By Sean Creedon
Republic of Ireland Manager Mick McCarthy has been invited to be the grand marshal of Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day Parade. Former Irish manager Jack Charlton was made a Freeman of Dublin, but never led the parade. If Mick’s lads do well in the World Cup Finals in Japan this summer, he too may make it onto the list of Freemen of the City. One of the privileges of being a Freeman is that you can graze your sheep in St. Stephen’s Green. Last year, the traditional March parade was postponed until May due to the threat of foot-and-mouth disease.
Republic of Ireland international Mark Kennedy was fined _1,500 last week and banned from driving for three years. Kennedy, who plays for English first division club Wolverhampton Wanderers, was arrested in Wimslow, Cheshire, in September last year for reckless driving in his Jaguar. At the time he refused to take a breathalyzer test and in court it emerged that he has a history of driving offenses.
It emerged last week that Roy Keane is the best paid player at Manchester United. And many would say rightly so, as the Cork-born midfielder is the man who makes United tick. Keane’s basic wage is _2.7 million sterling. In addition, he could earn over half _500,000 in bonuses if United won a few trophies this season. England captain David Beckham’s basic wage at Old Trafford is only _1.3 million, but if he signs a new deal, his money will jump considerably. Beckham also earns a lot more than Keane from endorsements.
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North-Spain match on
Northern Ireland will go ahead with their friendly against Spain at Windsor Park on April 21. The North and Spain have been drawn in the same group for the 2004 European Championships. The North’s next game will be against Poland in Cyprus on Feb. 13. They will then play Liechtenstein in Vaduz on March 27.
Quinn’s good deed
It seems certain that Sunderland and Republic of Ireland international Niall Quinn will be honored on Jan. 1, 2003 by the queen. Quinn’s decision to donate the entire proceeds from his testimonial game on May 14 to two children’s hospitals has won him high praise all over England. He expects to raise around _1 million from the game when Sunderland will take on an Irish XI at Roker Park. The money will then be divided between a hospital in Sunderland and Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin, which is only a mile away from Quinn’s parents’ house in Perrystown.
The kind gesture even got a mention in Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Question Time in Westminster last week. What a brilliant example Quinn is to young people at a time when the papers are full of news about soccer players getting into trouble on and off the pitch. The old saying that “an ounce of breeding is worth a ton of feeding” is definitely true in Quinn’s case.
Limestone Lad hurt
Champion hurdler Limestone Lad seems certain to miss next month’s National Hunt Festival at Cheltenham. The horse trained by Michael Bowe in Kilkenny injured himself while having his daily roll in a field.
“He got his legs caught in the timber rail, panicked and kicked down the rail,” Bowe said. “He got into a complete state of shock and at first we feared spinal damage.”
The horse may be recovered in time for Cheltenham, but would have missed out on several weeks of training. It’s a major disappointment for all of Limestone Lad’s connections especially as Cheltenham was canceled last year due to foot-and-mouth.