Haye to Meet Klitschko in Heavyweight Showdown

Andy Lee’s coach Joey Gamache, a former two-weight World champ, was in Limerick last year and he had a concise caution for English heavyweight David Haye.

USA-born Gamache, who claimed World lightweight and light-welter titles in 1995/96, warned Haye to stay away from the Klitschko brothers, Wladimir and Vitali – unless he’s developed a sudden taste for intensive care units.

But the Londoner wouldn’t listen, would he?

In fact, not only didn’t Haye listen, he ended up taunting the Ukrainian siblings by wearing a T-shirt with their two decapitated heads emblazoned on the front. As attention seeking goes he hit the target as the Klitschkos took the bait and flipped a coin between themselves to decide which one would have the opportunity to put manners on the English upstart.

Wladimir, nicknamed Dr Steelhammer, won the toss. Likewise, he’ll now put his WBO, IBO and IBF belts on the line against Haye, the current WBA champ, in a no-love-lost clash at the Imtech Arena in Hamburg on Saturday night.

Undaunted by the fact that Klitschko wants to tear him a new arsehole, Haye was back taunting his opponent yesterday, claiming that he’s going to make the robot, which he often calls the Klitschkos, malfunction.

Wladimir responded by vowing to give Haye a lesson in life and predicting that he will be having an excursion to a “reality rehab clinic” at the weekend.

“My name is Dr Klitschko, I am a therapist and on July 2 I am going to give you treatment,” he warned Haye, as he was glaring down on the Londoner with that expression you reserve for a zit on the end of your nose.

It’s all very entertaining and reminiscent of the uproar Ali used to cause when that part of his mind reserved for the creation of Superman cartoons featuring himself in the lead role was given free access to a microphone.

There’s only one difference – Ali was the greatest heavyweight of all time.

Meantime, Klitschko is trained by Andy Lee’s coach Emanuel Steward.  Lee often spars the 6ft 6in power-puncher if he’s meeting a southpaw.

The Kiev-native has a formidable record going into Saturday’s duel, having won 55 of his 58 fights, 49 by way of KO. One of his sparring partners admitted recently that the tweety birds were still circling around his head three days after he walked into a right hook from Klitschko in training.

“I thought I had a fucking stroke,” was his take on that incident.

Haye, who reckons his hand speed will see him through Saturday’s showdown, has quieted down a bit over the last few days. Bravado is not uncommon when the guns are in the distance. However, as the cannon roar increases in intensity fighters usually stop thinking out loud.

Unless, of course, they happen to be Ali, who continued insulting his opponents, their immediate and extended family, right up to the toll of the opening bell.

I’m not convinced by Haye. He’s added some colour to the preamble, I’ll give him that, and whilst that puts bums on seats ultimately it’s just talk. I don’t even think he’s a true heavyweight. Cruiserweight appears to be his natural domain and he’ll be giving away three inches in height and reach to Klitschko on Saturday.

The British papers are claiming that Haye became their first heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis when he beat Nikolai *The Beast from the East” Valuev for the WBA title in 2009.

This is the same Lewis who won an Olympic gold medal for Canada in 1988 – if they can walk and chew gum at the same time our neighbours will claim they’re Brits.

Valuev, meantime, was an embarrassing ogre. Some of his punches were so long in transit they could have been timed with a sun dial. The last time I saw him trade leather I was half expecting to see him to leave the ring with his two arms outstretched in front of him.

All Valuev is short is a bolt running through his neck. One of the crew working his corner even looks like Igor. Having said that, Klitschko’s recent opponents wouldn’t exactly have you waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat either.

Haye successfully defended his title against John Ruiz and retained the belt again after stopping the woefully inept Audley Harrison in Manchester last November.

Given his inactivity – he hardly threw a punch – Harrison, who was booed going into, inside, and coming out of the ring, was lucky not to have had his purse withheld.

“Pacifism is an honourable creed but a man’s public pubic espousal of it looks less than noble when he has just inked a lucrative contract to go to war,” to paraphrase the great boxing scribe Hugh McIlvanney.

Haye believes his hand speed and greater mobility will see him emerge victorious, that he’s going to snaffle Klitschko.  I don’t think it’s going to happen. You can run but you can’t hide in the squared circle and sooner or later the man from the Ukraine will corner his prey.

A snaffle on the day might not keep this doctor away.

political correctness

Kung Fu Fighting, Political Correctness and Racism

There may be a few of us in here old enough to remember our disastrous attempts to emulate John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever at the Disco in the mid-70s.

There we were bumper-to-bumper – where’s me V-Necked jumper? Anyone remember the first letter of your name in upper case on said jumper, the flares, Donny Osmond, the Bay City Rollers?

It’s no wonder half of us are still receiving counseling.

Kung Fu Fighting was released in 1974, the year I finally convinced the ogre on the door of the nightclub that I was 18.

