Monday 26 September 2016

Irish fan who has been getting free haircuts for 22 years doubles winnings after Brady goal

Cathal McMahon

Published 23/06/2016 | 18:10

Giacomo Licata and Steve O' Farrell in Bristol today
Giacomo Licata and Steve O' Farrell in Bristol today

An Irish fan who has been getting free haircuts for 22 years after a bet with his barber has just doubled his winnings.

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Steve O'Farrell (58), who is originally from Rathfarnham, South Dublin, bet his barber Giacomo Licata (50) that Ireland would beat Italy in the 1994 World Cup.

His prize was a free haircut every month for the rest of his life.

Last month Giacomo tried stop Steve's free ride by offering the Irishman 'double or quits' on Ireland's final group game against Italy last night.

Confident Giacomo's plan was foiled by a sublime 85th minute Robbie Brady header and now the Bristol barber has been left counting the cost of the defeat.

Not only does he still have to cut Steve's hair every month, he also has to give him a free bottle of wine every time he visits.

Steve, who is a retail concessions manager for Bristol City FC, said: “I'm delighted, not only because of the bottle of wine but more importantly with the win.

“When Wes Hoolahan missed that chance I thought it wasn't going to be our night. But then that goal, wow.

“I have never seen this Irish team play that well and it was a sublime performance.”

Giacomo, who runs a barber shop in Filton, Bristol, was left licking his wounds this morning and he joked to Independent.ie that Steve will bankrupt him.

He estimated that he has given haircuts worth around £12,000 (€15,700) to Steve over the last 22 years.

“I can still remember that game in 1994 when Ray Houghton scored. When I saw that go in Steve was jumping around in my head.

“I don't know precisely how much I have given out in free haircuts but I estimate that Steve could buy a car for himself with the savings.”

A decision has not been made on what type of wine Steve will get with each visit but Giacomo joked that it will be a 'mini-bottle'.

As for Steve's next wager. He wasn't at the game last night in Lille as he was celebrating his 30-year wedding anniversary.

Both he and his wife are flying out to Bulgaria for a few days on holiday and he is considering a detour back through Paris.

“When we beat France we will be playing either England or Iceland in Paris. There are flights from Sofia to Paris for €23 with Wizz Air. I think I might take a gamble on those,” he joked.

Steve contacted us at fanzone@independent.ie, you can too

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