Friday, 19 October 2012

It Started With a Handshake

The request for the figure below came from the author of the ebook It Started With a Handshake, Diarmuid O hAinle.  I'll leave it to him to explain the significance of the captured moment...

"So, as the topless captain left the fray carrying an Oranje shirt in his left hand, McCarthy reached out for his right.  A quick look and it was given before the Corkman turned away again and continued on his journey to the changing rooms."

The above refers to a handshake between the manager of Ireland, Mick McCarthy, and his captain, Roy Keane, immediately after a 2001 victory over Holland which put the Irish well on the way to qualifying for the 2002 World Cup. It's an incident that many people in Ireland hold as being a key indicator of the relationship between the two men, which famously came to a head in Saipan days before the tournament began.  Roy Keane left his teammates and returned home, leaving a nation wondering what might have been.

The handshake is referred to in the title of my book, an alternative take on Ireland's campaign in Japan & South Korea, as despite there being animosity between the two men prior to that moment, it acts as a year dot to all that followed.  A nation was to be divided over the controversy and Irish football was never the same again.

I'm hugely grateful and proud to see the scene frozen in the form of Subbuteo.  It's a piece of history that I think, even when looked at ruefully, should take pride of place on every Irish football fan's mantelpiece.

Diarmuid O hAinle

Every figure and team is 100% Hand painted and created by Terry Lee - Subbuteo Art.

If you would like this figure, any team or a custom figure of you choosing please contact me at:


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