The song was a smash hit for Carl Douglas on both sides of the Atlantic. It hit the charts around the time that Bruce Lee films were all the rage to cash in on the martial arts craze sweeping the USA and Europe.

I was never into the martial arts myself, me being a pragmatic type. I mean, martial arts didn’t do the Japanese much good when the Yanks dropped two big ones on them at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Did it?

The auld MA didn’t pack the same punch as Oppenheimer’s deadly toy I reckon.

I noticed a DVD of Enter the Dragon in the shop recently. I thought this was a porn flick featuring someone rogering Margret Thatcher (Mama doc), until I recalled it was Brucie, chop socking his way through legions of slanty-eyed baddies.

Back in our disco days the night would be considered a success if you got to touch yer wan up walking her home. One of the boys in the Duck N’ Drake nostalgically referred to this manoeuvre as, “dropping the hand.”

Me being a shy type I never did get around to it – and in a darkened underpass I thought my chance had come at last, but then a strange fear gripped me and I just couldn’t act.

Glory days. The pint was about 20 pence, a CV was some sort of venereal disease, and Norman Hunter was prowling midfield at Elland Road, secure in the knowledge that the FIFA law banning players from going through opponents to get at the ball was 30 years in the offing.

Bowie, Dylan and the Beatles were also making great music, but it all fell asunder after they quit taking heroin.. Then again, you can only gild the lily so many times.

Anyway, Kung Fu Fighting may appear to be a strange barometer by which to measure the intolerance of the PC brigade and how Human Rights laws have now been inverted to the point of utter absurdity.

But try telling that to Simon Ledger, a musician. Ledger was arrested recently on suspicion of racially aggravated harassment.

And his crime? Well, it was truly heinous as was belting out a version of Kung Fu Fighting at a gig in the Isle of Wight, a capital offence in itself, unless his tongue was firmly in his cheek. However,
the two Asian fuckers that took “grave offence” to the song didn’t have their tongues in their cheeks when they ran to the cops and lodged a complaint.

Ledger consequently had his collar felt, ironically as he was eating a meal in a Chinese restaurant.

A police spokesman said that a 32-year-old bastard claimed he was subjected to racial abuse, long time, and that “investigations” are continuing and witnesses are being questioned.

Imagine the scene in court.

“M’Lud, I put it to you that the accused was singing that those cats were fast as lightning”

“Moreover, he also warbled that they were a little bit frightening, adding that they fought with expert timing”

“He also implied that they were funky Chinamen from funky Chinatown, that they were chopping them up and they were chopping them down.”

“Ten years. No parole. Order in the Court.”

The entire episode would be a great laugh if it wasn’t so absurdly serious. And let the above be a warning to any musician out there.

Almost any song that might be considered to be stereotyping any racial group could now result in you ending up in front of The Beak.

And M’lud could send you down folks – as fast as lightning. Strangeways here we come.



Taking One for the Scumbag Team

Whilst sitting in a bar in the more colourful side of town recently wondering how Arsenal, indulging in their usual dilettantism, can enjoy 78% of the possession in a ten-minute spell and not create a single opportunity, I was approached by a scumbag. Alternatively, he may have been a scobe.

El scumbag/scobe, apropos of nothing, began the conversation with a real attention grabber.

“You should have seen the batin’ the Guards gave me last night, ” he alleged.

“Why did they give you a batin'”

Apparently, Johnny was walking home of an eve and a squad car screeched to a halt in front of him. PC O’Plod then, allegedly, drove Johnny back to the station, and, allegedly, “kicked the living fuck out of him”, to use his own words.


An elderly woman’s house was broken into. Whoever did it terrorised the misfortune and robbed her.

The Guards went out on the prowl, spotted the bould Johnny, and, according to aforementioned, assumed that because he was pursuing a life of crime and general delinquency that he must have done it. Likewise, they collared him.

Meantime, as the guards were, allegedly, administrating the type of batin’ that would probably warrant an Amnesty International inquiry back at the station, the Sergeant gets a phone call.

One of the woman’s relatives had caught up with the scumbag that had robbed and terrorised his aunt , and, after, allegedly, kicking the bollocks out of him, called the guards.

Oh, the actual criminal – a mere technical issue.

However, the Sergeant did knock on the cell door, politely mind you.

“Lads, cough, could you stop administrating the type of bating that would probably warrant an Amnesty International inquiry – in your own time.”

Five minutes later out in reception they were handing Johnny cups of tea and scones, enquiring about his mother – and when his father would be getting out of the Joy.

But Johnny was having none of this. Johnny was in a huff.

“Fuck you and your cups of tea and scones”, he sulked. “You were kicking the living fuck out of me only five minutes ago.”

Which they were.

“Ah, now Johnny, don’t be taking it personally.”

