Tag Archives: children

Football Differences of Leeds Utd, Norwich and Cardiff Fade Amid Triple Tragedy – by Rob Atkinson

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Leeds United’s Liam Cooper with young Toby Nye, who sadly passed away this month

As anyone who follows football online as well as in real life will know, there’s usually a bit of “banter” between fans of rival clubs – and there’s even the odd dedicated “banter” forum on the Internet, to facilitate this. Sometimes it jogs along on a fairly friendly basis, other times, friendly is not exactly the word. But occasionally – and now is one of those times – even the agitated banter between fans of clubs who really don’t normally have a lot of love for each other tends to fade away in the perspective of true human loss. At those times, football is relegated to the back seat it should always occupy when more serious and compelling matters come to the fore.

Lately, fate has dealt cruel blows to both Leeds United and Norwich City, of an almost identical nature, making such matters as Spygate or Norwich’s away dressing room makeover look as trivial and irrelevant as they really are. First, on January 12th, young United fan Toby Nye lost his brave battle against neuroblastoma, just days after his sixth birthday, passing away with his family around him. On Friday, Toby will make one last journey past the Leeds United ground at Elland Road, on the way to a celebration of his life.

The story echoed that of Bradley Lowery, the six-year-old Sunderland fan who died in July 2017, also from neuroblastoma. Bradley had formed a close friendship with ex-Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe when he became a mascot for the team, and Toby too had a big mate in the Leeds squad, with club skipper Liam Cooper among others closely involved in supporting and encouraging the young Leeds fan’s fight against this awful illness right up to the end. Cooper, who had once carried Toby on to the pitch at Elland Road, said on Twitter he was “heartbroken to hear that my little mate has peacefully passed”.

Just days later, there was news of another and tragically similar loss, as young Norwich City fan Sophie Taylor passed away at the age of five from osteosarcoma, a type of cancer that originates in the bones and had, in Sophie’s case, progressed to her lungs. Sophie, as in the cases of Bradley Lowery and Toby Nye, had formed a special attachment to one of her Norwich heroes, midfielder James Maddison. Although Maddison had moved on from Carrow Road to Leicester City last summer, he kept in touch with Sophie’s condition and was clearly devastated by news of her passing. In a touching Twitter message, Maddison wrote “Rest In Peace my little Angel. I love you always & forever.”

And, just in the past day or so, we have heard the news of Cardiff City‘s record signing Emiliano Sala who is missing after the aeroplane he was travelling on from Nantes to Cardiff disappeared from radar over the English Channel. This situation is still a developing one, but it appears that a happy ending – while devoutly hoped and prayed for – is unlikely, given the time of year and the temperature of sea waters. Meanwhile, Sala’s parents in Argentina are left hoping against hope that there will be better news forthcoming, while fans of both his old club, Nantes, and his new team Cardiff are united in what is becoming more a case of mass grief than any real hope.

Death is the one real certainty for all of us, with its timing being the main factor that will accentuate or mitigate the level of tragedy associated with each sad departure. The death of children, those poor little angels who have had such a brief shot at life before being snatched away, is, of course, acutely tragic and mourned with a level of intensity and shock, as we have seen. But the loss of a young man with talent and the world at his feet is also something profoundly to regret, and – if confirmed – will touch literally thousands of lives. In all of these cases, human nature has asserted itself, mundane rivalries and mutual irritations have been put aside – and everybody has concentrated on what’s really important, to the exclusion of club rivalries. And that is exactly as it should be.

Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything therefore extends sympathy and condolences to anyone connected to the three young angels recently departed, and also to those affected by the probable loss of a major football talent. It’s a great pity that it seems to take events such as these to remind people of what’s really important and, in that respect, I’m no less guilty than anyone else. But I suppose it’s reassuring also to know – because we have seen it happen – that, when tragedy does strike, people of different outlooks and affiliations will come together in the common cause of mutual support and comfort. At the end of the day, against a background of ever-present strife, that’s the most important thing of all.

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‘Compassionate’ Conservatism’s three ‘R’s – reading, writing and… rickets?

