It has taken Jim Beglin a lot longer to recover from a broken heart than a broken leg.
He was far too young when both happened but he has learned to live with the limp. He had no choice. For it is a lifelong promise. Passed down from one father's son to another.
Tom Beglin was having a check-up in the Bon Secours on a Saturday night in 1983; his son had signed for his favourite club, the best of the age, Liverpool, earlier that summer.
He had returned from shops clutching the late Herald, not a nurse in the whole place failing to hear how Jim Beglin was going to make him the proudest father alive. Within minutes, he was dead. He was 51.
"I can remember my sister running down the street towards me, so distraught," recalls Beglin, who had been due to see him the next day.
"He was ridiculously young. And there were six of us. Three younger than me at home. I can't dress it up. It's hard.
"He was my ear, the person I leaned on if I felt insecure or had a problem. He was getting all my five-pence pieces in the phone. He'd give me the guidance. I was emotional then. I'm emotional now. It was so unfair. And such a hard lesson to absorb about life so early."
Tom Beglin's life ended on July 18, 1983. Jim Beglin's Liverpool career began the very next day.
"From the day he died, I thought no matter what happens, I can't let him down now."
An archive search produces Tom Beglin's name in a Waterford team for one season - 1959/1960. A striker, his son remembers a man the boy would one day become.
"He was bloody competitive," says Beglin. (As was mother Betty, who played hockey for Munster). "I remember him arguing and getting in trouble with referees. I kind of took that on as well.
"I remember thinking at one stage, this is exactly what my dad told me not to do. But he didn't want me to be like him, especially when I started to look like a bit of a player in my teenage years.
"He didn't want me to be a mouth. But I hated losing. Squash. Hurling. Whatever. I can cope better now! But I just had this will to win."
Kilcohan Park, which housed Blues' multiple title-winning sides, was his field of dreams. He got there with De La Salle - hardly a soccer stronghold; then a trial with Bolton Wanderers.
He was diminutive but determined. Born on July 29, 1963, he was therefore usually a full year behind his age-grade contemporaries.
He started as a left-winger with Bolton but his feet betrayed him. Relocating at centre-back at Waterford Bohs, he styled himself in the guise of the emerging 'liberos' (Ruud Krol, Gaetano Scirea, Franz Beckenbauer) he occasionally watched on TV.
"As long as I had a brute beside me, I could play a bit."
On the bus to a youths' interpro tournament in Gormanston College, he heard that Johnny Giles and Eamon Dunphy would be scouting talent for their ambitious professional project with Shamrock Rovers.
Even though just 16, he did enough to impress and Giles brought him on an Irish U-17 trip to Cannes. He spent three years at Rovers.
Then he secured a coveted move to England; almost, but not quite, Arsenal. Through it all, his ambition and insecurity jostled together as prime motivating factors.
"I didn't want to come back to Waterford as a failure, have people saying he took the easy way out. I don't know, that's always been with me. It was the same after I had my leg done.
"I was still determined to give it everything. I knew I might never regain my standards but at least I didn't bottle it. Nobody could throw that at me. People always love to put you down whatever you do. I had it all to prove again."
That inner resolve was hardened by the tragic loss of the father who would never see him play for the club he adored, Liverpool FC.
Beglin, briefly, would form a bridgehead between old and new - but always winning - Liverpool.
He was Bob Paisley's final signing but it took him a year to establish himself at left-back ahead of Alan Kennedy, an Anfield grandee.
If life taught him to grow up quickly, so did a dressing-room brimming with vast talent and imposing personalities. Graeme Souness. Ronnie Whelan. Alan Hansen. Phil Neal.
At 21, he made his debut against Southampton in November 1984; within six months, he would score in a European Cup semi-final and see the vacant eyes of dead people staring back at him from a blood-scarred Brussels battleground at Heysel Stadium. A game that should never have been played on a night when so many shouldn't have died, and yet they played on.