Then the Sergeant got around Johnny. Sarge, with impeccable logic, reckoned that as sure as night follows day he would be in there again and that the batin’ he’d just been on the receiving end of would be taken into account the next occasion his recidivist shadow darkened their cell door.

“So the batin’ was in lieu,” I ventured.

“In the loo?”

I assured him that they weren’t going to kick the bollocks out of him in the toilet.

“Oh, I see where your coming from,” Johnny nodded. And with that off he went with a spring in his step having confirmed that he had earned a batin’ in advance.

But, alas, no one ever did see the alleged batin’ the Guards gave him that night.

And we won’t see the next one either because Johnny has already taken one for the team.

But the time after the next time might be worth seeing. I reckon we’ll be talking Sky Box Office that night – and there’ll be no tea and scones, allegedly, this time.


Disclaimer: All characters featured above are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. No scumbag was bate or had the living fuck kicked out of him in the writing of this article.


Lesbian Impersonators on the Internet

It appears that Holly didn’t come from Miami, Fla, after all. However, she did tweet her way across the USA – and beyond.

The internet revolution is killing the sex change industry. These days if you want to do a Lou Reed you should just pluck your eyebrows, shave your legs and become a lesbian blogger.

There’s no need to go to the extremes of the English jockey of a few years back who did the Full Monty and had the Op – “and they’re off” -, just go on the net and you can be whatever you want to be.

According to reports the author of “A Gay Girl in Damascus” was arrested by Bastard Assad’s henchmen during the crackdown on dissidents in Syria. However, the author was neither arrested, female, a lesbian nor a resident of Syria.

In fact, our Gay Girl in Damascus was an invention of 40-year-old American male “student” Tom MacMaster. Tom is studying in Edinburgh. God only knows what he’s studying, advanced masturbation techniques probably. How can you be a 40-year-old student? At what stage does this person intend to go out and work and make a contribution to society?

My advice to Tom is not to venture up to the Highlands unless he’s developed a taste for having a new arsehole torn out of him.

Meantime, it gets better. A lesbian posting comments from the above on “her” site, LezGet Real, is actually 58-year-old Bill Garber, an ex-US Air Force veteran.

Brother Bill, who wrote under the name Paula Brooks, admitted that he was one of the editors of the LezGetReal blog and that he posted comments from “Amina Arraf”, the supposed Gay Girl in Damascus, but actually MacMaster.

There’s so many lesbians involved at this stage it’s hard to put your finger on, oh never mind, never mind.

Another writer with LezGetReal, Linda Carbonnell, says they’re devastated.

Carbonnell, who appears to have the decency to be an actual female lesbian, sighed: “The past three days have been devastating for all of us on LezGetReal. ‘Paula Brooks’ has been a part of our lives for three years now.”

Isn’t it heartwarming to know where LezGetReal’s priorities lie? On the one hand you have innocent people being murdered in Syria and on the other you have the tragedy of a 58-year-old male lesbian being outed.

Garber, who says he has now retired from his three-year stint as Donut Banger, has apologised for being deceitful and claims that the reason he was masquerading as a lesbian was because he wasn’t being taken seriously as a straight bloke.

I know how he feels. No one takes anything I say seriously either.

But hey, if I was to show up in a nice frock with matching handbag, or butch, I reckon I’d be besieged with outreach coordinators eager to hear of my travails at the hands of those beastly, white, heterosexual homophobes.

“Oh, I do declare men are all brutes, swoon.” Lash out a victim impact statement. There’s a grant in this somewhere.

Gay Girl in Damascus wrote of “her” life in Syria and her role in anti-government protests.

Earlier this month an entry on her blog, supposedly written by her cousin, said that Amina was arrested by Assad’s murdering Ba’ath party.

The “arrest” was widely reported, including by the BBC, the idiots. A campaign was launched by genuinely concerned people to secure “her” freedom.

In response to this, MacMaster said he wanted to present people with the “facts” and that they shouldn’t heed the “man behind the curtain”.

In Trainspottiing, Renton observes that in 100-years time there will be no men or women, just wankers. MacMaster is evolving a lot quicker that most of us it appears.

Meantime, did I tell you about my new blog?  My first entry is on frocks and Ryan Giggs and his brave quest to shag his brother’s wife, niece, aunt, mother, grandmother and anything anyone else in the immediate family that still has a pulse or at least hasn’t been dead for more than 24-hours.


Bono, U2 and Tax Avoidance

Diminutive- alleged – hypocrite Bono looks set to get a taste of his own pontificating at the upcoming Glastonbury festival.

Art Uncut are planning to unveil a giant inflatable banner with the Slogan “Bono Pay Up” when U2 headline the gig.

They also intend to float an over-sized bundle of fake cash from one part of the crowd, under an Irish tricolour, to another section of the audience under a Dutch flag.

