mangles it again in a violent explosion of unresolved grief."

Ahh.Not quite the best thing to do to a classic VW, but hey, at least he restores it again......I hope ! :-).

P.S If Will Smith or any of the production team read this blog, can I ask a favour? Any chance of getting some Karate Kid set props to auction for charity? How about perhaps a slightly battered Volkswagen? :-) Well, you gotta ask haven't you :-)

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Thursday, 15 July 2010

A-Ha,s new track "Butterfly,Butterfly" .


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As you are probably aware my wife and I are very big A-ha fans and as such we are heading off to their concert in Nottingham in November. ....can't wait :-)

Anyway, this is their new single which has been released a short time ago and is now available to buy from most good record......sorry, music shops......just showing my age again!

Enjoy! :-)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

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This is the brand new video that has been made to promote LLR and the work it does:

video

Missing 'silencer' could possibly trigger leukaemia

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Sunday 11 July 2010

Cancer Research UK Press Release

A completely new mechanism that leads to the development of a certain type of leukaemia could eventually be targeted by new treatments, according to research published in Nature Immunology today (Sunday)1.

Researchers, funded by Cancer Research UK, the BBSRC and the Medical Research Council, discovered that when two genes are missing from mice they develop an aggressive form of leukaemia, similar to acute lymphoblastic leukaemia2 in humans.

The two genes produce ‘silencer’ proteins that normally neutralise a group of cell messengers once they have successfully delivered their message to the cell’s machinery responsible for growth.

Without the ‘silencer’ proteins the messenger continues to deliver its message without any control. In this research the target messenger controls the production of a protein called Notch1, which plays a key role in the development of a type of white blood cell. Without the silencers, higher levels of Notch1 are produced than is needed for normal growth, causing the cells to grow out of control, leading to leukaemia.

To see the full report click HERE to view the Cancer Research Website.

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And now for something completely different.............

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Car doors!. Always causing problems when parking due to the Muppet's that design car parks only allowing a comedy sized gap between vehicles when they are parked side by side, and as we all know, you always get some clown who decides to use up some of your "door opening space" by parking way too close to you!.

Fear not then you long suffering, door dent hating individuals, for I have seen the future, and its pretty clever stuff !........



Funny how this idea still doesn't seem to have been picked up by any major manufacturers yet...mmmm!

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Apology No.3.....Howard Webb,the World Cup Final Referee...

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This is getting to be a bit silly now, but after having some time to reflect upon the World Cup Final Match I have decided that now even Howard Webb deserves an apology!.
The "fog of war" sometimes clouds common sense, and it is to this phenomena that I attribute my previous comments about Howard. I,along with several million others probably gave him a hard time and condemned him for several "bad" decisions during what was (as previously mentioned!) a very "dirty" game at some points.
Allowing for this guy probably being the most active person on the pitch for almost 2 hours, AND now finding out that he is also the dad of 3 kids sort of makes me take a new look at the circumstances .....and................

WHAT THE HELL........................IT's ONLY A GAME :-)

Have a nice day!
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Monday, 12 July 2010

World Cup Apology 2.Sorry for giving the Spanish a hard time!

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After reviewing my previous post today (apology to the Dutch), I realised that I had perhaps been a little unfair to the Spanish World Cup Squad. So can I just say that on reflection I appreciate that they probably did deserve to win what was undoubtedly a very tough game for both of the teams involved.

So, with that in mind can I now say Well Done to the new World Cup Winners Spain.......nice one guys......but helped somewhat by a British Referee with poor eyesight :-) lol

World Cup Final.An Apology to the Dutch!

