Gail's Gab: that awkward moment when I confused ex-Celts Frank McAvennie with Frank McGarvey

It was a pleasure to attend the Old Firm select versus the British Army football match in aid of Erskine hospital on Saturday at Airdrie's Excelsior stadium.

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Frank McAvennie
Frank McAvennie

The Erskine hospital is a fantastic resource which provides care and support for war veterans across the generations.

It does anger me that they rely so much on charitable donations and activities instead of being properly funded via mainstream Government monies but I think anyone with a heart supports Erskine hospital.

The match itself involved ex-Celtic and Rangers players matched up with players who paid to appear against a serving army football team.

The age gulf was huge and the match was very one-sided in favour of the young army side. However much to everyone's surprise the Old Firm team finished the first half one up thanks to an opportunist Frank McAvennie goal.

He was set up by former Gers player Derek Ferguson. The team also featured former Rangers players John McDonald, Charlie Miller and Andy Goram. Former Celt Frank McGarvey turned out as did Jose Quitongo who like Tommy has never actually played for either of the Old Firm.

No matter as he was a great entertainer on the pitch. Tommy and Charlie Miller made way for some of the paying players to play in the second half and when the army team eventually scored two late goals they were able to boast that at least they were winning while they were both on the pitch.

Truth is the real action was off the pitch. Talk about mistaken identities? It was a case of the 'two Franks'.

Tommy introduced a lovely woman to me as 'Frank's girlfriend' before departing for the dressing room. I proceeded to chat away, as you do, about Frank and how much of a gentleman he was and how he often visited Tommy.

My new friend was a bit bemused. Then I talked about a 'saints and sinners' charity night Tommy had attended with Frank at Hamilton Racecourse last year. Frank himself had explained just how tipsy he had become on the night and how well Tommy had done to get him home safe and sound.

This nice woman suddenly became a little annoyed. She did not know this story. I felt very awkward. Here was I creating friction in a relationship. I should have kept my mouth shut. It was pretty serious when all of a sudden the penny dropped. I thought I was talking with Frank McGarvey's girlfriend when in actual fact it was Frank McAvennie's girlfriend.

Talk about 'three and fourpence we are going to a dance' compared with 'reinforcements we are going to advance'? It was nearly a relationship crisis based on mistaken identity.

We then proceeded to have a right good laugh about it and reflect on how it really could have been much worse.

The two Franks had a right good laugh when informed of the situation while Tommy was ordered to be much more specific in the future.

Someone could have been on the wrong side of an ear-bashing based on the incompleteness of Tommy's information. It was definitely his fault but caused a good laugh nonetheless.

On the more serious issue of the Erskine Hospital please consider donating something to assist them in carrying out the excellent work they do. Check out the #SaluteSelfie for #Erskine on Twitter and/or text Erskine to 70707 to donate £3. It is all for a great cause.


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