U2 attracted widespread criticism in 2006 when, immediately – as in one tenth of a second later – after the budget that year they shifted their loot to Holland after the government announced it was putting a cap on the tax exemptions limit for artists.

“Bono claims to care about the developing world, but U2 greedily indulges in the very kind of tax avoidance which is crippling the poor nations of this world,” droned a spokesman for Art Uncut

Dr. Sheila Killian of the University of Limerick said she believes that the €250,000 cap introduced in the budget was still very generous and that Bono’s attitude to what tax is all about is ill thought out.

“Tax is about citizenship,” she added.

Usually she would be right. We are morally obliged to pay tax. Otherwise society would fall apart. Even the Pope, I think it was the last one, declared that tax evasion is a sin.

However, here in our busted flush of a Republic our tax Euro – which should be used for health and education and Irish society as a whole – is being used to pay off the gambling debts of indigenous and European bankers, and to hand the criminals that got us into this mess index linked pensions and golden handshakes.

There’s nothing very moral about that. It’s about as moral to ask a person on an average industrial wage to pay these debts as it is to demand that we hand over money to a wretch coming out of a Paddy Power office who asks you to cover the cost of the wager he put on a nag in the 2.30 at Nass who finished down the field.

“What an English King has no right to demand, an English subject has a right to refuse” said John Hampden after King Charles 1 tried to impose a “shipping tax” on coastal towns in 1634. Resistance to this tax was one of the causes of the English civil war.

U2’s manager Paul McGuinness has stated previously that the band is a global business and pays taxes globally, that at least 95% of U2’s business takes place outside Ireland.

ONE, an anti-poverty group founded by Bono, pointed out that U2 have nothing to do with illegal tax evasion. Risibly, they appear to be suggesting that Bono is not a bollocks.

Maybe, God forbid, he isn’t? Maybe Bono prefers to cut out the middleman and give the aid, via One, direct.

And who can blame him? Why should anyone hand over a penny to a Continent, namely Africa, which is infested with half-arsed Marxist kleptocrats siphoning off millions of dollars in aid. It’s either that or the money is falling into the hands of Islamic radicals who want to turn the clock back to around the time when civilisation was discussing whether this wheel thingy would catch on.

I have no problem donating directly to Africa, as long as I know that no African despot comes within an elephant’s roar of the money.

I’m leaning toward Bono and U2 on this one – lord save me. However, a statement from ONE on tax, charity and developing countries wouldn’t go amiss, particularly as the New York Post alleged last year that just 1.2% of its income reaches the needy, that they are paying out £5.1 million in salaries from £9.6 million in donations.

As for ourselves. Well, they have us by the short and curlies. Our tax is stopped at source and handed over to gamblers. They’re still gambling as we speak, playing the equivalent of Texas Hold ’em with the future of entire societies – and we’re paying for the chips.


The Kilbrittain Whale

So Kilbrittain bagged the whale, said I, foolishly, to the elderly man in the bar.

Bastards, he hissed in reply, tongue in cheek, I think.

We’re still waiting for a talented scribe to pen the nautical version of John B Keane’s The Field in West Cork. All the ingredients are there – a 66ft whale, claim and counter claim, bitter divisions between neighbours, and chainsaw-wielding Captain Ahab’s in the dead of night.

Two years back a mighty Balaenoptera physalus swam up Courtmacsherry Bay.  Tragically, the magnificent fin whale, weighing in at 50 tonnes, became disorientated when the tide started to turn.  She died despite frantic attempts to tow her back out to sea.

(Some might claim that the disorientation began when she realised that because she was in Irish waters and that she belonged, technically, to then then minister for the environment John Gormley, enough to disorientate any creature, even the second largest animal on the planet after its cousin, the Blue Whale.)

Courtmacsherry, meanwhile, is one of the most picturesque parts of Ireland. If the weather is right the place looks so stunning a postcard wouldn’t do it justice. A fishing village, it prides itself on its maritime heritage.

A number of plaques commemorate nautical events on its main street, including the sinking of the Lusitania about eleven miles off the coast of Kinsale, which is about 25 minutes drive from Courtmacsherry. The ship went down on 7 May 1915 after it was torpedoed by a German U-boat, killing 1,198 of the 1959 passengers.

The village itself, correctly deciding that all the rest is propaganda, has three pubs and one shop. The tide, according my non-shiver-me-timbers-opinion, appears to sweep in and out of the massive bay with alarming regularity.

Courtmac, incidentally, is not far from Baltimore, where on June 20, 1631 an invasion force from North Africa, led by the notorious pirate admiral, Morat Rais, described as the most ruthless and daring of the Barbery brigands, abducted almost the entire Irish village and spirited 107 men, women and children off to a life of slavery on the other side of the world.

