Growing up in my house there were two kinds of football. Football and soccer. No, before anyone starts, we’re not American. We’re Irish. My Mum’s from the hurling side of a Gaelic county and my Dad grew up in Dublin, in a cul de sac full of second generation Dubs like himself, influenced by their culchie parents’ love of the GAA.
That said, my mother somewhere along the lines, whether through a love of Kevin Moran, Denis Irwin or the colour red, became an avid Manchester United fan. I’ve often said she would watch the Paraguayan tiddly winks championship, if there was such a thing, so I suppose she had to pick someone to shout for.
My Dad, however, only really watches sport when he’s working at it, and only vaguely supports Sunderland because Niall Quinn’s a nice bloke.
Still though, to save confusion football meant Gaelic football and when talking about the other football, at least until after September, we generally said soccer.
Then I went and met a fella who grew up in the 80s when Irish boys were being lured by the dream of going off to the many big schmokes of England and being paid tens of thousands of pounds to kick a ball around for 90 minutes.
Now what? His football season begins tomorrow, just as mine begins to draw to its exciting close. He asked me last night, very seriously, who I would be supporting. His sister asked me the same a month or so ago and I was nervous to reply.
It’s a tough one for me. I support the Dubs, because I am a Dub! I support Clare, because it’s my second home. I support Munster, because my Mum, her five brothers and four sisters do (and my Dad hates rugby) and I’d be scared to do otherwise.
So maybe I’ve answered my own question. If someone you love loves someone…
Damnit, I think I’m a Liverpool fan.