John Gibson: Frankly, this is really hard to take

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It’s bound to be enough to drive one to drink, this catastrophic business of Hibernian’s relegation. Nobody’s feeling it more, nobody’s losing more sleep than Frank Dougan, long-time treasurer of the Hibernian Supporters Association.

Big Frank, who lived but a season ticket away from Easter Road Stadium, has been a heavyweight among Hibbies for ever and my picture shows him enjoying a snifter or three on a night out in New York in September 98.

Yes, it does have to be hurting, this horrifically sorry state of affairs and, bearing in mind my own affiliation, I’m being asked how I’m coping. Reasonably well in the circumstances. I could see ‘‘the end of the world’’ coming. I gave up on them a couple of seasons ago. When you’ve seen the Famous Five in action its particulalrly hard to thole. But the tablets do seem to be working.


Think Danny De Vito. Think Dustin Hoffman. Tom Cruise even. Their wardrobes are crammed with platform soles. All on the short side stature-wise. All subjected to good-natured ribbing, lifelong. And we mustn’t leave Ronnie Corbett, best-known small fry of them all, out of the reckoning. Ronnie’s alive and well and, you’ll be aware, hard-selling mouth-watering nosh on the telly.

Says Bradley Willcox at the Department of Geriatric Medicine at Hawaii University: “The taller you got, the shorter you lived.’’ He found that ‘‘shorter men are more likely to have a protective form of longevity gene’’.

So if wags raise a cheap laugh calling you ‘‘Shorty’’ just walk tall and you’ll have the last laugh.