Joe Brolly: Cute hoorism is harmless and yerra, the audience love it
Gooch The Autobiography (Abridged)
Kerry has long been the main supplier of dull GAA autobiographies, and this one is no exception. There are a lot of stories I could tell but yerra, it might not go down too well with my sponsors. As Michael Healy-Rae said to me when he was asking if he could get a complimentary copy, "sure Gooch, you can keep the stories for the second volume."
To be honest, writing it was nearly as easy as playing against bad Mayo and Cork teams in Croke Park. Some lad whose name escapes me came up from Dublin and took a few notes as I was going about my day's work, taking calls from sponsors and my agent. I liked him all right, as he remembered the day I scored 1-4 against Mayo and said he'd never seen the like of it.
Yerra, that team I played on was the greatest ever team against Mayo and Cork. In 2002 and 2003, none of the lads could believe it when Armagh and Tyrone had the cheek to tackle Gooch in Croke Park. Páidí said in the dressing room at half-time he had never seen the like of it, and it wouldn't have happened in his day. The next year all that was forgotten when we played Mayo and no one marked Gooch at all. All the lads wrote their autobiographies after that one.
Yerra, there were some great stories all right. Galvo rang me on the day of one of those finals against Mayo and said, "It's time to get up Gooch." "What time is it Galvo?" "It's ten past three Gooch," he said and he pissing himself. I jumped in a car, and in the dash from the hotel put the gear on in the car, sponsored by Kerry Group, who I greatly admire. It was perfect timing as I was able to write it all down in my diary on the way in to the park. I walked out on the field and as soon as I saw who was at left corner back all the nerves left me. Thank f*** it isn't one of those Tyrone lads, I said to myself. Me and Star were winking at each other and trying not to laugh. That day I cemented my reputation as the greatest player of all time against bad teams.
On the Monday, we were below in a pub in Killarney and the bold Darragh told us a hilarious one. Didn't Clint Eastwood and Harrison Ford walk in on the Saturday and interrupt the Bomber in the middle of a song. The Bomber didn't have one clue who they were. Well, Darragh came back from the toilet to see Bomber with the two boyos in a stranglehold, one under each arm, and they roaring for help. Jaysus, it was pure Bomber. We had a great laugh. I made a note of the whole thing in the diary I keep for the second volume of the memoirs.
Michael Healy-Rae has taken me under his wing and is going to show me how to make serious money, though I am hoping I don't have to go to as many funerals as he does. He says never mind that fella Brolly, he's only a begrudger.
Michael is unbelievable! He has a sponsored car and he doesn't even play for Kerry. He was on Living With Lucy last week and although some begrudgers said it was the most embarrassing thing they ever saw, Michael had the last laugh when he trousered six grand for it.
My role model would be Pele. He wasn't a bad player, but as Michael said to me, "Yerra, he never scored 1-5 against Cork in Croke Park". I know he became a laughing stock in Brazil and around the world because they said he would crawl over crushed glass for a pound, but by God he stuck to his principles. He has done ads for Subway, Pepsi, Colostomy Bags, MMA, and even Viagra. I watched the Viagra ad and he says, "I don't need Viagra, but I would use it if I ever did." Hilarious. He also brought out an album called 'The King', something which is on my list of things to do.
When I went on The Late Late Show it was great publicity altogether. I know Tubs wrote once that Terry Wogan was the greatest living Irishman but that was before I scored 1-5 against the small Mayo lad whose name escapes me.
In fairness, Tubs is one of my favourite GAA people. When I said that that fella Brolly (who I think might have played football for somebody or other, and whose first name escapes me) had apologised to me about his outrageous remarks on my testimonial (sponsored by AIB, Zurich International, Brut for men, O2, Colostomy Bags (Ireland) Ltd, Cadburys and 15 others), it was a classic bit of cute hoorism. My favourite line was, "so he's obviously changed his tune". Between ourselves he didn't apologise to me at all for what he had said, but sure it was only a wee Kerry white one and the sponsors of Gooch loved it.
Announcing for the first time that a bit of the proceeds were going to Kerry and Dr Crokes was another cute move and the audience, who cheered everything I said, gave that a great clap altogether.
I rang Michael afterwards and we were pissing ourselves. I was sitting in the Green Room at the time, explaining to Tubs that it was three points for a goal, not five, and Healy-Rae in my other ear asking me if I'd open his new post office.
As I said to Tubs in the Green Room before I left in my car, courtesy of Killarney Audi, the choice of the driving connoisseur, these lads taking underage teams and lining pitches and ferrying car-loads to matches and all the rest is all very well, but it's not putting bums on seats in Croke Park.
Anyhow, with the first testimonial almost upon me (and a nice tax-free €200,000), my sponsors and I are already looking forward to the second one. The testimonial that is, not the memoirs, hahahahahahaha.
Sunday Indo Sport