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All the best: Barry Keil discusses his favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

Published 07/12/2015

Trojan warrior: Barry Keil
Trojan warrior: Barry Keil

The 42-year-old is the chairman of Belfast's only American football team, the Belfast Trojans. Barry lives in Belfast with his wife Sophie and their daughter Heidi (2). They are also expecting their second child.

My best moment

Apart from getting married and the day my daughter was born, my best moment was lifting the Shamrock Bowl for the first time with the Belfast Trojans in 2012 — it’s Ireland’s version of the Superbowl. We’ve won it for the last four years in a row.

My best song

My favourite song is Master of Puppets by Metallica — but around this time of year that all goes out the window in favour of Christmas songs. Right now all I’m listening to is All I Want For Christmas by Mariah Carey and my current favourite Underneath The Tree by Kelly Clarkson.

My best way to relax

Laid up on the sofa watching Netflix and hopefully with a beer in hand. Sometimes I even succumb to turning on the Xbox and playing some games.

My best job

My day job is as a first assistant director — I’m currently working on the third series of The Fall. Otherwise, I love being chairman of the Trojans. I've filled the role since 2011 — I got voted in at an AGM that I wasn’t even present at because I was filming in Dublin, so I was never formally given a choice. We started to improve around that time, so now it feels as though we have a project that we want to complete. I’m nearing the end of my playing days, but I still want to be part of making the Trojans the most successful team in Ireland.

My best bit of advice

It’s advice I gave to myself about 10 years ago — to stop worrying about impressing people or what they think of you. I actually wish I’d realised this about 20 years earlier. Some people will like you and some people won’t, and that’s okay.

My best gift

A couple of years ago my wife bought me a framed photograph of the Teenage Kicks mural that was on a wall leading into east Belfast — the original one before it was taken down. I always thought that mural was the spirit not just of Belfast, but of Northern Ireland as a whole. It really means something.

My best achievement

Filming the final scenes of the movie Good Vibrations in front of a 2,000 strong crowd in the Ulster Hall with lots of bands and famous people. We had the writers and people who had been at the original gig crying as they watched it happening.

My best buy

My wife’s engagement ring — I thought she was going to say ‘yes’ and we’ve been married for three years now.

My best film

The Empire Strikes Back — when I watched it as a kid it meant everything to me and that feeling has stayed with me. It’s not the best film ever made but it’s the best to me because it started me on a love affair with the magic of cinema and what can be achieved. It’s carried through to what I do for a living now.

My best book

The best book I’ve ever read is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I loved it when I was much younger and I still do.

  • The Belfast Trojans are taking part in the Special Olympics Polar Plunge on December 12 at Belfast Marina (behind the SSE Arena). Sign up now at

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