Belfast Telegraph

Everyman Quigley is a glittering role model for us all to look up to

By Declan Bogue

On Saturday evening, Fermanagh forward Sean Quigley took himself down to the ground of his club Roslea Shamrocks to watch them in a junior league match.

At half-time, a number of youngsters went out for the tradition of kicking in and out of goals. In this age, the practice has largely disappeared as clubs are fond of chest-high fences around their pitches.

There was a time when men of all ages would join in this display of spontaneity, bringing their children onto the field in the hope of getting to kick an O'Neill's ball.

Anyway, Quigley was out there with the rest, kicking in and out of goal in his tracksuit bottoms and trainers. Asked if he had not had enough practice, he said that he just loved it.

Not in a million years would the likes of Bernard Brogan or Michael Murphy go for an impromptu kick the night before a Championship game. It says something about Quigley's personality that he would want to do so.

And the following day he went out and put the ball over Antrim's bar 14 times.

It was an astonishing variety of scores and skills he utilised in accumulating his total. There were efforts curled in off his left and right feet, free kicks that he took from the tricky right-hand side for a right-footed taker and a couple of '45's.

Some might scoff and say it's only Antrim, forgetting that he was being marked by Justin Crozier and Ricky Johnston.

On the stroke of half-time, Antrim threatened a revival, but Quigley had a chance to pin them back with a '45'. Antrim's Maor Uisce, Mick McGurn, was being ordered off the pitch by referee Barry Cassidy.

As McGurn walked off, Quigley asked him for a drink. McGurn obliged for his fellow Fermanagh native. The crowd got in on the joke when Cassidy became agitated.

Having been booked three minutes earlier, Cassidy warned Quigley his insolence could earn another yellow, but instead he milked the situation with the crowd. In the end, Cassidy sent McGurn to the stand.

Quigley popped the '45' over. He laughed as he left the field. The crowd were in on the joke.

His charm is only extended by the fact that he doesn't take himself seriously. He is a throwback. Old school. Childlike.

And the embodiment of the everyman in our own daydreams.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph