This is a really quick post to tell you guys about the really cool prize I just won! I entered a competition to win VIP passes to an Off The Ball Roadshow featuring some ex Irish football players, an ex Irish manager, as well as a Liverpool legend and you'll never guess what!!?
I won!! I'll tell you all about who I'm getting to meet in the post below and I will try and do a write up afterwards to tell you guys all about it.
I never win anything
People always say that to me, but my thinking around it is: if you're not in, you can't win, so I always stick my hat in the ring for these kind of things, because every now and then, you're luck will be in and you can actually win! Hopefully these guys put on a good show this evening.
So, who am I meeting this evening I hear you ask? Ok, let me quickly run down through the names:
Graham is a best known for his 6 years at Liverpool, though he also played for Spurs, Middlesbrough, Sampdoria and Rangers. He captained Liverpool to European glory, player-managed Rangers and was Scotland's captain. Not only was he a top player, he also managed teams at the highest level, including Rangers, Liverpool, Galatasaray, Southampton, Torino, Benfica, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United. That's quite the list and he is remembered fondly by many fans at many clubs around the world. He is a real football man, no bullshit, just facts. I'm really looking forward to hearing what he has to say.
That's a very fresh faced looking Niall Quinn pictured above. He became Ireland's top goal scorer of all time in 2002 with a haul of 21 senior international goals, and it is a record that would have been there still, were it not for the prolific little man from Tallaght, Robbie Keane who took that honour soon after when he scored an incredible 68 goals for his country.
Robbie is a once in a generation player for Ireland though, so Niall's record of 21 goals for a small country like Rep of Ireland is still very impressive.
Niall is an extremely likable guy and I have met him a couple of times before on flights to Newcastle, and he always takes the time to chat and have the craic with the fans. He played his football for Arsenal, Man City and Sunderland throughout the 80s and 90s and like Peter Crouch, he had impressive skill for such a tall man - he is 6 foot 4 inches tall.
Kevin Kilbane is and was an Irish legend. He is third only to Robbie Keane and Shay Given for all time caps for the Green army and is a firm favorite with the fans, as he always gave 100% commitment and popped up for some very important goals over the years. His club playing carrer brought him to Preston North End, West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland, Everton, Wigan, Hull City, Huddersfield Town, Derby County, before hanging up his boots at Coventry City.
Kilbane was an ever present with Ireland and played an unbelievable 66 games in a row, a record which only Billy Wright can better in International football.
I suspect that not many of you non-Irish football fans will have heard of Brian Kerr. He is well known on these shores and would have been heavily involved in grass roots football in Ireland over the years and led an Irish U-17 team to the semi finals of the 1997 World Youth Championships. He went on to win European titles with our U16 and U18 teams the following year and was highly regarded at the time. His success at underage level eventually got him the nod for the senior manger role in 2003, but after narrowly missing out on qualification for the European Championships in 2004, he was subsequently relieved of his duties.
Brian went onto manage the Faroe Islands from 2009 until 2011, and he managed to get a couple of wins and a draw, which was quite the achievement, as the Faroe islands are traditional whipping boys in Europe and the majority of their players are part timers.
so, that's the four lads that will be there later on. I must say, I'm really looking forward to it.