Tuesday, September 21, 2004

21 September 2004: Shortt

While much of the sports press were (rightly) diverted by the story of the death of the best manager the England national team never had, one Brian Clough, there was another sad loss to the footballing world yesterday.

Bill Shortt was one of the great Plymouth Argyle team of the early 1950s. Under the captaincy of Jack 'Jumbo' Chisholm, the team won Division Three South in 1952 and even reached the dizzy heights of the F.A. Cup Fifth Round, a feat not matched until the Semi-Final team of 1984. With Maurice Tadman leading the line up front, Gordon Astall and Alec Govan roving down the wings, this was one of the great Argyle sides. Indeed, Shortt himself was for a while the Wales first-choice goalkeeper and along with Astall playing for Scotland, it was one of the most-capped Argyle teams in history - at least until this 2004 season, where Crawford and Capaldi are already established internationals and Gilbert, Coughlin and co may not be too far off.

Always in with a shout whenever Argyle fans choose their 'greatest ever' team, along with the likes of Bill Harper, Geoff Crudgington, John Willie Sutcliffe and Jim Furnell - who won the latest vote for the 'team of the century' last season (I voted for Shortt) - Shortt is one of Argyle's all-time greats. He lived in Plymouth after his retirement from the game, ran the Golden Hind for a bit, and was frequently seen at Home Park for special events. The old bald blokes in the grandstand (they of "Bleddy Barlow, take 'im orff Kemp") spoke very highly of Shortt and indeed the whole of Chilsholm's team, and even Barbara remembers him very well from her days in the Spion Kop.

RIP Bill, you'll always be a legend in green.

Meantime, news.com reports that the Motion Picture Association of America, in their vehement crusade to rid the internet of illegal movie downloads, are using automated systems to find dodgy-looking links. The only problem is, they seem to be using "blind keyword matching" which means that poor old Linux Australia have started getting rather ferocious "take-down notices", demanding they remove the content and take action against the people who put the content there. The content they have a problem with? A Python-based framework called 'Twisted', and a memory management tool called 'Grind' - both of which simply happen to share their names with movies. Linux Australia, for their part, have refused to take down links to their own software, and are beginning legal moves against MPAA under - ready for it? - spam laws. Because, in the end, that's all MPAA are doing here -- unsolicited, unwanted and quite hassling email sent by an automated system on the basis of keyword-matching on a website.

Spam laws are here to protect us not only from the phantom breast enlarger, but also from big companies trying to flex their muscles. I hope Linux Australia get, at the very least, an apology. But somehow I doubt it.


David Nettleton said...

Gordon Astall played for England not Scotland.

DuncMcRae said...

Quite correct. I think I was confused between Mr Astall and Mr Govan (who played for Scotland schoolboys) when I wrote that.