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Six degrees of separation: From Morrison to Kuszczak

17 November 2015

From Scotland’s midfielder to a Polish shot stopper

Yes, I know Albion are better known for the Three Degrees, but for the purposes of this game, we’re going to prove the idea that by six simple steps, everyone on earth can be connected to everyone else, a bit like a superglue experiment gone wrong. Today, we will be tracing the lineage that goes from Scottish international midfielder James Morrison to another Polish international shot stopper Tomasz Kuszczak…

With the recent departure of Luke Daniels, JAMES MORRISON is now the Albion’s longest serving player after joining us from Middlesbrough back in the summer of 2007 as part of Tony Mowbray’s revolution following the Wembley play-off defeat to Derby County. Nearly 270 games later and James is still an integral part of life at The Hawthorns following a career here that has seen him establish himself at the heart of the Scottish international midfield too. 

James does of course share his name with the foreshortened JIM MORRISON whose life was tragically also foreshortened in a Parisian bath. The leader of The Doors, rock poet and self styled Lizard King became one of the great voices of the ‘60s counter-culture. Following a life shrouded in controversy, even his death was the matter of speculation, some still insisting that he faked his own passing and that he walks amongst us, happy in his anonymity. 

The Doors took their name from a phrase in William Blakes’s poem, “The Marriage of Heaven And Hell”, which had also been filched by ALDOUS HUXLEY for his famous 1954 book, “The Doors Of Perception”. Huxley, a member of the Bloomsbury Set, was an extraordinary writer, perhaps his most famous work being “Brave New World”, published in 1932. A remarkable member of the British intelligentsia, his death in 1963 should have been marked by all kinds of memorials.

Fate can be a funny devil mind, and Huxley contrived to die on 22nd November 1963, a date that has gone down in history as the one on which PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY was assassinated in Dallas. Those events in Dealey Plaza overshadowed everything else that was going on in the world that day as the police launched a manhunt to find the lone assassin who had shot him down from a window in the Texas Book Depository. Although Oliver Stone thinks different.

The reasons for Kennedy’s assassination have long been the source of conspiracy theory, though many suggest that it had its roots in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 when Cuba’s FIDEL CASTRO agreed to a Soviet request to house nuclear missiles on the island in an effort to avoid future American invasion. As things looked to be spiralling out of control in October 1962, the world held its breath and prepared for the apocalypse which, thankfully, never came.

As part of their intelligence gathering methods, the USA flew U2 spy planes over Cuba, losing Major Rudolf Anderson who was shot down over Cuban territory in the process. That spy plane later gave its name to one of the biggest rock bands of all time, U2, who featured a singer, Bono, who, ironically enough for our purposes, fancied himself as a latterday Jim Morrison, though he was wise enough to only ever shower when in the French capital.

U2 enjoyed a string of hit singles and albums, and still do to this day, even amongst people who don’t like them but have an iTunes library into which their songs can be slipped. One of their most famous songs was “New Year’s Day”, about the Solidarity movement founded by trade unionist Lech Walesa, a movement which created the first chinks in the Soviet armour across eastern Europe. This all happened in Poland home, of course, to TOMASZ KUSZCZAK. 

And incidentally, if you want to have a listen to Albion Radio’s special on Tomasz’s save from Jason Roberts that day at Wigan, perhaps Albion’s greatest ever save, here it is:


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