Michel Platini scored the winning penalty for Juventus, celebrating ghoulishly; Beglin has buried the silver medal some place he can't remember. If only he could do the same with grisly, guilty memory.
"The coaching staff tried to shield me from it, maybe because I was the youngest. So I'd only heard of three or four people dying by the time I went out, and that wasn't even confirmed.
"I'd no idea of the magnitude of the tragedy. Yes, I've come to terms with it but I still went out there to win that night, we all did. None of us appreciated how big the tragedy was.
"At the end of the game, we walked towards the wall at the end of the stadium and there was just the leftovers of people's lives. It was terrible.
"We spent a very sombre, sober night, somewhere beyond the hills. We didn't even talk about the game. There was just silence. Shock."
Kenny Dalglish's appointment heralded a new era but a no less dominant one, if only domestically; a double, England's first in 15 years, in 1986.
"I remember when we won the league at Chelsea, I just cried. Because my dad would have been the happiest man on the planet."
An FA Cup final win against Everton should have heralded the beginning of a beautiful relationship; instead, seven months later, the next Merseyside derby would signpost the sickening end.
Or at least, its beginning. He would play again but not for Liverpool after Gary Stevens crumpled his leg in an attempt to win a loose ball that Beglin had already cleared.
Stevens would go on to win a League title and play in a World Cup; achievements that would be denied Beglin. He was just 23.
"Thank God I'm a glass-half-full person. I knew pretty quickly I was going to have to stick it in a little compartment somewhere in my brain and kind of leave it there. I really worked hard at doing that."
He's eager to stress that you have broached the topic, not him; the intensity of the city rivalry has trailed him from one century to the next.
"It annoys me that there are a certain amount of Evertonians who think that all I've done over the years is talk about my broken leg. That is absolute nonsense. It's b******s. I never go into it.
"I saw Andres Gomes' sickening injury recently, the look of horror on the faces of women in the crowd. The commentator set me up but I didn't go there.
"Yet still some people say I can't help myself going on about it. I don't know where that idea came from but it's out there. It's a myth. I never want to go there. It happened. There's nothing I can ever do about it now.
"I just had to put it away and not get angry about it. And I managed to do that a long, long time ago. I'm not the one who brings it up, I assure you."
Football's culture back then was prehistoric; they not only caged supporters but players, too. Beglin's injury allowed him to glimpse another view of the hallowed 'boot room'; in effect, he was shunned.
"I could have done with some help. At Anfield, if you're injured you're no good.
"You're almost like a leper and that was handed down from Bill Shankly. You didn't belong. And I didn't want to annoy them. I bottled it all up and tried to be the man you had to be then. And I did."
But he wouldn't play for them again. He travelled with Dalglish's team to the 1989 FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough. The darkest day.
"I feel embarrassed to this day because I was looking down at it all from the main stand. I wasn't fully appreciating what was taking place. It wasn't until I saw the first chest being pumped.
"'Oh my God. Oh my God.' And then we passed through the players' lounge. There was a BBC bulletin on and they were speculating 60 or so people had been killed. Somebody shouted, 'Turn that off!'
"And of course by the time we got home, the numbers were still soaring. You just can't forget. They're etched in your memory. If you spend time dwelling on those moments, it's heartbreaking.
"The 1980s were a tough time. And we were close to the community. The supporters knew where we went for sessions because there was a drinking culture. So we weren't detached from the average fan.
"And they'd be mentioned in our dressing-room because we could relate to them, and they to us.
"I think the club did itself proud, especially after Hillsborough. But you wonder now how those things could happen? But society was different then. And football was too."
Too much tragedy, much too young.
At this stage, he had also established himself in Jack Charlton's emerging jolly green giants, bowing to the transition from one style to another with little objection.
This story was over before it began.
"That's the absolute killer for me," said Beglin, whose final game came in 1986.
"I'd played four games for Jack and had no idea how it was going to develop. They were good to me. I'm not saying I would have been the regular left-back. But I would have had a chance. That cuts me up.
