Steven Beacom: Rock Steady Eddie stands (or sits) alone
Recently I was walking around Mothercare with my wife, as you do when your second child is on the way, and who happened to be doing exactly the same? None other than Cliftonville manager Eddie Patterson. Funny the places you run into people.
Relaxed and laid back, rather than the passionate, animated and at times argumentative figure that can infuriate referees during Irish League matches, Eddie was entertaining his baby grand-daughter. Forget the Cliftonville players ,who have done so well for him in recent years, I know who the real apple of Eddie’s eye is.
Just days ahead of the Irish Cup semi-final with Linfield, Eddie was taking time out and enjoying himself with his family.
Just imagine what they were going through the year before when the Reds manager was sent a bullet in the post by some idiot, prior to a last four clash with the Blues in the Cup.
Patterson didn’t make a big fuss of it at the time, preferring to focus on the football and the match that his team went on to lose.
The dignified manner in which Eddie dealt with that appalling and disgusting situation displayed real class.
Twelve months on I’m sure he thought about it running up to the latest clash with Linfield.
And 12 months on, a happy ending is on the cards after Cliftonville’s dramatic 3-2 replay win over Linfeld to reach the final, where north Belfast neighbours Crusaders will be the opposition.
Patterson continues to prove himself as an excellent manager, challenging for the title in previous seasons and after a tricky start to this campaign, he has steadied the ship and guided the Reds to the Irish Cup final.
And after serving a lengthy touchline ban, Eddie will be out of the stands and down by the pitch.
He truly does deserve his day in the sun.
Hey Keano, look at how McCarthy is doing now LAST Saturday morning Mick McCarthy was up at the crack of dawn. It wasn’t the exciting prospect of Wolves beating QPR and reaching the Premiership that got him up so early though.
It was the thought of varnishing his garage. Apparently Mick (pictured) enjoys a bit of DIY.
He has certainly been doing it for himself this season, guiding Wolves into the top flight.
Mick has had a few sticky times at Molineux and was under severe pressure this season after missing out on promotion in recent years.
But the former Republic of Ireland boss hung in there and has been rewarded.
A bit different to his old sparring partner Roy Keane, who ran out on Sunderland when things first started to go awry
IN tribute to Everton reaching the FA Cup final, I’ve decided the blue boys from Merseyside will be the subject of this week’s Top 10.
Remember, these are Everton players I can remember in my lifetime... so no room for greats like Dixie Dean, Alex Young and Alan Ball.
You will be interested to know that top class footballers such as Norman Whiteside, Paul Gascoigne, Mark Hughes and Peter Beardsley didn’t make it either with their best days coming away from Goodison Park.
Gary Lineker and Wayne Rooney are other notable absentees, simply because they weren’t with the Toffees long enough in my opinion while Duncan Ferguson also just missed out.
Anyway, here’s my top 10:
1. Kevin Ratcliffe
2. Neville Southall
3. Graham Sharp
4. Kevin Sheedy
5. Trevor Steven
6. Peter Reid
7. Andy Gray
8. Bob Latchford
9. Paul Bracewell
10. Dave Watson
ON the back of the farce surrounding the Irish Cup semi-final between Cliftonville and Linfield, I thought I would list all the useful rules in the IFA handbook.
See below ....