Soccer as metaphor


A chara, - Further to Paul Scanlon’s letter (March 14th)in response to Laura Kennedy’s comments on football and make-up (“Make up is as trivial as male pursuits like football but which one is taken more seriously?”, Life, March 13th), perhaps JB Priestley’s insights in his novel The Good Companions of 1929 might add some perspective.

“To say that these men paid their shillings to watch twenty-two hirelings kick a ball is merely to say that a violin is wood and catgut, that Hamlet is so much paper and ink. For a shilling the Bruddersford United AFC offered you Conflict and Art . . . with half the town, and there you were, cheering together, thumping one another on the shoulders, swopping judgements like lords of the earth, having pushed your way through a turnstile into another and altogether more splendid kind of life, hurtling with Conflict and yet passionate and beautiful in its Art. Moreover it offered you more than a shilling’s worth of material for talk during the rest of the week. A man who had missed the last home match of ‘t’United’ had to enter social life on tiptoe in Bruddersford.” – Is mise,





Sir, – Michael Redmond writes that “Like life, a football match is set to a clock” (Letters, March 15th).

In that case, I hope I get some “Fergie time”. – Yours, etc,



Co Donegal.