Never meet your heroes? I met my hero, and he was just what I’d hoped he’d be
Daragh KeanySunday World
WHOEVER said you shouldn’t meet your heroes clearly never met Irish goalkeeping legend Packie Bonner.
I don’t go to many events these days between old age as well as the added responsibility of having two girls (12 and nine) who have busier social lives than anyone else I know and can’t yet drive.
So the notion of going to the pub on a Monday night with people I don’t know is so far off my radar that I usually don’t even read the full email. But something piqued my interest in an email that came in last week. Ladbrokes were hosting an event in a bar last Monday to coincide with the Wales v USA game and they invited Packie Bonner and Stephen Hunt along to do a panel discussion.
Hook that s**t up to my veins. I remember Bonner’s save against Romania so vividly. I was 10 and in the RDS with a pal and 6,000 other fans watching it on the big screen.
The next day I was straight into goals for my school team and soon I was the regular keeper; a position I savoured for decades afterwards.
So, safe to say I went full fanboy on Monday as I got to meet my hero face to face. He was engaging, fun, witty and interested in me too. I would hazard a guess that he hasn’t bought a pint for himself in 32 years. The whole bar, kitted out by Ladbrokes, was hanging on his every word. No ego or notions... just a class act happy to chat to fans about the good old days.