Hearts spotted Irvine’s fake CV as he tried to train rivals

Irvine Welsh
Irvine Welsh
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IT is a prank countless Hibernian fans have probably dreamed of playing.

But Irvine Welsh, a die-hard follower of the Easter Road side, did in fact compile a fake CV in a bid to secure the manager’s job at Hearts, as part of a masterplan to watch the Tynecastle team “sink like a stone into the Third Division”.

Sandy MacNair

Sandy MacNair

It was back in the mid-1970s and Welsh conjured up a string of previous positions he hoped would impress the Hearts boardroom, including employment with “second division Cantonese no-hopers and up-and-coming Saharan outfits”.

But what would the Leith author, who went on to have international fame with his debut novel Trainspotting, have done if he had actually got the job? “Changed their colours to green and white, then bankrupted them by signing loads of c**p, over-the-hill rejects from Rangers.”

The tale is recounted in Carspotting: The Real Adventures of Irvine Welsh, by Sandy Macnair, his long-standing friend and “loyal wing man” who was “there to enjoy the ride and help pick up the pieces” before Welsh hit literary fame.

In the book, released next week, Macnair writes: “He did eventually receive a polite reply from Tynecastle, saying basically, ‘Thanks but no thanks, and all the best in your future career’.

Carspotting

Carspotting

“This gem, printed on headed notepaper bearing the Hearts crest, was promptly expensively framed and for many years enjoyed pride of place on the walls of his Leith flat.”

The book reads somewhat like a Trainspotting adventure, as Welsh and Macnair pass the decades in and out of employment, but always enjoying the hospitality of bars and nightclubs – many of which they were later barred from.

It was at a party in Upper Grove Place in the early 1970s, following a 16-pint drinking session, that Macnair describes how Welsh was jumped on by a city prostitute, known as “Deep Throat” as he was sleeping.

He writes: “She pounced like a sex-starved panther on Irvine, who was decidedly not. He was assuredly dead to the world, sprawled face down on the settee.”

Macnair also recounts tales of Welsh pretending to be a Hearts fan in the hope of winding up legitimate faithfuls; dressing up as David Bowie before heading up Lothian Road for a night in Piper’s, “slouching across the floor to the strains of Suffragette City”; and his friend’s love of soap opera Crossroads.

Macnair writes: “Being a renowned authority on a vast array of subjects, it is nevertheless quite probable that – if selected as a contestant for Mastermind – Welsh would opt for Crossroads as his specialist subject.”

The book also reveals that Welsh’s Trainspotting character Francis Begbie was partly based on “an Edinburgh nutter” who drank himself to death in his mid-30s, some years before the book – which Macnair proof read for £20 – was written.

He writes: “In the evening he [Welsh] used to see him temporarily burying his stash of alcohol with the aid of a trowel in Leith Links, as it was forbidden to take it into his hostel.”

n Carspotting: The Real Adventures of Irvine Welsh is published by Black and White Publishing and released on September 1, priced £11.99.

catherine.salmond@edinburghnews.com

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