Well after the news of Murray’s death, it was very sad to learn about the passing of Leeds United great Peter Lorimer. Not that I was a Leeds fan; anything but. They were the original team to hate but boy did they have some players and Lasher Lorimer was one of their greatest – the youngest ever player at 15 years +, he went on to make 703 appearances no less and scored 238 goals, many of them absolute rockets.
So why am I feeling a little blue? Well my last great boss in BT, Simon, was a big Leeds United fan and a bash had been arranged for him for his 40th at a local underground bar near St Pauls where we worked. We’d already organised a great pressie for him but I thought he needed something a bit special as he was such a decent boss. So we got in touch with Peter’s agent and booked him to attend the event and make a surprise attendance as one of Simon’s footballing heroes. Now you have to understand that I’d come from Cellnet (O2) where things got organised off the cuff all the time. In BT there were some horrible procedures about only using the Procurement Division to order things but they were hopelessly slow and useless so I never used them. Ever. And I’m sure I must have got Simon into some difficult situations defending me from time to time. Or even weekly. But I promised him I’d never break any laws or compromise the company when getting things sorted and he always backed me. It was the same with my expenses and I loved him for always being supportive.
Anyway Peter arrived bang on time – old school – and he did a great hand-over and said some lovely words about Simon being a LUnited fan and some of his footballing experiences and then spent a good two hours or so chatting to Simon and all the guests. He was a real gent, engaging, entertaining and fun. He had time for everyone and seemed genuinely pleased and amazed to have given so much pleasure at an event for a single Leeds fan, miles from his home base.
At some point I’m sure Simon came over to ask me how on earth we’d sorted getting Peter there and I just gave him that best-not-to-ask look. I’d explain things on Monday back at work, I said, but conveniently forgot to do so.
I spoke to Simon tonight and I we talked about that event of course. I thought it felt about 10 years ago; then Simon told me it was over 18 years ago. Oh my god. I am getting old. But what a night and what a player eh.