Saturday 21 September 2019

On top of the world despite battle scars

Weird Wide World of Sport

Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portuguese team-mates celebrate their Euro 2016 triumph
Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portuguese team-mates celebrate their Euro 2016 triumph

Dave Devereux

At the weekend my two main passions in life (apart from the good lady and kids of course), music and sport, came seamlessly together and gracefully went hand in hand like a world champion figure skating pair.

Leaving two kids that had just recovered from a vomiting bug in capable hands, myself and the better half got to enjoy a fleeting, wondrous sense of freedom as we headed to the capital for a concert.

Thankfully my musical path brought me to Marlay Park for Manchester madcaps The Stone Roses and not the more familiar surroundings of Croke Park, where pop princess Beyonce was no doubt entertaining the masses.

Before heading to the gig I found time to enjoy a few beverages and watch Wexford's fantastic win over Cork on the box - what's rare is wonderful and all that.

Having missed their reincarnation in 2012, I hadn't seen The Stones Roses perform in a couple of decades, pretty much the same amount of time since I fecklessly scaled the fence of the Hill and rushed onto the pitch to manically celebrate Wexford's last All-Ireland success.

When we tiredly stumbled in the door on Sunday evening and retook the reins of our excitable four- and six-year-old, there was still the not so small matter of the Euro 2016 final to whet the appetite - and I hoped it would end the weekend with a bang rather than a whimper.

For once I didn't particularly care who won the match, but the last thing I needed was extra-time as I tried to stave off the almost overpowering desire to curl up into a ball and nod off.

I'm not as young as I used to be and the weekend's shenanigans caught up with me quicker than Usain Bolt could burst from the blocks on his way to Olympic glory.

The Stone Roses had kicked off their show with the catchy anthem 'I Wanna Be Adored' the previous evening - a song that could have been written as a soundtrack for posturing Portuguese captain Ronaldo, although it was sad to see the narcissistic one hobble off on the biggest night of his footballing life, no matter what your views on the talented number seven.

Speaking of The Stone Roses' singalong set opener - some young buck beside me that definitely wasn't on the scene back in the early nineties repeatedly and rather annoyingly sang with great gusto 'I wanna, I wanna be a door'.

Well he was certainly locked anyway and I couldn't get shut of him quickly enough as we swiftly moved forward a few rows until his painful bleating faded blissfully away into the night sky.

While on the subject of shutting the door, Pepe is a player I have never been able to warm to due to his histrionics but he was masterful at the back for Portugal throughout the tournament.

We were even treated to a close up of the central defender getting sick at the end of the game, such was the effort and passion expended - a sight you'd be more likely to see around the fringes of Marlay Park as an over-indulgent concert-goer trying to relive their misspent youth learned the hard way that their partying days were behind them.

Of course Ronaldo, as he is prone to do, had to sap away whatever pity he had earlier garnered by doing his usual trick of parading around with his shirt off after the final whistle - possibly trying to dispel his manager's assessment that Portugal were the ugly ducklings of the tournament.

Twenty four hours earlier, like the Portuguese captain, I strolled out into the Rathfarnham evening with a contented smile on my face with the cheers and applause still ringing in my ears. The Stone Roses had brought me on a nostalgic journey back to fun-filled times and they were far slicker and tighter than I expected them to be.

I, on the other hand, after attempting to roll back the years, still feel a tad rough around the edges.

Like Ronaldo, I woke up this morning with some pains of battle but feeling on top of the world.

Sadly that's where the comparison ends though - the only six pack seen in these parts is the one I swiftly imbibed at a friend's house before making the pilgrimage to Marlay Park.

Wexford People