They shipped an ancestor of Senator Eoghan Harris home after a week – there’s only so much bollocks a pirate can endure about the Protestants of West Cork before hitting the grog and descending into a watery grave.

Des Ekin, author of The Stolen Village: Baltimore and the Barbery Pirates, writes that when we think of slavery, most of us think of European slave traders hauling African prisoners off to a life of bondage. But this was a time when the opposite happened – with slave traders from Africa sailing north to seize Paddy.  No wonder Guinness is so popular on the Dark Continent.

Meantime, Kilbrittain is on the other side of the Courtmacsherry bay.  Situated about a mile inland, it has little or no maritime history, according to my friend at the bar, who added that they were also bastards.

It was into this environ that our tragic whale swam on its final journey in January 2009 before drawing its last breath on the Kilbrittain side of the harbour. Shortly after it died two men from Courtmacsherry, also known as a drinking village with a fishing problem, approached with a chainsaw. Their plan was to saw off its head and mount the jaw bones in the village.

However, they were confronted by Kilbrittain residents who told them they were claiming the carcass. Later that night, according to reports, the whale’s jaw was removed by a stealthy group of Kilbrittain volunteers.

They also got the rest of the skeleton as it was displayed in the village’s Harvest Festival last year.

So the Rorqual belongs to them?


Are you on talking terms with them?


Behind the bar the owner is wearing a faded T-Shirt inscribed with the pyrrhic boast; Courtmacsherry, Having a Whale of a Time.

Kilbrittain would want to keep an eye on that skeleton, I reckon.  Possession tends to be nine-tenths of the law in these cases. And where’s the next John B Keane when you need him, or Herman Melville?


Paul McShane’s Integrity. FIFA’s Corruption

Paul McShane was on the paper yesterday – the traditional cue for domesticated mice to fling themselves into their traps, the green light for our budgies to nail themselves to the bars of their cages.

The carrot-topped Irish defender is playing the Patriot Game. Outrageously, he’s of the opinion that if you’re called up for Ireland, that you should show up and represent your country. Fancy that.

The Wicklow-born stopper has been the butt of a lot of cruel jibes from Irish fans and the hairy-arsed reptiles on the sports desks over the last number of seasons.

Nicknamed Calamity McShane, he’s identified as the source of persistent anxiety for Irish fans. Some recoil in horror when the ball arrives at his feet, others let out an Edvard-Munch-like silent scream.

Others, allegedly, cut straight to the chase and top themselves, while one adult male, the Samaritans on speed dial, just bursts out crying, a gibbering wreck: “There, there sir, Richard Dunne has tidied up. The ball is in the other half now.”

“But they’ll return,” he wails.

And indeed they will return to lay siege to the beleaguered Irish goalmouth , provoking a reaction from Irish fans not dissimilar to the brooding reaction of a battery of hens upon finding a fox in their midst.

For when you’re sitting amongst thousands of sports fans, a totally paranoid bunch of people at the best of times, the least little thing can set off the gnawing of fingernails, in much the same way as a rustle in the undergrowth can spook a herd of wildebeest into a stampede.

Maybe it’s McShane’s shock of red hair. Or maybe it’s his wholehearted approach to the game. At times he appears to have abandoned all reason as he tears around the penalty area – not so much a loose cannon as a detached arsenal – a tsunami of collective trepidation trailing in his wake.

If we are to believe the reports, McShane is related to the non-league lunatic who had most of the fans at his particular club in such a state of consternation that they used to all exclaim the one word in unison when he received the ball.


Then again, maybe we’re just taking the urine. I reckon that Paul McShane – leaving aside his tendency to cross the heart sideways on the nation – is exactly the type of player we need.

For Paul McShane wears the Irish shirt with pride. And if I had a choice between him and the fuckers Stephen Ireland and Anthony Stokes, the Wicklow man would be in my starting eleven every time.

Meanwhile, the repellent Sepp Blatter was yesterday “elected” to office for a fourth term as President of football’s governing body.

Blatter, a virus attached to the hard-drive of the world’s most popular sport, was returned unopposed in Zurich after his two main rivals were suspended. How convenient.

FIFA, a collection of thieves, gangsters, liars, sycophants, sybarites and assorted bastards, is now being run like a third world dictatorship. It’s only a matter of time before the UN send in a team to oversee their elections.

Following a week in which almost everyone associated with FIFA have been accused of taking bribes, if most football fans had their way they’d send in a team of US Navy SEALs – with the same instructions they had when they entered Osama bin Laden’s compound.

The FIFA Ethics Committee – now there’s an oxymoron – have vowed to investigate all accusations of chicanery – and in breaking news the Papal Nuncio has just inked a three-year deal to play in central midfield with Glasgow Rangers.

The World of football was prepared to overlook FIFA’s various transgressions until they awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. Most people ignored this at first. Under the impression that Qatar was a wrist watch they assumed it was a sponsorship deal.

