Wednesday 22 March 2017

Dave Billings - A good, wise man has left us

Dave Billings
Dave Billings

I doubt Dave Billings ever had an argument that ended sourly.

He seemed incapable of storing pettiness, no matter the philosophical depth of a conflict he might become entwined in. It always struck me that he had the natural grace of those who know there is always a bigger picture than the winning or losing of games.

My first conversation with him was on the telephone, lasting roughly 30 minutes. It was resolutely one-way traffic too as he took issue with something I'd written about the Dublin team he served as a selector under the stewardship of 'Pillar' Caffrey.

Pretty quickly it was clear that our positions were irreconcilable, yet - in full flow - there was no roping down Dave Billings.

I happened to be in a shop, looking at fire-places, when the conversation started. My wife wondered afterwards why I hadn't simply hung-up, given I clearly wasn't getting a word in.

But Billings never made it about him or you. His words didn't come framed by spite or self-regard. And we both ended that conversation laughing.

A good, wise man has left us.

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