Saturday 21 September 2019

'Money is just a means to an end - and that's it'


Eoin Hand Pic: Sportsfile
Eoin Hand Pic: Sportsfile Business

Eoin Hand is a former Irish international footballer and manager of the Republic of Ireland football team in the early 80s. Hand, is now retired and lives in Moyvane, north Kerry with his wife Pauline. In his new book, First Hand, he tells the inside story of his time in Irish football. For more details visit

What's the most important lesson about money which your career has taught you?

That it doesn't matter how much money you have, it's a means to an end -- and that's it.

What's the most expensive country you ever visited?

The Scandinavian countries, such as Norway and Sweden, are very expensive. I was curious to know the wages over there for people to be able to afford those prices.

Do you play the Lotto?

No. I wouldn't go out of my way to buy a Lotto ticket. I was never really bothered by it.

If you won the Euromillions, what would you do with the money?

I'd travel more extensively - flying first-class all the way and staying in five-star hotels. I've never been to Australia or New Zealand and I'd love to visit those countries.

What's your favourite Irish coin?

The old half crown. It was the biggest amount of money I was ever given for my Communion. I got a few half crowns from relatives at the time and I thought I was a millionaire. It was a lovely coin.

Apart from property, what's the most expensive thing you have ever bought?

My car. It's a hybrid Mercedes so it's very safe and very economical.

What was your worst job?

I was asked to take over the AmaZulu team in Durban in the mid-Nineties. I didn't last long.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

Buying Eircom shares. I was caught out badly there.

What was your best financial killing?

I made a really good decision to buy my very first house in Portsmouth, England, when I could have rented it for very little money. I bought that house in 1969 and the price took off. I sold it in 2003.

If you could design your own euro note, whose face would you put on it?

Jimmy Magee. He was a great friend of mine. He was legendary and one of the nicest people.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

Yes. When selling my house in Portsmouth, subsidence was discovered. Luckily, my insurance company covered it.

Are you a spender or a saver?

It depends on my mood. Generally speaking, I'm probably a spender but I'm conscious of not being wasteful with my money.

iTunes or Spotify?

I'm 72 in March so I'm old-style. I like my CDs and my tapes.

What was the last thing you bought online?

A flight to London.

Would you buy Irish property now?

If I had the money, yes - as there's still good bargains to be had and I think the market is on the rise.

Do you ever haggle?

I'm a 'divil' at markets - I'm like my mother. I'll have fun haggling then. If I'm trading in a car, I'll haggle. But I don't think there's any point haggling in places where the price is set. I'll only haggle if it's worthwhile.

What three things would you not be able to do without if you were tightening your belt?

My car, my visits to Britain - as my children are over there and I love visiting them - and the ability of my wife and I to go out for a meal whenever we want.

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