One of my very first memories in journalism, and still one of the more abiding recollections, involves Dermot Keely. It was the early 2000s, and a League of Ireland second-tier game that was a footnote even to the gutter of sport, as his Kildare County travelled to St Mel’s Park.

orking for Nationalist then, I’ve no idea now who won, but I do know that technology was letting me down and I was stuck in the press box in a panic as the floodlights went out long after full-time. Keely had been used to the same one or two local reporters looking for interviews, but this night he was left alone. So he meandered out onto the pitch and roared into the blackness, “Ewan, do you want some quotes?”

It made me feel briefly, if mistakenly, big.



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