Mary Hannigan’s TV View: Highs, lows and low digs
Zamora’s goal is blown out of the water and Liam Brady throws Roy Keane in the bin
Liam Brady is reunited with his former manager and stereo repair man Giovanni Trapattoni. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Sporting life is a funny old thing: the highs stratospheric, the lows subterranean. Take Bobby Zamora. Time was he was serenaded, to the tune of That’s Amore, by crowds the length and breadth of England with: “When you’re sat in row Z and the ball hits your head, that’s Zamora”.
But on Saturday he was being likened to a footballing deity, Ruud Gullit declaring him to be “our Messi” on Match of the Day after his tasty goal against West Brom.
But you couldn’t but feel for Bobby: he was like a man who had broken the 100m world record only for it to be smashed again – and again – while he was still on his victory lap, his effort looking like a tap-in next to some of the weekend’s goals. There was something in the Premier League water.
Like Charlie Adam’s zinger against Chelsea, Wayne Rooney’s boomer against Aston Villa and Jermain Defoe’s dazzler against Newcastle, the latter leaving Twitter rudely suggesting that it prompted Niall Quinn to make love to Martin Tyler’s leg.
Well, he certainly has a grá for Liam Brady, as he told us when he appeared on Second Captains last week, recalling the awe and dropped jaws when the Chippy man used to stroll in to the Irish dressing room from his Italian Job.
(Before Brady made his appearance on the show, Niall and Richie Sadlier talked of the difficulties of life after retiring from football, how they missed the camaraderie, the routine, the banter, the thrill of the games, all that. A difficult time, so you’d want to be sensitive chatting to sports people for whom retirement looms.)
Meanwhile, Fairyhouse yesterday.
AP McCoy [quivering lower lip]: “Um.”
Anyway, the chat with Brady was rather excellent, not least his account of deciding to leave Arsenal after nine years to give life in Italy a go.
Arsenal secretary Ken Friar [trying to persuade him to stay ay Highbury]: “But you’re going to a foreign country!”
Brady: “I’m in a foreign country already!”
Back of the net, like.
And when he got to Juventus he talked of the efforts by everyone at the club to make him feel at home, the only blip being when the stereo in his apartment wouldn’t work. Knock, knock, repair man at the door. The gaffer, Giovanni Trapattoni. No, really. Brady still recalls him lying on the floor fiddling with wires to fix the problem. Legend.
Brady had, of course, a less loving relationship with Jack Charlton, but he insisted he wasn’t the type to bear grudges and was happy to let bygones be bygones. And then it was time for him to remove someone from the Good Wall, featuring the special guests’ chosen top 10 greatest Irish sports people.
“I’ll take out the fella from Cork,” he said, and with that Roy Keane was in the bin.
“Oooooooh,” said the audience. (Some grudges have yet to be bygoned).
In went John Giles, a demotion for Ronan O’Gara, a promotion for Paul McGrath and we have: 1) Brian O’Driscoll, 2) Henry Shefflin, 3) Rory McIlroy, 4) Katie Taylor, 5) AP McCoy, 6) George Best, 7) Paul McGrath, 8) Ronan O’Gara, 9) Paul O’Connell and 10) John Giles.
When it should be: 1) Paul McGrath, 2) Roy Keane, 3) Katie Taylor, 4) George Best, 5) Paul O’Connell, 6) Sonia O’Sullivan, 7) Christy Ring (Granny’s vote), 8) Ronan O’Gara, 9) Brian O’Driscoll and 10) Shane Long (for his equaliser against Poland).
You lost lifelong friends over the Good Wall too? We’re a hoot.