Then we were assured that Qatar is an actual country, with temperatures of up to 50 in the summer. Qatari lizards only venture out in sombreros, slathered in sun block.

Holding the World Cup in this particular Arab Emirate is the equivalent of running the Winter Olympics in Barbados.

Speaking before yesterday’s “coronation”, Blatter, reacting to claims that he is an unmitigated fucker and that Qatar bought the World Cup with bribes, said that football’s governing body is not corrupt, not in crisis and there won’t be a new vote for the venue for the 2022 World Cup.

So you can now take it that FIFA is corrupt, is in crisis and that the 2022 World Cup won’t be held in the middle of a desert. With Blatter – who couldn’t be arsed making up proper lies anymore – it’s just a matter of reversing everything he says to arrive at the truth

“Our pyramid is intact, the base, the foundation is strong and together we have four years to continue on our path and do our job.We will put FIFA’s ship back on the right course in clear, transparent waters. We need some time to do it, but we shall do it,” he lied after he was elected for a fourth term.

Our neighbours England, backed by Scotland, were the only ones to raise an objection as the World’s football association’s – including, I presume, our own crew – shamelessly applauded Blatter.

The English and Scots were seeking to have the election postponed to enable an investigation into FIFA corruption but were isolated to pave the way for a dictator to sneer his way back onto the throne.

The game is up folks.


Barry McGuigan’s New Book. Cyclone: My Story

DAVID O’LEARY’S penalty in the shootout against Romania in Italia 90, Gerry McLoughlin going over the line against England festooned with Saxons, Michael Carruth’s gold medal win at the 1992 Olympics, Sonia O’Sullivan’s World Championships win, Ray Houghton putting the ball in the English net in 88.

My goal against for Prospect Priory in the 2nd round of the Moriarty Funeral Home & Pizza Parlour sponsored Division 1Z Cup at a wind and piebald pony swept Cals Park in 93 is another much debated moment in Irish sport.

That strike set a new record for deflections en route to the net, taking about 10 in all, including a ricochet off a low flying jackdaw, squaaaak, before inching it’s way apologetically over the line. We would have won that morn if there hadn’t been an opposition.

Ah, the great Cals Park, our field of dreams. Messi and the like merely have to make their way through a congested penalty area. In Cals, you had to avoid defenders, at least five different breeds of domestic dog, ponies, horses, winos, abandoned furniture, Gardai dragging a defender off the field – if it was a hurling match the bastards would have waited until full time to arrest him – and one opposing team brazenly starting a match with 13 players.They were using the revolutionary 4-5-3 formation.

Meantime, what about Eamon Coughlan breaking the four minute mile – after his 40th birthday – or Bernard Dunne dropping Ricardo Cordoba three times in the 11th round to claim the WBA super-bantamweight title. Earlier that same day, Ronan O’Gara, the hand of history on his shoulder, fired over the drop goal that bridged a 61-year gap since Ireland last won the Grand Slam.

All great Irish sporting moments. However, I reckon that Barry McGuigan dethroning the great Panamanian WBA featherweight champ Eusebio Pedroza on an emotionally charged night at Loftus Road in London in 1985 tops the lot.

McGuigan was at the National Stadium recently, trailing clouds of past glories. He was demonstrating, shadow-boxing style, how body shots could put manners on an opponent.

The shadow took two standing counts and its corner three in the towel before it was shifted off to the Mater gasping for breath, a pale imitation of its former self, ahem.

The former Irish Olympian was also at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin on Friday to launch his new book; Cyclone: My Story, a 260-page tome which has been acclaimed by Daniel Day Lewis.

Raised in the border town of Clones, Co. Monaghan, at the height of the troubles, McGuigan’s profile went far beyond the squared circle. He united people across sectarian and religious divides during a difficult time in Ireland’s political history.













A Catholic, Barry married his Protestant childhood sweetheart, Sandra, in 1981. An Irishman, he fought for the British Title, wearing boxing shorts in the colours of the United Nation’s Flag of Peace – and in place of a national anthem his musician father, Pat, sang a heartfelt rendition of ‘Danny Boy’ before his son’s title fights.

From the moment he took up boxing aged 11 after finding an antique pair of gloves in a derelict house to the build up to his world title fight, Cyclone: My Story spans the extraordinary highs, and lows, of McGuigan’s career.

He evocatively recreates his early days in the amateur ranks (training in a club run by farmers), his unsuccessful visit to the Olympics and his decision to turn pro, and then his progression to title-fight contender. Recollecting each of his fights, his vivid prose takes you right to the heart of training and sparring, and provides a blow-by-blow account of what happens when you step through the ropes into the ring.

