Snow Patrol unleash their sixth album Fallen Empires in two weeks’ time so, to celebrate, Football Burp caught up with the band’s keyboardist Tom Simpson for a quick chat about his beloved Dundee FC, who currently lie bottom of the Scottish Division 1 in what is turning out to be quite a disastrous follow-up to their heroics of last season, when an astonishing 23-game unbeaten run saw them survive relegation comfortably despite a 25-point deduction for going into administration last November – in fact, they would have finished just one point off first place. In the process, we discovered Tom to be also rather smitten with Liverpool…
It’s not been going too well for Dundee this season…
It’s not the most promising start that we’ve ever had but at least we’re not on minus 12 points like this time last season! At least the club’s finances seem to be fairly stable but we’re not bringing home the bacon, which is very disappointing after the marvellous achievement of last season, finishing 6th with a skeleton team after a 25-point deduction.
Did you lose many key players over the summer?
Yeah, we did. We actually lost a lot of players because they were only offered one-year contracts, which as a football player doesn’t give you much security. They’re doing quite well for themselves so good for them. It’s just the sad end of the opposite spectrum of football – you see all the money that goes into the Premier League but then you have the other scale of football where teams are struggling for money, they’re only getting four or five thousand through the doors and it’s just keeping the grounds buoyant. It’s quite sad, actually. My other team Liverpool are doing okay though! They’ve kind of pulled it together so I’ve got something to put a smile on my face!
How did you come to support Liverpool as well?
Probably the late-‘70s/’80s side, which had a lot of Scottish players like Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen. Kenny Dalglish was a childhood hero for anyone my age. I think my first proper pair of football boots were Kenny Dalglish silver – in parks up and down Scotland, that’s who everyone wanted to be. He was the footballer of our generation. I didn’t really know just how good Liverpool were at the time because I was still quite young – it’s only when I reflect on it that I think, wow, that was truly an amazing decade of football that they had. We’ve been in the wilderness for a few years but Kenny’s back, the feel-good factor’s there, they’ve got a lot of good young players and some old heads in the team as well, and they’re starting to play football again, which is great – the little triangles, the passing and moving. Luis Suarez, his movement off and on the ball is amazing, so let’s just hope he doesn’t get injured!
Have you managed to get to Anfield or Dens Park much over the years?
I’ve been to Anfield a couple of times with friends but it’s just at the wrong end of the country for me as I’m normally travelling between London and Dundee. If it was a little bit more central, maybe I could just jump off on the way but it’s just tucked away where it’s a bit of a hassle to get to for me. If we get more time off then I’ll try and get to more games. I’ve been to a couple of good European nights over the years, and some great testimonial matches when they’ve come up to Scotland, and it would be nice if I lived nearer there so it would be easier to get to games – but sometimes you only have the Saturday off and you don’t want to travel because you’ve already been travelling halfway across the world, so a train up to Liverpool seems like another million miles away!
Gary and I know a few of the guys down at Spurs so they always invite us down. We were invited to the Man City game at the start of the season by Pat Jennings, so I watched it with him and had Ossie Ardiles rabbiting away in my ear for the whole second half, making me laugh. That was a joy! (Laughs) He’s good fun.
Tom, thank you.