A Heartfelt Apology...

To football fans everywhere, to most of the 60,001* other people who attended the Ireland - Bulgaria World Cup Qualifier in Dublin last Saturday, and to Kevin Kilbane.


Well Fred, I'm glad you asked me that.

Y'see, it's like this - on no occasion where I have been to a competitive senior football match, whether at club level or international, has the team I went to support emerged victorious.

Not that I've been to so many; and in some ways that makes it worse, because I know so many people who are better and more devoted fans of the sport and the team than I.

So maybe I just need practice - you know, learn the songs, sing with abandon, work out the meaning of the expression

"They've got strength in depth" (???)


The first game I can remember being brought to was against Bulgaria, at Dalymount Park, Dublin, in October 1977, at which Ireland managed a 0-0 draw.

It went downhill from there, and the team, with me in attendance, never managed a better result until last Saturday's match, the result of which was a 1-1 draw**.

Inananyway, as we say in Dublin, my victory-vs-attendance record is, in statistical terms, negative, to the extent that I believe it may be some strange super-power that resists my using it for personal purposes.

This is the bit where I apologise to Kevin Kilbane, one of Ireland's most-capped players and the man who inadvertently scored an own-goal to help Bulgaria to an equaliser on Saturday.

Sorry, Kevin - I can only presume that my presence at Croke Park caused some sort of field imbalance that caused your nervous system to react involuntarily as that ball passed you, foiling your attempt at what would otherwise have been a perfect clearance.

There may be hope, however.

As an experiment to see whether this power can be directed in any way (not 'inananyway' - that's different), I plan to attend the Manchester Utd - Tottenham Hotspurs game at Old Trafford, Manchester, on April 25th next.

As a gesture to Liverpool fans, I plan to quietly support Manchester, which could conceivably cost them three points and potentially the Premiership title.

Getting out of Manchester alive could be problematic, but I am not without resources.

* The official attendance was 60,002
** Note to American viewers - the result of a match (game) is considered a draw (tie) if both teams have scored the same number of goals (points) at the end of normal playing time. A draw is considered a legitimate result, ultimate victory being decided either on goal difference or by means of a penalty shootout (but not with guns).


Emma said…
I like Kevin Kilbane. I like "triers" hehe.