Written with the perspective of a sportsman who has reached the peak of his game and then experienced life outside the ring, Cyclone: My Story contrasts professional glory with personal tragedy. Reflective and contemplative, McGuigan discusses the experiences of his daughter’s illness, brother’s suicide and the impact of the Young Ali fight to provide a unique insight into the place of success and boxing in his life.

Nigeria-born Ali slipped into a coma after he was KO’d by McGuigan in London in 1982. He died five months later. McGuigan, who dedicated his win over Pedroza to Young Ali, admitted that he was devastated.

“I went to the neutral corner and Ali did not get back up. The ref counted ten and he still did not move”, McGuigan recalled.

“I hadn’t taken up the game up the game to do something like that to somebody. I wanted to get the better of my opponent but I never wanted to hurt them. It shocked me, profoundly shocked me.”

“I was very down about it, very upset, I was questioning why I was boxing, whether or not I should continue. It was a strangely lonely and isolating experience to
go through.”

The tortured morality of little wars. Maybe it was McGuigan’s tragedy to find himself articulate in such a dangerous language.

He recalled the moment in the 7th round when he finally broke the resistance of Pedroza at the home of QPR.

“The crowd were going absolutely mad as I went to a neutral corner as the ref was giving the count. I did what any good pro should do and turned to look at my corner.

“They should be calming you down, giving you advice – “throw a left and a right, hit him with a big left hook.” But I looked over and they were just leaping up and down and behind them the crowd were going crazy. I stood there thinking, what punch should I throw now?

“Pedroza really was a great champion as he came back strong in the eighth round, but the seventh was the turning point definitely, there was no way I was going to be denied after that.”

Shot-through with McGuigan’s characteristically unassuming, straightforward and open manner that won him a loyal army of fans, Cyclone: My Story is a fascinating portrait of one of boxing’s biggest icons.

The Clones Cyclone claimed 32 wins (28 KO’s) from 35 fights between 1981 and 1989.

Is this a shameless plug for McGuigan’s new book? Yes it is. We’d do anything around here for free drink.

However, a brown envelope is our ultimate target.


New end of days date, Oct 21. Repent.

The evangelical movement in the USA are all for Israel I notice, ostensibly anyway. Fair play to them for that much at least.  However, the Jews need to be reminded that the main reason some Christians movements are supporting Israel is because they believe that the second coming – potential first coming for Jews – of Jesus will occur in their ancestral homeland.

Note to the evangelicals. Make sure Jesus has a birth cert linking him to King David this time out or the whole thing will go pear shaped again.

To be nailed to a cross once is unfortunate, but to to find yourself climbing up that hill being flogged by Roman centurions a second time is just carelessness.

Meantime, someone should have mentioned the above to the deluded followers of Harold Camping.  The California preacher predicted that last Saturday would be the end of days, courtesy of a rolling earthquake.

Hundreds of the mad fuckers followers sold their properties and donated their life savings to his Family Radio International in anticipation of being raptured into the heavens.  But the only rapture experienced on this planet last Saturday was by Leinster pilgrims witnessing their Lazarus-like second-half resurrection in the European Cup final in Cardiff.

Camping, who had been hiding out in a Motel for the last few days – this may have had something to do with the fact that most of his disciples want to slay him – resurfaced yesterday, and, confirming that he’s a few knives short of the full cutlery set, confessed that he miscalculated with the date.

“I didn’t work out the dates as accurately as I could have, “said the 89-year-old retired civil engineer, who insists that the financial plight of his followers are not his responsibility.  He’s also claiming that the rapture took place in the spiritual sense. Moreover, he now predicts that the new, improved, all-singing and all-dancing apocalypse will fall on October 21 – in the physical sense I presume.

This isn’t the first time he’s fucked up – leaving aside that saying he fucked up is implying by proxy that there was a possibility that he could have been right in the first place – with his doomsday predictions.  He predicted the world would end in 1994, but humanity survived that year despite Alex Ferguson being offered a new contract at Old Trafford.  His predictions involve applying numerological formulas to Bible yarns. According to Camping – and nobody will believe his radio right now, quite literally – May 21, 2011 is exactly 7,000 years since the biblical flood obliged Noah to build an ark.

Leaving aside all the lunacy, it’s hard not to feel sorry for his deluded followers, the victims of a scam courtesy of Camping who has build up a multi-million dollar “non profit” ministry based on his predictions.  Then again, best not feel sorry for them. Fools and their money are easily parted.

However, not everybody was disappointed by Camping and his predictions.  Bart Centre, an Atheist from New Hampshire, cleaned up after hundreds of lunatics forked out $135 each for him to look after their pets at his Eternal Earthbound Pets business after they were whisked up into the heavens. They’re all looking for their money back now.

But Bart insists he doesn’t do refunds and the pilgrims are a hopping and a lepping – Heaven knows they’re miserable now.  Meantime, October 21 is the date for the next ruptured rapture, or is it.

