7th June 2012
By April I had effectively resigned myself to the fact that I would not make it to the Euros and my girlfriend thought it would be a much better idea to go to Tenerife with her. Nice and relaxing she said. As I lay in the sun unwinding from the rigours of being a 24 year old lad with no mortgage or kids, I received the best phonecall of my life. I nearly fell off the feckin’ lilo! A free trip to Poznan with match tickets to boot. Which one of the lads was taking the mick out of me? I tried to convince him he was winding me up but after a while I accepted the fact that I had won, and that I was the jammiest git in the world. I was delighted. I was in shock. I needed a drink.
Speaking of shock, you should have seen Ashley’s face light up when I told her it was a trip for two. I told her there was nobody else in the world that I wanted to share this once in a lifetime experience with. So let me introduce you to my mate Kenna. That’s him in the photo below with the green curly wig beside me as we went to get the essentials for the trip ahead. He’s the other jammy git that received a life changing phone call that week. Is life changing a bit strong? Well it’s definitely a life highlight. Two weeks of the finest, purest craic imaginable.
I have to say it was a tough decision deciding who to bring, and all the lads presented a strong case to be fair. My dad was also in the mix aswell, fair play to him. Then there was a generous cash offer from some nut on twitter to consider but seeing as I’d be spending two weeks in a tent with him I decided on Kenna who is an avid Ireland fan and is apparently related to Keith Fahey through his auntie’s neighbours goldfish. It was actually great to be able to phone him up and literally give him the best news ever. “There’s no gift like the gift of life” – rubbish! We're going to the euro’s…
So it’s the eve of the big adventure and I cannot wait to get going. I can’t help feeling I should be more prepared but I have my jersey, a toothbrush and my interrail pass and I’m kind of hoping the rest will fall into place. All I can feel is pure excitement. Excitement that won’t allow me to think of anything other that the feeling I have that this will be momentous.
Results aside, I will never forget this trip. I genuinely feel I am about to be a real part of something huge. I was 7 months old when Joxer went to Stuttgart and Houghton stunned England, but what a moment in Irish history that was. A moment I have heard of, read about and watched countless replays of during my life to date. I pray for a similar moment next week. I pray for the 40,000 travelling paddies, and for everyone still at home that this tournament will produce moments of pure ecstacy that will still be spoken of relentlessly in 24 years time. Just imagine! The youtube playlist below is going to be on repeat as we trek towards Poland in the coming days. It contains some of the single greatest sporting moments, and the soundtrack to them, in our history. I cannot wait to see what will be added to this playlist over the next month!
Let the games begin - COME ON YOU BOYS IN GREEN!!