It was, in fairness, some week to launch a book. Sport may play a huge part in my life but I’m not a great reader of sports autobiographies and often struggle to finish them.
This book arrived unannounced through the letterbox and while I felt I knew most of what was in given that there was so much about it in the media before it hit the bookshelves, I threw it in the bag heading out the door to cover a couple of rugby games in Italy at the weekend.
I had most of it read by the time I arrived in Bergamo Airport on Thursday evening. It’s not the most riveting I’ve read but it is a story well told with honesty and humour and you turn the pages with ease.
He deals with growing up in a small town in Ireland, his hopes and aspirations, knowing he had an edge on a lot of his contemporaries and trying to work out how to develop that to a higher stage.
He speaks with candour about his time in the League of Ireland, how he enjoyed it and hated it at the same time but all along he knew his calling was to move on to a higher level.
He knows he is not everyone’s cup of tea but was always confident that he had the sense of humour to get away with a lot. Free-spirited lads are often resented in Ireland so he often needed to be quick to get out of a tricky corner.
Hitting the nightspots, turning up late for work, dealing with serious financial issues and the awkwardness of moving from one club to a rival are all dealt with throughout with honesty and clarity in a career which a lot of people will identify with. He tells stories where he is the hero and yarns where he is the villain. Sometimes it is hard to tell them apart.
He was often singled out during games for special treatment by opponents and he didn’t hold back himself when it was required. He constantly annoyed match officials, boring a hole in their ears trying to influence them.
He has a very good ghost-writer, there is no attempt to make something more out of an event, it is just told as it happens. And that’s what makes it a book worth reading.
Oh, by the way, the book is called ‘Cake’ and it’s about the former Roscommon goalkeeper Shane Curran.
Sight/sound of the week: The celebrations which followed the victory by Naoimh Eoin in the Clare junior football final in Cusack Park in Ennis on Sunday. They are a small club ‘from the peninsula’ out at Loop Head and defeated Coolmen before the Clare SFC final won by Cratloe on Sunday. Their players and supporters went ballistic after the final whistle and they reckon it will be Christmas before the celebrations die down at one of the most remote GAA clubs in the country.
They said it: â€œIf you are going through hell, keep going,â€ Winston Churchill’s wartime cry is something most sportspeople can identify with.
It happened on this day: 15th October 1990: UEFA announced that Wrexham would have to set off 24 hours before their Cup Winners’ Cup tie with Manchester United to comply with UEFA rules, even though the journey up the M56 would take less than 40 minutes by coach.