Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Ten years on...

Ten years ago day Roy Keane walked out on the Irish team in the build up to the World Cup in Japan/South Korea. It was one of those occasions where I can remember exactly what I was doing, jut like 9/11 and the death of Princess Diana, two of the other earth-shattering monumental media events of the past 20 years.

I vividly remember buying a copy of the Irish Times that morning as there was word on the radio that Keane had undertaken an explosive interview with Tom Humphries, where he blasted the Manager Mick McCarthy, the FAI and the whole training set-up. A few hours later word filtered through that Keane had been expelled from the camp after a big bust-up with the Manager. The nation was gripped.

What followed was a debate which carried on for years. This debate aroused more passion in the average Irish person than various referendums and general elections which would have greater implications for the country as a whole. Until it came to the point, only a few years ago where people were sick of the whole thing. I personally think that in the time which has passed since 2002, those who originally sided with Keane may have mellowed, due mainly to some of the bust-ups and outbursts which he has been party to in the recent past, most notably of which were his ultimate downfall at Man Utd, media spats with Fergie and his infamous "who's phone is that?" press conference when manager of Iswich Town. In contrast I believe that those who sided with McCarthy have not changed their opinion.

Anyway the real point of this post is to draw a line under that fateful day once and for all as the Boys in Green are about to embark on a new journey in 18 days time, which will hopefully be less controversial and more successful. Expectations are unusually high this time - it seems half the country has bought a van and will be traveling over. I would love to hear from people out there on how well you think we may get along in the Euros.


  1. Ticket Details
    I just bought 2 tickets for the Quarter Final and am currently working out flights, Optimistic No??? Kiev 24/06/12.
    Match 28- QF - WD vs RCSunday, 24 June 2012 (20:45)Euro Restricted View CAT.3
    Total to pay €50.00

    1. I like your style Noel. Nought wrong with a bit of optimism. Although the mere presence of Paul McShane in the squad may shoot that down.

  2. Are there any girls in green I wonder??

    1. Both the boys in green & girls in green will be having the craic this summer, that's for sure!

  3. It was in the year of eighty-eight in the lovely month of June
    When the gadflies were swarmin', dogs howlin' at the moon
    With rosary beads and sandwiches for Stuttgart we began
    Joxer packed his German phrase-book and jump leads for the van
    Well, some of the lads had never been away from home before
    'Twas the first time Whacker set his foot outside of Inchicore
    Before we left for Europe we knew we'd need a plan
    So we all agreed that Joxer was the man to drive the van

    In Germany the Autobahn 'twas like the Long-mile Road
    There was every kind of car and van all carryin' the full load
    Ford Transits and Hiaces and an auld Bedford from Tralee
    With the engine over heatin' from long haulin' duty-free
    There were fans from Ballyfermot, Ballybough and Ballymun
    On the journey of the lifetime and the crack was ninety-one
    Joxer met a German's daughter on the banks of the river Rhine
    And he told her she'd be welcome in Ballyfermot anytime

    As soon as we got to Stuttgart we put the wagons in a ring
    Sean Og got out the banjo, Peter played the mandolin
    There was fans there from everywhere attracted by the sound
    At the first Fleadh Ceol in Europe, Joxer passed the flagon round
    But the session it ended when we finished all up the stout
    The air mattresses inflated and the sleepin' bags rolled out,
    As one by one we fell asleep, poor Joxer had a dream
    He dreamt himself and Jackie Charlton sat down to pick the team

    Joxer dreamt that they agreed on Packy Bonner straight away
    And Moran, Whelan and McGrath were certainly to play
    But tempers they began to rise, patience wearing thin
    Jack wanted Cascarino, but Joxer wanted Quinn
    Then the dream turned into a nightmare, Joxer stuck the head on Jack
    Who wanted to bring Johnny Giles and Eamon Dunphy back
    Oh! the cock crew in the morning, it crew both loud and shrill
    Joxer woke up in his sleepin' bag many miles from Arbour Hill

    The next morning none of the experts gave us the slightest chance
    They said the English team would lead us on a merry dance
    With Union Jacks all them English fans for victory were set
    Until Ray Houghton got the ball and stuck it in the net
    What happened next was history, brought tears to many eyes
    That day will be the highlight of many peoples' lives
    Well Joxer climbed right over the top and the next time he was seen
    Was arm and arm with Jackie Charlton, singin' revenge for Skibbereen

    Now Whacker's back in Inchicore, he's livin' with his ma
    And Jack Charlton has been proclaimed an honorary Irish man
    Do you remember the German's daughter on the banks of the river Rhine
    Well didn't she show up in Ballyfermont last week and...

    1. OOOOOOOOOOps should have said that the composer of that great ditty was the wonderful and gentle Christy Moore

    2. I wonder if Christy would bring Joxer back for another roadtrip to Poland/Ukraine. It'd be great to hear of his exploits again. Granted the Hiace is probably a rust bucket at this stage!

  4. Roy Keane, epic ball player, treacherous villain, failed manager and a man with no dog. RIP Triggs.

    1. Who can forget the 'TRIGGS IS DEAD' front page headline in The Sun. Clearly newsworthy stuff... According to the man himself he still walks his dogs every day, so Triggs must have been replaced. My feeling is that Royston is one of those people who relates better to his dogs than humans.

  5. You might enjoy this doc on Radio 1: You Can Stick Your World Cup

  6. Nice documentary Alica! My favorite bit was about the taxi driver who threw a paying customer out of his car just because they were on opposite sides of the Keane/McCarthy debate.