Apocalypse When Harold?

World Top Ten End of Days Predictors (note Munster,er, rugby is at number five)


The Millerites
Harold Camping, 1994
William Branham and the Pentecostal Prediction
The Anabaptists of Munster
Late Great Planet Earth and Other Prophecy Books
The Branch Davidians
Jehovah’s Witnesses
The Great London Fire of 1666


Anthony Stokes “Too Tired” To Play for Ireland

“He’s in the bag”, the Manchester United scout might have been thinking after he’d spent five days outlining the benefits of Old Trafford to teenage prospect Anthony Stokes at the SFAI Kennedy Cup at the University of Limerick a few seasons back.

You can see the winners at the starting block can’t you, and it was obvious to anyone who knew anything about football that Stokes was a kid going places. Passing, control, positional awareness. You name it, he had it.

He’d also scored in almost every game at the blue riband tournament of Irish schoolboy soccer as the Dublin District Schoolboy League won it out, again.

The SFAI Kennedy Cup is unique in Europe as it has all the best teams in the country under one roof for five days at the University of Limerick. The tournament is contested on a World Cup format, with the group winners going through to the knockout stages.

The second, third and fourth placed teams advance to the lesser Kennedy Shield, Trophy and Bowl knockout phases. Everyone gets a few games and at times the football, in contrast to the cynicism of the professional game, is a joy to behold, despite the nonsense imposed on the kids from some coaches with their clipboards and FIFA coaching manuals bollocks.

Because the tournament showcases the cream of the next generation of Irish footballers it attracts most of the top scouts from the top clubs in England and Scotland.  There was even a Rangers scout out there one year, ahem.

“Your’re a fine young footballer son, but what’s your take on the Blessed Virgin?”

So what are the scouts looking for in a 13-year-old?

According to a Wolves scout, they’re looking for players with passing, shooting and ball control ability and positional sense. They must also be willing to play for the team. Individuals tend to make managers nervous.

God only knows what they’d make of a young Best or Messi. “Son, unless you stop passing out all the players on the field and keeper and scoring hat-tricks you’ll have no future in the game.”

Meantime, Stokes was the name on all the scouts lips’ that particular year. United, though, were certain they had him in the bag. It’s not hard to see the attraction is it. Approach a teenager and tell him that United are interested and his parents will have him outside Alex Ferguson’s office before the scout arrives back in Manchester from Limerick.

However, Stokes opted to sign for Arsenal and that’s where the rot, as such, began.

Irish boss Michael Corleone aka Giovanni Trapattoni, diplomatically, blew a fuse this week when Stokes, who has since signed for Celtic, announced that he was “too tired” to play for his country in the Nations Cup clash meeting with Northern Ireland tonight.

There’s also a game coming up against Scotland ahead of the European Championships qualifier with Macedonia next month.

Midfielder James McCarthy, meanwhile, has endeared himself to Trapattoni and Irish fans by not even responding to any message left on his phone since he was named in the squad.
Other than that he can’t wait to line out for Ireland.

Reacting to the Stokes and McCarthy situation, Trappatoni confirmed that if a player was recently deceased that would be a cast iron alibi for not showing up for an international match.

“If they’re asked by the national team they must go. If they are in hospital or they are dead, that is okay.

“When I worked with Italian players I asked them what their fathers did, what time they got up in the morning. ‘We are lucky’, I told them. ‘We get up at 10 o’clock because we are sports people’. We are lucky, but we must enjoy playing football. Football is beautiful; it always gives another chance to win.”

But then the Irish manager went and spoiled it all by adding that he won’t be closing the door on anyone.

“No, no, we don’t forget anyone,” he said. “I don’t forget Carsley, we don’t forget Steven Reid. We look for new options, but we don’t forget anyone.”

Sorry Trap, we don’t go along with this anymore. This rot began with that self centered bastard Stephen Ireland a few years back when he refused to play for his country and is now downloading through the entire system.

Instead of closing the door on Ireland’s international career and telling him to fuck off Trappatoni and the FAI indulged him and demeaned the Irish shirt by pleading with him to come back despite the fact that he couldn’t be “arsed.”

The FAI and Trappatoni have to start restoring pride in the Irish jersey. If a player doesn’t want to play for his country then tell them their international careers are over. Make an example of them and close the door on any return. It’s as simple as that really.

Meanwhile, what happened to the young Anthony Stokes who celebrated proudly when the Dublin District League won the Kennedy cup at the University of Limerick?

What happened is that he signed a contract worth 20 or 30 grand, or more, sterling a week. Hand some young men that kind of money and it’s welcome to the parallel universe, a universe where playing for your country is an inconvenience.

That’s the way the game has gone. And as the money continues to pour into rugby that’s the way the oval ball game will go in the future.

Lining out for Ireland. They just couldn’t be arsed.