Monday 11 December 2017

Soccer legend Tommy still knows how to party at 65


ONE of the biggest parties of the weekend had to be the 65th birthday bash for the one and only Tommy McConville from Farndreg.

The legendary footballer, who made 580 appearances for Dundalk, and was capped by Ireland, was there surrounded by his family, daughters Carol, Linda, Paula, Leanne and son Thomas, along with grandkids Jade, Saffron, Jake, Kristina, Amber and Kaycee and an absolutely huge collection of friends.

I was only in the door and I met up with the birthday boy and he was his usual buoyant self, in great form and making sure everyone was enjoying his party.

Not too long later I caught up with Susan and Eamonn McConville from Woodbury Gardens and when I asked were they related, Eamonn said: ' Tommy's lucky to have my name but in actual fact Tommy's the legend but I'm just the superstar!'

Not too far away I caught up with my old friend Peter McArdle from Greenacres with his delightful wife Phil and their son Don who is engaged to Tommy's daughter Paula.

Peter told me it was going to be a great night but he'd be taking things easy as all good father-inlaws-to-be should!

Meanwhile, I then caught up with Vincent McGuinness from Bay Estate who told me he had just dropped in to wish Tommy a very happy 65th and wasn't intending on staying.

Standing talking to Ned Smyth from Blackrock and Fintan Lynch from St. Fursey's Terrace, guess he'd be there for a bit longer than he expected.

Not too long later I then met up with Jimmy and Bernadette Murphy from Bay Estate who were enjoying the festivities with Briege Davis from Priorland Gardens who told me they are all friends of Tommy's and certainly wouldn't have missed the party for anything.

I then made my way to a table where I got talking to Vinnie and Aine Duffy from Ard Easmuinn who were there with Paul and Fiona Smyth from Manydown Close and the lads told me that their wives are cousin's of Tommy's and Vinnie told me that Tommy was almost as good a centre-half himself!

Also in their company were Darina Crimmins from Belfry Gardens and Nancy Rafferty from McDermotts Terrace who were there with Darina's daughters Alison and Nicola and their friend Lorraine Watters from Lennon Melia Terrace.

Meanwhile over at an adjacent table I then got talking to Nicola Campbell, Thomas and Conor Grant all from Newry who are all friends of Tommy's.

I then got talking to Rodney Meehan from Newtownbalregan who was with his wife Sandra and they were having a laugh with Caoimhe Connolly from Kilkerley, her friend Kayla Cunningham from Castle Park, Caoimhe's parents Andy and Alison Connolly from Kilkerley and Rodney told me both wives are nieces of the great man.

They were joined by an ex-playing compadre of Tommy's Sean Sheehy who was down from Dublin with his delightful wife Agnes who was having a laugh with Paul and Breda Cunningham from Castle Park, Fiona Cunningham and Tommy's nephew Colm McConville both from Oaklawns who were all up for making the best of the evening.

I then ventured over to yet another table where I then got talking to Dot and Mary Neary from O'Hanlon Park and Dot told me that he and Tommy had been Clansmen together and had won Louth Senior Championship medals back in '85.

After this I ventured over to a table where I got talking to Gavin McKeever from Ath Lethan who was there with his girlfriend Yvonne McEnteggart from Lennon Melia Terrace.

Gavin told me that he is the manager of Woodview Celtic and that Tommy is the mere assistant!

They were sitting with Harry and Leontia Todd from Mill Street who wanted to wish Tommy a very happy 65th.

Not too far away I then met Peter McGinn and Conor Mulvenna both from Muirhevna who told me they both play with Woodview Celtic and were with Alan Todd from O'Hanlon Park whom I was told is joint manager of Woodview Celtic along with Tommy and Gavin, different story from what Gavin was telling?

Not too long later I met up with Jackie and Aidan Costello from Knockbridge and Jackie told me that Aidan and Tommy still play football together.

After this I headed over for a word with Deco and Martina McGuinness from O'Hanlon Park who told me they have known Tommy for years and were up for a great night with him.

They also wanted to congratulate their daughter C. J. who had won the Leinster Boxing Championship recently, this was after winning the All-Ireland Championship last year under 12s.

Just in the door were Des Dunleavy from Blackrock and Mickey Clarke from Kilkerley who were in great form and Des told me he has known Tommy through football for the last 30 years and he wouldn't have missed the party for anything.

Next I met up with my the one and only Simon Woodcock from Bay Estate who was there with his delightful girlfriend Emma Kirk from Chapel Street and they were up for making a night of it with Simon's parents Fred and Eileen Woodcock from Greyacre Road.

I met Simon when he was talking to Tom and Linda Lambe from Channonrock whom I warned about the phrase 'guilt by association'!

Finally, before I departed I then caught up with my old partying mate Paul Murtagh from Annagassan who was there with his wife and Tommy's daughter Carol and their kids Kristina and Kaycee who all wanted to wish Tommy all the best on his big night.

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