The Away Game

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Updated: January 13, 2014
The Away Game | Micky McArdle | Abu Dhabi, medical United Arab Emirates | Blog 001 | 31 January 2014
Ex-pat blogger, <a href=

store Mick McArdle.” src=”http://www.salthilldevon.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Mick-McArdle.jpg” width=”195″ height=”236″ /> Mick McArdle, cure pictured somewhere much sunnier than here.

 “Palestinians! Tell him not to f*****’ mention the Palestinians!” That was the only guideline provided to me by Bobby McDonald as we discussed my taking on this blog. It had come down from on high: Chairman Ollie had spoken.
Of course, the effect of the edict was like a black-and-white chequered keffiyeh to an Israeli settler. I simply had to bring the Palestinians into the blogosphere. Now that they’re here, they may pop up again from time to time.
This is my first blog. Ever. I’m privileged to have been asked to contribute to the brand spanking new relaunch of Salthill Devon’s website. I’ve called it “The Away Game” because, for nigh on 30 years, I’ve been playing away from Salthill. I played my last really competitive game for Salthill when we lost the Connacht Senior League to arch-rivals, Mervue United, at Terryland in 1984. I was broken-hearted. We were all broken-hearted. Gutted, I saw Noelie Fadden in tears. I remember little else of that evening, probably because, in the true spirit of camaraderie, we ended up with the victors in The Trappers on the Tuam Road.
Connacht Senior League Final Team 1984

Back row, L-R: Martin “Squeally” O’Neill, Vinnie O’Carroll, Mickey McLaughlin, Martin Ridge, Michael McArdle, Mick O’Donnell (RIP), Paraic “Posh” Fadden, John Herrick (player-manager) Front row, L-R: Seamus McGettigan, Tony Joyce, Ollie Daniels, Gerry O’Loughlin, Alan Kenny, Noel Fadden.

Here I must digress. I was never any good at remembering the details of games in which I played. Even afterwards as we sipped a cool Club Shandy in Lonergan’s, I could hardly recall who scored, who didn’t, even who played. Most of the lads could recall the games in minute detail. Thirty years later they still can. Mick “The Striker” Sweeney and Ollie Daniels can dissect games that took place when Methusaleh was a boy. Why? In any case, my hope is that, where my memory fails me, others will row in with the trivial details. I encourage this.
So, if you’re interested, Mick and Ollie will jump in here and give you the details, scores and scorers of the three play-off games. What they won’t know is what after-shave Martin Ridge wore to The Trappers.
Salthill Park, A Spiritual Home
“The Away Game”? Yes, life has taken me away from Salthill. Miller’s Lane and Drom were figments of Ollie’s or Jim McSpadden’s mind then so, for me, Salthill and Salthill Park is the spiritual home of Salthill Devon. Work took me to Dublin in 1985, to Boston in 1987, home to Salthill for a while in 1991, to Vermont in 1994, Connecticut in 1995, Boston again in 1996, Jordan in 1998, to Kinvara in 2001, abroad again to Jordan in 2009, to Carlow in 2011 and off again to Abu Dhabi in 2013. I travelled far but never left Salthill. Or, should I say, Salthill never left me.
Others, too, have travelled far but never left Salthill not had Salthill leave them: Mick Sweeney, in Abington, Massachusetts, married to Susan (née Bray) whom he met on the famed and storied SDFC American tour of 1983; Noel Fadden, last heard of in Duxbury, Massachusetts, and married to my former room-mate (along with Posh Fadden and my cousin, Colm Casey), Laurie (née Guarino). Vinny O’Carroll is our in LA; sparks to the stars, I haven’t seen him in years.
Admirably, Ollie and Bob want to try to connect with Salthill’s diaspora. I think it’s important. Let me know where you are if you’re out there kicking a ball in the ether. If you’re still in The Village and know of others playing The Away Game, please put them in touch. Bob said to stop after 400 words. Ollie probably hoped I’d quit after the first. We’re at 600. Bye…

9 Comments

  1. Anthony Vincent Doyle

    January 23, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Ridgie wore Polo after-shave

  2. Mary Van Dyke

    January 23, 2014 at 4:27 am

    Mick, how can I help find your diaspora? (Shall I check in Palestine?)

    • centrehalf

      January 23, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Hello I’m the admin for salthilldevon.ie.
      I also moderate the comments on the site. I’m sorry we won’t approve anonymous comments.

      • Mick McArdle

        January 23, 2014 at 2:44 pm

        Bobby, that’s my New Mexico cousin. Let her in…

        • centrehalf

          January 23, 2014 at 3:34 pm

          Apologies to Mary. Consider it done.

          • centrehalf

            January 23, 2014 at 3:44 pm

            Mick send my apologies to Mary. I have whitelisted her. Was worried it was anonymous spam when I looked at the website url.

          • Mary Van Dyke

            February 3, 2014 at 4:17 am

            This is fine Bobby! It actually shows you are doing your job! Goodonya!

  3. Oliver Daniels

    January 22, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Mickey, great start, and yes, I do remember Ridgey’z aftershave!

    • Mick McArdle

      March 4, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Ollie, I found a vintage bottle of Aramis at Schipol Duty Free and gave it to Ridgy over the Christmas. How’s he smelling these days?

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