Article from the Grange Parish Book suggested for reading this week (week 15)
From 'The Kingdom' to Grange
There are several articles in the Grange Book about sporting people and events, involving people from Grange or with Grange connections. GAA games, athletics, soccer, rugby, greyhound racing, coursing and show jumping are featured in one or more articles. All of those articles, in no particular order, will be suggested for reading in due course.
The GAA hurling and football national leagues are well underway and the reigning All-Ireland hurling champions, Limerick, already had some significant wins. We hope that Limerick's league campaign will be very successful in advance of the defence of the 2018 All-Ireland championship title. Of course, we hope that the Limerick footballers will also have a great league campaign.
This week's article, From 'The Kingdom' to Grange, is about a long-time Grange man, Jerry O'Riordan, who was a member of the Kerry senior football team that lifted the Sam Maguire Cup in 1962. Jerry played at left half forward in the final against Roscommon at Croke Park.
Jerry wrote a wonderful article for the book - he charted his life from his early years growing up in County Kerry right up to 2015. It is a fascinating story, told with feeling and sincerity. Since Jerry penned the article, his wife, Bridie, passed away, RIP. As one might expect, football featured strongly in Jerry's story, but it is clear that family has always been his primary concern throughout his life - his parents and siblings in his early life in Kerry and his own family since he moved to Grange all those years ago. Jerry has also been devoted to his work over many decades.
The following is an extract from Jerry's article:
"Football in my early years was all about the local rivalry. Imagine the Old Road taking on the New Line or Holycross, and then occasionally playing in a more serious tournament involving teams from Bruff or Meanus.
There were no underage competitions, and I used to hear the old men discussing a promising young lad and wondering if 'he will get the jersey'. I didn’t appreciate what that meant until years later when I played for the first time with a number on my back. I was 15, playing for Killorglin Tech, in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney, against the much larger Killarney Tech that our team had never beaten.
I remember being formally handed a folded ‘number 3’ jersey, and then we sat down for the pep talk that consisted of… 'Right lads, now go out there and don’t disgrace yourselves'. When we realised that they were no better than ourselves and won the match, it was major news for weeks afterwards."
Next week (week 16) we will suggest another article for reading.
Kind Regards to All.