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To say that I felt sick as a parrot the other day as I watched Holland's defeat in the finals of the 2010 world cup would be something of an understatement!.
It would be fair to say that the 2 sides were evenly matched, and that both made their fair share of mistakes during the game, and as a result many players from both sides found themselves receiving yellow cards.But sadly I have to say that the terrible error made by the British Referee Howard Webb must surely be the point at which the games outcome was decided. Admittedly the game was into it's 115th minute when the incident occurred, but even without the benefit of slow motion replays for the referee and his linesmen (see reference to this in previous moan!), it was plain as the nose on your face that the ball from the Dutch free-kick was deflected by a Spanish shoulder....you only had to follow the flight of the ball to see it make contact and then go out of play!. Had this been given as a corner (as it is accepted now that it should have), the Spanish would not have been able to then get possession of the ball and subsequently score a goal....simple as that!.
Many papers have reported that the Dutch had been seen to be putting the boot (or clog) into the Spanish during the game, but yet again, anyone who took note of the contacts between the players would have noticed that the Spanish had a habit of falling over at the slightest sniff of a challenge from the Dutch team.....yet again, slow motion access would have shown this to be the case.
By the way, can I just say that in my humble opinion Arjen Robben should have fallen for a free kick when he was being held back by the Spanish just outside of their penalty box, sadly he tried to finish his run and was then given a yellow card for complaining........should have rolled on the floor clutching his shins like a true Spaniard would :-)

Oh well, only 4 more years until your next chance, in the meantime keep practising your "dramatic response to a minute event" acting......it seems to be the best way to win!.

And I thought that the only time an Englishman on a football pitch could screw up a game was if he was a footballer......well done Howard :-)

P.S How glad I am that the guys who are serving so bravely in our armed forces aren't made of the same stuff as professional footballers.......we would need 3 medics for every 1 soldier just to get them to stand up and fight!
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Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Holland beat Uruguay 3-2 in World Cup Semi Finals!

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Alright, so I am being a bit premature with my headline, but hey,positive thinking and all that :-). Lets just hope that the Dutch,unbeaten in 24 games now, give the Uruguay team a bloody good thrashing and avenge (is that too strong a word?) the awful travesty of their win over Ghana.

Anyway, I am going to go and stock up on beer and crisps, find an orange t-shirt and then enjoy watching what I am sure will be yet another display of Dutch courage :-)

Go,go Orange Army!

....wonder if i should have a flutter with the bookies on my predicted scoreline ?

Enjoy :-)

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Saturday, 3 July 2010

Germany Thrash Maradona's Argentine squad..Oh how I love the Germans!


Damn!, what an excellent result for those fabulous Germans! 4 goals against Argentina a team managed by our favourite Argentinian, Diego "hand of god" Maradona !. Well done Germany, it was worth watching you destroy our pathetic national side and thus allowing you the chance to pummel the Argentines into submission in such a fantastic manner :-)

Deutschland das Turnier zu gewinnen !! :-)

Damn!, Was ein hervorragendes Ergebnis für diese fabelhafte Deutschen! 4 Tore gegen Argentinien ein Team von unserer Lieblings-Argentinier Diego "Hand Gottes verwaltet" Maradona!. Well done Deutschland, es war sehenswert Sie zerstören unsere pathetisch nationale Seite und wodurch Sie die Möglichkeit, die Argentinier in die Unterwerfung Pummel in so eine fantastische Art und Weise :-)

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Luis Suarez claims "The hand of god" title is now his!

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Last night I watched probably one of the best football matches of the World Cup Tournament that has been played so far, Ghana V's Uruguay.

I must admit though to feeling very sorry for Ghana's team when, after a fantastic and spirited display of footballing skill, they lost to Uruguay on penalties.

I know that "the beautiful game" is sadly marred by numerous bad decisions,and to some degree I guess that we have all come to expect the occasional cock up, but the way in which the "system" allowed Luis Suarez of the Uruguay team to blatantly prevent a goal by a deliberate handball, then,instead of allowing the goal (which was 100% guaranteed if not for the players hand !),they had to take a penalty....and Gyan hit the crossbar!.Don't dwell on it Gyan, it can happen to the best!.

After Uruguay's win Suarez was reportedly heard bragging that Maradona's 1986 "Hand of god" title was now his!......not a good advertisement for "fair play" in FIFA's world.

OK, so Ghana lost, but may I just say to the players,( if you happen to read this blog), that you DESERVED to win based on your passion, excellent playing skills and dedication. And Uruguay, you won in a very low and underhand manner, don't think for one minute that you should be proud of your achievement!.

The good news of course is that Uruguay now have to play Holland, and that match they will NOT WIN unless of course Uruguay decide to cheat and field a second "back up" goalie again!.
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