Readers’ letters - January 7

World squash champion Laura Massaro won't be competing in the Olympics. See letter

World squash champion Laura Massaro won't be competing in the Olympics. See letter

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Duty of care to our troops

There is a current discussion regarding the level of protection being given to police officers who carry, and may use, firearms.

Are they sufficiently protected? I think the answer now simply must be no!

The Government has directed the Ministry of Defence to constitute an investigatory body to look at the possible prosecution of members of the armed services who have been involved in war.

This all stems, apparently, from yet another outside influence on our country, the European Human Rights Act. If ever there was a wanted reason for the UK to get out of the EEC, surely this must be it.

Investigations are to be carried out into the conduct of service personnel during the war in Iraq.

The government orders the young men and women of its armed forces into conflict, a situation that is threatening, horrifying and injurious, not to mention mind blowing/altering.

Young people are coming home from conflict changed, as only war can change people. They have seen and been involved in such things as we should never have to be involved in.

The Government is shouting about the Geneva Convention, in particular with regard to an imprisoned Marine. The Geneva Convention is as outmoded now as the courtly rules of engagement of knights of old.

The conventions declared in no way cover the atrocities committed by the terrorists our service personnel have to face, filmed torture and beheadings, yet the Government and Europe continue to talk about “rules”.

I have long believed that eventually there are going to have to be troops on the ground to take out the terrorists, and I really mean “take out”, not arrest and put on trial and keep in prison at the taxpayers’ expense.

I also believe that this duty will fall to the forces of the United States. Why? Well, these forces act with the full backing of the people, their Government and mostly their judiciary.

Apart from the likes of murder and rape, all else is up for grabs against people who commit such atrocities as these terrorists do.

There are no rules of engagement to be followed and our troops should not be encumbered by such, perhaps laudable, intention.

We, the people of the UK and the government of the UK have a duty of care to our service personnel, this duty should come before all else.

The taxpayers’ money which has been paid to support spurious claims against our troops, established by ambulance chasing solicitors, should be charged against such solicitors.

People in this country with a justifiable legal argument cannot take their case to court due to the cost and lack of financial support, but aliens who see an easy buck are encouraged and paid Legal Aid!

Perhaps it is time to re-write the rules.

After all, if the Geneva Convention and the Human Rights Act are to be followed to the letter, we should be able to see the likes of Tony Blair and David Cameron in the dock soon!

K D Ashton via email

World champ missing out

Isn’t it so sad that Lancashire has its own world champion who will not be able to compete for a medal in the next Olympics ?

Laura Massaro has become the top women’s squash player, who must find it ludicrous that her sport is deemed inferior to stuff like beach volleyball.

I think I know why, it’s because squash is played in a glorified box, and therefore you can only have limited spectators viewing from the back glass wall.

I suppose it’s time and space that is its downfall.

I do think it is a huge shame, even though it’s not, and never has been, my sport.

I was, in my fitter days, always distraught that Ludo never made it either!

Allan Fazackerley via email

Story behind mystery shirt

In response to the letter and photo from Andrew Atkinson (Looking Back, January 5), I can state with absolute certainty that the shirt belonged to a player who represented Preston Grammar School Old Boys FC.

Andrew is right in identifying the badge as being that of the Lancashire Amateur League, Northern Section, Second Division, but I should add that the year, 1938-39, had a special significance for PGSOB, as the club won both the Division One and Division Two Championships. The shirt, therefore, was worn by a member of the Second Team.

The club (later re-named PGS Associates) was in the LAL from 1930 to 2001 before joining the Preston & District League and then ‘calling it a day’ a couple of years ago.

Its popularity was underlined by the fact that several players continued their careers until well into their 50s (myself included), and despite the fact that I played semi-professionally abroad, I could not compete with my contemporary, the late, great Brian Hall, who went on to represent Liverpool FC at the highest level for several years.

Despite the demise of the Football Club, Preston Grammar School Association is still going strong and will be for a few years yet.

We have an archive that contains sporting/football memorabilia and a website at www.pgsassociation.org.uk.

I can confirm that the shirt depicted in the LEP would certainly be of historical interest to the association and if Andrew would like to contact me on 07950 142907 or at captainvolvo@blueyonder.co.uk, I should be delighted to talk to him.

Charlie Billington, Secretary PGSA

Football team who wore kit

Re: Andrew Atkinson’s letter and the photo of the mystery football shirt (LEP January 5), it will be one that had been worn by a Preston Grammar School Old Boy FC player.

The club continued to wear shirts of the same design until the late 1970s when their cost became prohibitive and a less distinctive shirt was adopted.

The club, which later became Preston Grammar School Associates, folded in 2013, after 12 years or so in the Preston & District League.

Jim Barwise via email