Agony Uncle Gary Kelly answers your questions

 Dear Gary,

I was in the National portrait gallery in London (don’t aksk) and people were coming up to me taking photos and saying I was Cromwell’s doppelgänger. Naturally as a Drogheda man I was horrified! 

Do you think Cromwell had any love children when he stormed the town? We’ve got similar warts.


Terry Cromweldon

Dear Terry,

It’s quite possible that Cromwell took on a lover while besieging Drogheda. The English aristocracy are well known for it. You can’t blame yourself for the deeds of your ancestors – though better attention to hygiene on Cromwell’s part might have stopped his facial warts becoming hereditary.

People give him a hard time in these parts. I guess one of the common mistakes we make when looking through the lens of history is judging people by today’s standards. The odd massacre was par for the course for heads of state in them days. How else were you meant to keep the peasants in check if you didn’t put the odd town to the sword here and there?

But I suppose the victors write the history. Look at the Dominicans – they’re fundraising to keep their church open and fair play to them even though the founder of it, Saint Dominic himself, butchered towns full of Cathars in the name of the Lord.

Be proud of your heritage Terry.




Dear Gary,

Are you an Aldi or a Lidl man? Explain your answer.

In anticipation,

Conor – Life-long Leeds fan.

Dear Conor,

It depends on what mood I’m in and whether or not I’ve guests calling. If I’m doing my weekly nuts and bolts shop I’ll Aldi the fuck out of it. But if we’ve a dinner party planned or are expecting guests it’s always shrewd to have some fancy finger food and some snazzy biccies in reserve.

I’ve often gone to Lidl by mistake and was thrown by the unfamiliar products and come home with a basket full of madness. Takes a while to get the head around it. Reminds me of going from George Graham to David O’Leary. We all thought it “Hold on a second here. Who’s this guy think he is with his expansive approach andhis incessant baby talk?” But we got used to it and got to the Champions League Semi Finals. It all went tits up soon after mind.

So Aldi it for your day to day and Lidl it if you’re that bit posher. We Marks and Spencered it for four years with David and Risdale. Look at the club now. Lessons to be learnt there. Hope that answers your question Conor.



Dear Gary,

I remember hearing Eamon Dunphy say you were chasing pigeons in a friendly in Holland before the 1994 World Cup. Did you ever catch them? I’ve got two nesting in my trees and can’t get rid of them. What would you recommend I do?

Cooed off,

Also Gary

Dear Another Gary,

I think Eamon was talking in euphemisms because I had great pace. I didn’t catch any that day and I’m glad I didn’t. Pigeons carry disease. If I could count the amount of times I’ve seen parents letting their kids feed what are essentially flying rats I’d be tutting into next week. I did catch a Dutch pigeon eventually though, a little flyer called Overmars, though he made a meal of it and I got a second yellow leaving the team a man down in a crucial do or die World Cup qualifier. We won though. Galvanised the team if anything.

As regards your pigeon problem. I’d either cut down the tree myself or burn it as it stands and flamethrow the pigeons as they flap away in panic. Flame throwers have a better catchment area than a rifle though a double barrel shotgun and a hired cherry picker will achieve similar results. Leave their corpses around the garden as I read a thing during the week about crows having memories and pigeons are, in theory, members of the bird family.

You can’t be coo careful,


PS – I’m not calling Overmars a disease carrier. I was talking in euphemisms.