Off The Ball: Lawlor still hasn't lost ability to be centre stage
It was fantastic to see Mickey Lawlor, at 42 years of age, score two goals in the Laois county final at the weekend.
Scoring the two goals for Emo, a tiny village, against overwhelming favourites Portlaoise underlines the achievement.
To still be playing at such a level is a credit to him, an often-maligned ex-team-mate of mine. In footballing terms, Mickey was a similar type of character to me: a party man stuck inside an inter-county footballer's body. Being torn between a game you love and missing out on normal things most young men take for granted is not easy. In attempting to do both, we hit a few bumps in the road.
What most people didn't see was his effort in training. He never missed training, despite his antics at the weekend, and he consistently led the runs during Micko's infamous stamina training.
Give me a player like that any day over one that stays in at the weekend and hides at the back in training, coasting along.
Mickey was brave, skilful and committed and will be remembered as one of Laois' greatest forwards. A county title would be a perfect end for him . . . but unfortunately that's not going to happen.