"I worked for a bit with RTÉ in Italia 90 and we were very close to the team. It was like being part of it. It was the next best thing for me. The lads were brilliant. If there was a night out, they'd always bring me with them. I wasn't out to seek attention, the buzz was just brilliant."
One night he was in Rumours nightclub and he found himself alone amongst the throng.
"I remember thinking to myself, 'I'm lost here'. All these guys are heroes. Nobody remembers who I am. This was not for me. I wasn't part of it anymore. I felt like an intruder. I walked out and never went back."
His dad taught him never to be a quitter. Successful surgery offered him a shot at redemption; the sylvan setting of Ipswich was suggested as a gentle alternative. Beglin chose fiery Leeds United, hungrily seeking a return to the big time.
His name commanded respect; his once-shattered leg prompted suspicion. They'd been caught out before with Asa Hartford.
Howard Wilkinson was as much a drill sergeant as he was a coach. The club wanted a pay-for-play deal. So Beglin had to prove his fitness to Sgt Wilko. "Here's the drill . . ."
"He arranged an impromptu five-a-side with kids, coaches, anyone he could find. I scored a few goals. Then he ran the a**e off me. He was known for his marathon-style punishments.
"I was in the ref's room and he said, 'Come into the office when you have a shower'. I was spent, I nearly fainted. I had to lie down. I was praying nobody would walk in. I felt really ill, I nearly vomited.
"He worked me harder than I had in years. I went for a two-day medical, hospital to hospital. I knew I was still struggling. I'd a problem with the right knee. I nearly hit the ceiling when the nurse was twisting and turning it."
Still, he signed. Typically, he got a knock in pre-season but was forced to play the opening game when Vinnie Jones creamed Gary Williams in training. Beglin gave away a penalty and had a shocker as Newcastle thumped them 5-2. Things got better, though. He even stood in for Mel Sterland at right-back as they secured promotion.
"It was a good team, a very simplified game. Vinnie's presence was huge. The away team would see this guy walking from 30 paces away, headbutting the wall. And they'd be thinking, 'Jesus, is this what we're in for?'
"Every away game a policeman would walk into our dressing-room and say they were delaying the game. The fans went on the rampage on the final weekend when we secured promotion.
"I shared a car with Mickey Thomas up and down the M62. We had a shared car from an Alfa Romeo outlet in Huddersfield. We'd meet in Birch services to pick it up. What a character. Gordon Strachan was already there. And the team got better when they got promoted."
Indeed, they went on to win a League title. But this was another story Beglin would not see to the finish. The cartilage in his other knee gave out. He could still play. But he couldn't stay fit. At 27, he called it quits.
Media work helped to impose order where chaos - drink, guilt, regret, anger - threatened. He started a family. Golf, too, was at once a haven but a release, too.
It hasn't always been smooth. ITV sacked him in 2012.
"I could create a stir but I won't. I asked for the truth and didn't get it. I found out later. It was handled really badly. I don't have a problem if bosses want to change things, that's their prerogative.
"Sometimes TV executives forget we've been in dressing-rooms. We can take it."
A regular with RTÉ, he is also now the voice of the Premier League globally and a respected one. He is a co-commentator, not a pundit, and takes pride from doing his research.
"It's my job! To inform the audience, be insightful and tell them things they don't know. There are plenty of fellas who feel that their name entitles them to go on and say whatever they want."
His love for the game never dimmed despite how it occasionally darkened his life. He's 56 now but 51 was the big milestone; he felt "obliged" to his father - and his son - to mind himself.
"My son, James, gets more angry about my career getting cut short than I do. He makes me dwell on it, think about it, go back to that place. He gets me a little wound up at times. I try to fob it off, not go back there, let it be.
"They're good therapy sessions for me. It's like lying on a couch except I'm standing up having a beer."
Though his dreams were tossed and blown, he walks on.