Luck o’ the Irish – Part 1


A painkiller addicted drug fueled alcohol abusing shell of a man, I was the poster child for unemployment in Ireland


I remember I had sat outside the chairman’s office, listening intently.

‘Him?’ I heard the bald guy that smells of helicopter fumes and 2 day old Chinese takeaway say

‘Si amigo, el Irlandés’. The Irishman.

That fucking Irishman they’d say. Sometimes in a positive way, like oh yeah THAT fucking Irishman, but that only ended up coming about due to an Englishman, sorry, FUCKING Englishman that, old clichés aside, had my back from day 1.

I’d never wanted to become anything really. I was mired in obscurity in my hometown of Bray, Ireland happy to watch the days tick by hoping to avoid the dreaded knocking on my door of any number of dealers, loan sharks or dodgy people in general looking to sell me more gear, cash in a favour or get their money back. A painkiller addicted drug fueled alcohol abusing shell of a man, I was the poster child for unemployment in Ireland, or anywhere else in the world really. Chuck in absolutely zero desire to amount to anything and you had a receipt for disaster, or success, whichever side of the coin you’re on.

I did have a modest playing career in the doldrums of the footballing pyramid in the Emerald Isle. I say modest, I played more or less every game because I was the only left footer and willing to sit back at all times. 90 percent of the time I was off my face on some chemical, pill or something I smoked. The other 10 percent I was getting ready to get off my face, ready for the game or the booze fest afterwards, win lose or draw. I had the work rate of whatever would be made if a crate of Red Bull mated with a crate of Energizer batteries if both crates had been eating pure MDMA for a month solid. I never stopped, my body was literally rattling from the minute the day started, whether I was already awake or not, to the moment it ended. I was a car crash waiting to happen, which did happen, luckily in the confines of a football match with medical personnel on hand.

In the dying embers of a match I was playing, I was at Old Saint Mark’s FC in Bray, we were up against Boltby Rovers in a league game, it was the mid Ulster reserves division if I remember rightly, the score is 1-0 to us. They’d resorted to the long ball in the hopes of catching a break in the game. I caught a break that was sure.

As the ball came in high and diagonally across the penalty area, I jumped forward to head it clear with eyes only on the ball. I thought to myself I’ve got this, get rid of it and we’ve won there can’t be long left. As my eyes narrowed and the ball came closer into my vision, I felt like a truck hit me in the back and not only knocked me sideways but came tumbling down on top of me at the same time.

As I hit the rock solid surface I felt not only the wind and air rushing out of me, but an unbearable level of pain shoot right through my body. From the soles of my feet, up through both legs but almost mercifully not through my groin and manhood, but right through my core into my neck and through my eyeballs in the most forceful manner I’d ever known. I didn’t know if this was the lord having mercy on me or having his wicked way. Either way I wouldn’t have wished that upon any man, friend or foe.

I’ve broken bones before, I’ve ruptured and torn muscles but this one I knew was bad. As I opened my eyes I saw our keeper, I can’t remember his name, Davie, Danny or something, leaning over me, grinning that stupid bucked tooth smile and saying ‘Ya’ reet lad, come on get up’ but I couldn’t respond. I could see him there and knew in my mind I wanted to tell him I was hurt but he just started waving his hands in my face and shaking my prone body causing yet more pain and anguish into my already broken shell.

I woke from my shock induced coma a little over 9 hours later, emergency surgery done to remove my spleen, realign 2 discs in my back and fuse 2 others together in an attempt to get me able to walk again.

Walk I did but fall over I did even more often. During the recovery period of the multiple procedures I had endured, I fell over this one time and popped my back even more. Another emergency surgery to insert rods to get me upright again brought with it more pain than I thought humanely possible. To further add to my broken physique I broke my ankle in that latest figurative fall from grace, meaning not only do I walk with a slight hunch but my left foot clicks with every painstakingly awkward movement. I am, for want of a better term, a carnival exhibit let loose.

Since the on pitch accident it’s been 4 years. 4 painstakingly gruesome years that’s brought me from being down and broken on a football pitch in front 50 people to standing outside the office of a football clubs chairman ready to start my new career of football management. I never asked for this and I didn’t actively pursue anything to do with football that wasn’t as a player, yet here we are.

But it wasn’t long before she pulled me into her embrace and wrapped her long legs and arms around me. She’d actually been calling me for a while, in all fairness. With those tempting eyes and the flirtatious tones of her voice. Like a first love you just can’t let go of, or a deranged ex you just give in to because she won’t shut the fuck up. I digress.

The call, if you could call it that came a few days ago in form of an old friend, or more an old acquaintance.

— — — — — — — —

Next chapter – I’m leaving.

— — — — — — — —

11 thoughts on “Luck o’ the Irish – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Luck o’ The Irish – I’m Leaving | On the Break

  2. Pingback: Luck o’ The Irish – I’m here, just about | On the Break

  3. Pingback: Luck o’ the Irish – Carry on wayward son, the journey’s just begun | On the Break

  4. Pingback: Luck o’ the Irish – Away we go. | On the Break

  5. Pingback: Luck o’ The Irish – The end is near | On the Break

  6. Pingback: Luck o’ the Irish – In our own hands | On the Break

  7. Pingback: Luck o’ the Irish – Confidential information | On the Break

  8. Pingback: Luck o’ the Irish – The chairman’s intent | On the Break

  9. Pingback: Luck o’ The Irish – The quartermaster’s wife | On the Break

  10. Pingback: Luck o’ the Irish – The poison was the cure | On the Break

  11. Pingback: Luck o’ the Irish – The second cup final | On the Break

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