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Issue 2 - Hill and the glens (Jimmy Hill)

Whisky Magazine Issue 2
March 1999


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Hill and the glens (Jimmy Hill)

Sports commentator Jimmy Hill loves Glenlivet, Laphroaig and Scotland generally; so why don't the Scots like him more?

Jimmy Hill is a controversial figure in Scotland, especially to that country's fanatical band of football supporters. Hill's relationship with the tartan army has never been the same since he accused David Narey of opening the scoring with a ‘toe poke' in a match against Brazil during the 1982 World Cup. Scotland went on to lose 4-1 and as the fans trudged away from the ground, one of them spat at British television's most famous chin. Ever since that fateful game, Hill has been vilified by sections of the Scottish faithful. It probably didn't help matters when,
as a pundit during the 1998 World Cup, Hill appeared in a bow-tie printed with the Cross of St George.

‘The fans were looking for something to moan about in 1982 and it continued from there,' says the outspoken 70-year-old broadcaster, adding that the whole thing has been exaggerated by the media. In France last year, when Scotland had another disappointing World Cup, a fan came up to Hill in the street and gave him his team shirt, possibly in an act of self-loathing. ‘I took it home, washed it, ironed it and it's hanging in my wardrobe.' Perhaps Hill will wear it on television one day.

Hill has always enjoyed his visits to Scotland. ‘I've never had a problem when I've been there; the hospitality is always tremendous. I have enormous respect for the Scottish people and I've had many close Scottish friends over the years. There are all sorts of things I appreciate about the country – its education system, ...

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