I met with Graeme Souness today to conduct an interview exclusively for FF. The interview took place in the departure lounge of Dublin airport.
Graeme, looking fit as a butcher's dog, strode confidently towards me as he left the toilet, and looked ready for what was to be one of his stiffest ever interrogations. Was he ready for a FF grilling, and prepared to bear his soul to the Rangers support? It certainly felt like it as I shook his hand, and asked him the first of many questions he was to tackle.
He would pull no punches with his responses.
The inquisition started. "How are you Graeme?", I enquired. "Fine fella. Thanks for asking", he responded, with his polite manner belying his stern reputation.
I continue the questioning. "Is this you heading to Glasgow to put your consortium proposals to Lloyds?". He laughs and looks me straight in the eye. "I like the easy life these days. Do you think I'm looking for hassle or something?", he says. We share a knowing moment and a smile between us at this comment. He then tries to turn the tables on this intrepid interviewer by asking, "Were you over for the game?", referring to the Ireland V France match, and obviously thinking I might be a plastic. "No, I only support Rangers and my own country", I reply. A slight smile turns the corners of his mouth, as we share one more moment of mutual understanding. He replies, "A man after my own heart", and while the comment encourages me, I resist the temptation to spoil our relationship by mentioning a certain historical event involving the birthplace of Merseybeat.
I quickly decide to move the interrogation forward, and I inform him that I watched the game in the pub, and that I was not unhappy that Ireland had been put to the sword. I took his silence at my comment to mean that he agreed wholeheartedly with my sentiments, and continued the interview, and asked him, "Do you not think that you're the man to get the Gers squared up?". He had another laugh, and said, "I like the confidence you have in me."
This was a breakthrough, I thought. Graeme Souness was unequivocally refusing to rule out coming back to square Rangers up, and he liked the fact that there were fans who had confidence that he could do that job. I then informed Graeme that, with many others, I'd love to see him back at Ibrox, getting us back where we belong, and taking the media wolves to task. I then ask him when we'll see him coming home: "Maybe I'm getting too old for all that", he says wryly. "Anyway, I think Walter can handle the press all right", he continues. This disappoints me, and I beg to differ, but only inside my head.
I now decide that it's time to bring up the subject of the compare the titles.com sticker campaign, and to ask if he endorses the efforts of Rangers fans to sticker the world, with the message of our world record championship victories. Should I just bite the bullet, and ask him straight out to endorse the campaign? I decide against this tactic, and think that it would be best to put Graeme to the test by asking him to endorse the campaign by signing his name on one of the compare the titles stickers.....if he refuses, I will take it to mean he doesn't support the campaign. If he does sign his name, I will take it to mean that he thinks we should get the stickers posted on every public place we can, around the country.
As can be seen from the pic below, Graeme decided to unreservedely put his weight behind compare the titles.com, and sign his name, as if it was the first signature on a petition to call for getting it up the Yahoos at every turn.
To finish, Graeme specifically asked (without having to actually say the words) that I post a picture of the two of us bonding after his interview. I've reluctantly done this, just to conform with Graeme's (implied) wishes.
I would like to thank Graeme for spending the time to have this FF interview, and give the rest of you the opportunity to thank him for sharing his most intimate thoughts with Follow Follow.
For more, go to this thread on our message board.