The latest symptom of this country’s inexorable slide back into the dark times of squalor, chronic ill-health, poverty and deprivation for a despised underclass of hopeless, neglected and helpless people: the poor, the sick, the disabled. Rickets has made a return much to the shame of one of the richest countries in the world.

For the Tories – rejoice! The Good Old Days are coming back!!

Vox Political

David Cameron’s quest to bring the Victorian era back to life in the 21st century reached a new milestone this week when the UK’s chief medical officer formally announced the return of a disease long thought banished from these shores: Rickets.

The announcement brings to fruition a prediction made by Vox Political almost a year ago, when we said: “As a consequence of the rise in poverty, overseen and orchestrated by Mr Cameron and his lieutenant Iain Duncan Smith in the Department for Work and Pensions, the classic poverty-related diseases of rickets and tuberculosis are on the increase.”

According to the NHS Choices website, rickets “is a condition that affects bone development in children. It causes the bones to become soft and malformed, which can lead to bone deformities.

“The most common cause of rickets is a lack of vitamin D and calcium. Vitamin D comes from foods…

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Guest blogspot: Close-mindedness by Kate Atkinson

KateKate Atkinson was born in July 1993 in Wakefield, and now lives in York where she is studying Primary Teaching at York St Johns University.  She attended St Wilfrids Catholic High School and 6th Form College, graduating in 2011 with outstanding academic results.  Since leaving St Wilfrids, Kate has spent part of a gap year working as an au pair in Dublin, gaining valuable experience of living independently  abroad.  Closer to home, she gained employment in her home town of Pontefract in a digital processing outlet, before commencing her University course last September.

The article below was originally published on Kate’s own blog, which can be found here. I reblog it now because of its undiminished relevance and unerring accuracy.

I have a very hard time understanding close-mindedness.

In the very early hours of this morning, I was scrolling through my Twitter timeline and was heartbroken to read that Harry Moseley, the 11 year old boy with an inoperable brain tumour, who has campaigned tirelessly to raise over £500,000 for Cancer Research UK’s brain tumour research, has died.

As the world woke up to the news of the loss of this brave little boy, I saw hundreds upon hundreds of kind messages to Harry’s family – complete strangers reaching out to his parents, to support them through their grief. This outpouring of affection for one little boy was to be expected; Harry is widely known for his bravery and selflessness, and his campaign, Help Harry Help Others.

What I didn’t expect, though, was to see something like this.

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Once again, I encounter with absolute horror and disbelief, the twisted opinions of the Westboro Baptist Church.
A few years ago, being somewhat naive about the type of people that exist in this world, I found the website “God Hates Fags“, and honestly thought it was a joke. I was well aware of homophobia, but I didn’t honestly think that communities such as the WBC, with their persistent use of offensive vernacular, actually existed. I was wrong. This is prejudice at the absolute extreme, and I physically cannot stand it.
My discovery of the Westboro Baptist Church opened my eyes to just how extreme close-mindedness can be – but even after realising this, I would never, ever have expected these people to use the death of a little boy to once again force their opinions on the rest of the world.
I could steam on and on for a lifetime about how furious the WBC makes me, and get all worked up, and start swearing and insulting them and cursing them to the hell in which they think the rest of the world belongs. Because I honestly can’t comprehend this kind of cruelty. But a part of me thinks that an angry response is just what they’re looking for.
So instead I respond calmly. Instead of spending my time like the WBC choose to, screaming hatred at everyone they meet, I’d rather have a laugh with my friends. Read an old favourite book. Sit down to Christmas dinner with my family. Wear one of Harry Moseley’s bracelets with pride. Take pleasure from all the things in life that the WBC will never understand: kindness, love, compassion. My life is about my family and friends; I want to be with them and I want for all of us to be happy, and that’s what matters most to me.
I feel sorry for the WBC, because they spend their lives pushing the rest of the world away and building their lives on hate.
Harry Moseley was a bright, kind and determined little boy, who fought the dark with the light and filled people with hope. WBC fight blindly in the dark. There’s the difference. Make your choice.
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 Harry Moseley
2000 – 2011
Rest In Peace