The price of fame: Netflix documentary on ‘Beckham’ is quite an eye-opener

Our man Frank on that Beckham docuseries (plus his own near-brush with football fame!); Ireland’s World Cup exit; More turf tales; A Mini Rugby Festival in Creggs…

Many years ago, when I was working in Dundalk, I was asked to go to Liverpool for a trial for their football team! I didn’t bother to go, as I was enjoying life too much in the very vibrant border town, and I couldn’t spare the time away from my hectic social life.

Occasionally, in my more delusional moments, I used to wonder what might have happened if I had actually gone. The truth, of course, is that I would have got nowhere, but the odd time I would think to myself ‘What if I had been the new Kenny Dalglish?’.

All my life I have assumed that being a top professional footballer, earning huge money, living in a multi-million pound mansion and owning several rare and very expensive cars, would be the ultimate dream existence, but having seen the Netflix documentary series (‘Beckham’) on David and Victoria Beckham, I am almost glad that I didn’t take the boat to Liverpool.

I won’t spoil the story for you, but one of the most glamorous couples in the world had to endure stuff that ordinary folk like me and (maybe) you would never have to put up with. I have to say that the series gave an extremely revealing picture of what it can mean to be in the public eye, and it’s certainly not all we would think it is! If you can, have a look and you will see exactly what I mean.

Staying with sport, and as I am writing this on Sunday evening, I have to admit that I am suffering from a major hangover. The funny thing is, my hangover has nothing to do with drink, but it’s as a result of the hugely disappointing loss our rugby lads had on Saturday evening when the All Blacks knocked us out of the World Cup.

Lots will be made of the fact that it was yet another failure at quarter-final level, but this doesn’t feel that way at all. If ever a team gave us reason to be proud of them, and to be grateful for all they have done to raise the spirits of a dejected country, this team did.

Eamonn Sweeney said it all in today’s Independent. He said he is not disappointed in this Irish team, but he is disappointed for them, and I couldn’t have said it better myself (if I could, I would have). Anyway, the dream is over for another four years, but I can truly say our Irish team gave everything for the cause, and should have our everlasting gratitude.

More turf tales…

It’s now Monday evening as I write, and if you didn’t know it was the 16th of October, you would be forgiven for thinking that it was a midsummer’s day – such was the beautiful, sunny day we have had.

If you had happened to see me, you would have had another reason for thinking it was summertime, as I spent most of the day in the bog. Everyone knows that for those of us who had our turf cut a bit late, it was a very challenging year, and you could count the number of dry, fine days on the fingers of one hand. Some of our turf was footed four times, and even though we got part of it home a few weeks ago, there was still a fair bit left in the bog.

Tonight it’s almost all home, with the remaining wet sods up on a pallet, where they will stay until God knows when!

October may be a bit late for working in the bog, but some years ago two of my brothers were putting their very wet turf up on pallets in the month of November. So intrigued by this unusual sight was a bus-load of passing Welsh tourists, that they stopped to ask our lads if they could take their pictures! Needless to say the lads obliged, but exactly where the pictures appeared no one knows. It is possible the two boys could be pin-ups over in Wales, although I doubt it!

Anyway, 90% of our turf is in the shed, so it does prove it’s never too late – and that one should never give up hope of saving it.

Mini Rugby Festival fun in Creggs

It’s Saturday morning, and, as a member of the Creggs Rugby Club pitch committee, I am heading up to the village for a bit of point duty to help with parking and stewarding as upwards of 500 children and their parents/guardians are expected in Creggs for the Aviva Mini Rugby Provincial Festival.

They are coming from all over Connacht, from places like Sligo, Westport, Galway, Oughterard and Portumna – to name just a few – and, apart from two bus-loads, all the rest are travelling by car. We have loads of stewards on duty, but myself and Jack the Lower (Jack Hegarty) find ourselves out on the main road, guiding children safely across from Gannon’s car park, and trying to organise parking for the many cars that are arriving.

The news had broken this week that the age limit for entrance to the Guards has gone up to 50 (which used to be the retirement age) but, after our four and a half hours on duty at the very busy corner, myself and Jack decided we aren’t going to apply to join the force.

You would need eyes in the back of your head to keep track of all the children and vehicles, and being a traffic cop isn’t all that easy. The other factor in our decision not to apply was the fact that we are both a bit along with 20 years past the new entry age, so that might also disqualify us.

Anyway, I am delighted to say that the event went off without a hitch, and so many people complimented the club on organising it so well that myself and Jack and all the other helpers felt good about a job well done. However, next time we will make sandwiches or serve teas, but keep us away from a very busy road.

*Talking of roads, we are always being warned about the dangers out there on every road, from the humblest by-road to the busy motorways, and if ever the truth of those words was proven it certainly was around here in the last week or so.

At least six car crashes have taken place in this area during that period, but thankfully, apart from a bit of material damage – and some bruised pride – there were no injuries reported. Please slow down, stay vigilant, and keep yourself and other road users safe.

And finally…

Finally for this week, the countdown is on for the Creggs Harvest Festival. As usual, there is an abundance of events to look forward to. Look out for the details elsewhere in the paper, and you will definitely find something that you want to go to!