In this week’s column, The Secret Junior Footballer gives his take on who he views as the most stylish men in Limerick soccer.
The advent of water charges has seen a marked increase in the usage of the showers in our club.
Since Alan Kelly dropped the water bombshell last year, we’ve turned from a dirty, smelly junior football team in the pub every Sunday at 1 o’clock, into a clean, fresh smelling, prim and proper group of men, some groomed to within an inch of their lives.
When the importance of appearance of the modern player reaches down as far as our lowly level of the game, you absolutely know that football has disappeared completely up its own waxed crack.
Of course, footballers of the past became noteworthy for their image as well as their ability on the pitch and young players immediately began to copy them. George Best’s style, Roberto Baggio’s divine ponytail, Chris Waddle’s mullet and David Beckham’s Mohawk became commonplace in local football and the trend has escalated exponentially with the birth of social media and the increased globalization of the game.
Coloured boots have long been a bugbear of mine, as has the trend for wearing skins during games. It neither gets too hot nor too cold to wear under armour and if we didn’t need it back in the day with lead-weight hand-me-down jerseys, we don’t need it now with today’s ultra light versions.
But before this turns into a grumpy old man rant, it’s time to reflect on the fashion icons we have in the local league. The legendary Turlough McNamara’s wellys don’t make it on to the list, but you have to admire his dedication to ‘club diehard chic’. He’s got the club hat, club jacket, club tracksuit and next time I see him, I’ll be checking for a club crest on those wellington boots.
Head and shoulders above everyone in Geraldines though is team physio Derek Hogan, who often looks like he’s been reliving his boyband days before leaving the house on matchday. Ballynanty Rovers gaffer Damien Conway beats Daithi O’Donoghue, one of Shane Clarke FC’s 14 managers to the Temur Ketsbaia lookalike award.
He does take it to the limit when Balla score however, ripping his top off and kicking the advertising boards is a bit much. Regional United’s Mike Aherne has long been right on the cutting edge of what’s fashionable and what’s not.
In fairness, he’s stuck to the ‘shirt with the collars out over a woolly jumper’ combo for 20 years but I have confidence he’ll shock the football world some day and show up for the team night out in skinny jeans and one of those plunging v-neck t-shirt.
Finally, pride of place must go to Gordon Stewart’s divine moustache which has become bigger than fashion, lasting through the decades. If the man hadn’t decided to be a top goalkeeper for 25 years he surely would have been a shoe-in to seamlessly replace Freddie Mercury as lead singer of Queen.
PS What a league run-in we have in store, Moyross welcoming Carrick to the northside in the FAI Junior Cup, the relegation scrap at the bottom of the premier division and the money fight at the top will all be compulsive viewing.