I found this article by Patrick Collins in the Mail on Sunday, September 5th 1999. It’s fantastic.
FOUR days ago he was an anonymous figure, a man whose virtues were known only to close friends and family.
Today he reigns without challenge as the Sports Personality of the Week.
Ladies and gentleman, I give you Mr Gwilym Boore.
Gwilym is a member of that exclusive band of eccentrics who follow the Welsh football team at home and abroad.
As such, he was at the centre of those memorable scenes at Stansted Airport last week when 13 Welsh fans, expecting to travel with their team to Belarus for yesterday’s match in Minsk, were turned away at the departure gate because the plane was overloaded.
The reason for the excess weight was the vast amount of food and drink which the Welsh FA had packed for a visit to a faraway land. Belatedly, they tried to make amends.
With a gesture worthy of Fawlty at his finest, they jettisoned thousands of gallons of drinking water, along with a veritable avalanche of baked beans, the staple diet of footballers in foreign parts. Sadly, it wasn’t sufficient. Something had to go and, inevitably, it was the fans.
To their enormous credit, they refused to lie back and think of Wales.
Emboldened, it is said, by drink consumed during the three-hour delay, they bawled abuse at the FA of Wales members as those brazen blazers slunk on to the flight. Excellent, say I. If abuse is to be bawled, then it has no worthier target than the members of the FA of Wales.
And it was at this stage that Mr Gwilym Boore revealed the devastating candour which won him the Sports Personality award.
On behalf of his dispossessed colleagues, he declared: ‘The fans have put more effort into following their country around the world than the players did in Italy and Switzerland, and this is our reward. Our life is following Wales. We go to games to ease the tedium of life and we feel sickened by this.’
Mr Boore, we salute an honest man.
Which is rather more than the FA of Wales managed. No, in a distinctly double-edged gesture, they rewarded the Stansted 13 with free tickets for next month’s match with Switzerland in Wrexham.
They may believe that amends have been made, that silence has been bought and that the matter is now closed.
But I suspect they have misjudged Boore and his bawling boyos. This one, I fancy, will run and run.