I thought that it would be timely to put up a little post about soccer.
Firstly I am going to share with you a piece by my favorite sports writer, Con Houlihan, which he wrote about someone who had as much natural talent as any footballer ever but unfortunately, mishandled his talents and became more famous for his antics off the pitch than on it. I speak of course of George Best.
Folk memory has forgotten that, towards the end of his career, George had a brief unhappy sojourn on "the banks of my own lovely Lee".
"George Best, like Brendan Behan, came from a family whose closeness made the arrows of exile all the sharper.
Brendan Behan was the kind of child on whom grannies and aunts and assorted auld wans dote - so seemingly was George Best.
Such indulgence makes for a pleasant childhood -- but when eventually you sail out into the open sea, you may find the going a bit rough.
I have a particular little cause for being ill disposed towards George Best.
It concerns a Christmas week some years ago when I was spending a well earned holiday in the bosom of my family. (The well earned etc part is what low-grade correspondents in the Kerryman say about some dosser home for a few weeks from England. )
There I was on Saturday night, 28 December 1975, eating a little piece of Christmas pie and drinking a mug of lemonade, when word arrived over the electronic wire ordering me to be in Cork on the morrow.
The reason for this dramatic message was the rumoured appearance of wee Georgie in the colours of Cork Celtic in a League of Ireland game.
At that stage of wee Georgie's career everything was rumour. But I turned up -- so rather amazingly did he.
And so did the greatest gaggle of small boys and indeed small girls seen at large since the Pied Piper of Hamlin turned debt collector. The winding little lane that leads down from the city to Flower Lodge was almost bursting its banks..
I find it hard to forgive George Best for his display that day.
Lo and behold -- George was back for the next match (against Shelbourne at Harold's Cross). A big crowd came to that game too -- and went away less than gruntled.
George appeared one more time for Celtic -- and people stayed away just because his name was on the team sheet.
An old truth had been illustrated -- you don't pay twice to see the same fat man in the circus sideshow.
Now I've rifled through Listowel Celtic's website to bring you these old photos of soccer closer to home
The early days: a 1960 Celtic team:
back row (l to r) - Noel Downey, Jack Carmody, John Croghan, Mike Brennan,
Joe Guerin, David Shaughnessy, Michael McEvoy
Back Row.. Jackie Carmody, Pa Kennedy, Daithi Carroll, Toddy Scanlon, Leo Allman, Tony Carey, Henry Molyneaux, Jack Kelly, John Bunyan, Denis Bunyan.
Front Row.. Mike Casey, Paddy Lynch, Paddy Hannon, David Fitzmaurice, Declan Sheehy, Gerard Tarrant.
Back Row... Tony Carey, Gerdie Collins, Mike Canavan, Nix Riordan, Liam Canty, Dobs O'Brien, David Mulvihill, John Chute, Sean Carey, Pat Carmody,Tom Walsh.
Front Row...Declan Leahy, Mickey Kelliher, Maurice Hannon, Gerard Tarrant, Fergus Houlihan, Tommy Sweeney, Declan Sheehy, Jimmy Dore, Alan Grimes, Colin Grimes.