herald

Monday 11 December 2017

McCarron did not help Tyrone's image

Tyrone defender Cathal McCarron. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile
Tyrone defender Cathal McCarron. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile

Guess the author of the following passage about Tyrone football.

"Tyrone have always had this image of having a black soul, perceived as this nasty shower of northern b*****ds that you wouldn't f**k around with, a crowd that would cut your throat to win."

Got it?

Yes, it was Tyrone defender, Cathal McCarron, last year in his firecracker autobiography, Out of Control.

Despite the less-than-flattering depiction of football in his native county, McCarron was adamant that the current county team don't share the darker characteristics of the feared side of the noughties.

"I can honestly say I have never said anything nasty or personal to a player on the pitch," McCarron wrote in an interesting and reflective chapter, largely lost in the reaction to the more salacious and dark passages elsewhere in his tome.

"I have never heard any of my Tyrone team-mates sink that low either.

"Them boys on the team of the last decade were big into the verbals, goading and taunting.

"Some of those boys would have said anything, done anything.

"This team wouldn't; it's not in our nature."

He went on: "I won't deny it's a part of Tyrone's footballing culture. But it is not in the DNA of most of these current Tyrone players to act in the manner in which we are collectively portrayed."

His portrayal of Tyrone club football however, was striking.

Here are some selected extracts: "Supporters were leaning over barbed-wire fences, whacking players on the head with umbrellas…one supporter had part of his ear bitten off…."

"…our manager, Noel McGinn, dropped a boy with a headbutt. One of their players then nailed McGinn with the force of his head…"

"Joe McMahon got his jaw broken once in a club game and lost so much weight afterwards that he looked like an emaciated greyhound…"

"Brian McGuigan nearly lost the sight in his eye one night one night in Aghyaran after a late and dangerous elbow.

"It took eight stitches alone to close the gash in his eyelid...."

"The cops are rarely called on incidents and offences which, if committed on the street, would lead to incarceration…"

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