Cork City players promote the club by being so approachable

Cork City players promote the club by being so approachable
Cork's Kevin O’Connor and Gearoid Morrissey ahead of a recent game. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

The Barbara O'Connell Column

I was out getting petrol recently in Grange when I bumped into Cork City midfield star Gearoid Morrissey.

We stopped and talked football for awhile before both of us got on with the daily boring chore of buying food and petrol.

But it got me thinking.

How lucky are we in Cork that our sporting heroes are right on our doorstep and living like us.

Every week I admire Morrissey and all the other Cork City players for what they are doing on the field of play, but I have to say, how they conduct themselves off the pitch is a huge credit to them as people and the club for which they play.

It's the same for all Cork sports stars really. 

The GAA and the rugby stars remain so humble and approachable, once it's done in the correct way, and at the correct time, that it is something that we Cork people should never take for granted.

I regularly watch how the City stars, the like of Maguire, Morrissey, McNulty and others mix with the fans after games, before games and on the way into Turner's Cross.

And I have to say, like their football at the moment, it's first class and a joy to see.

Take the example of Morrissey I mentioned earlier.  He is the fan favourite, not just because of his footballing ability, but because he is a nice guy, who has never lost the run of himself.

He remains as true today to his Mahon roots as he did when he was an unknown, trying to make his way in the world of soccer. I hope that never changes and I don't think it will. 

Gearóid Morrissey. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Gearóid Morrissey. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

His dad and family certainly would not allow it.

Mark McNulty is another City player I see regularly, as he collects his kids from school most days.

There is no drama with him either. 

Aidan Forde, proprietor of The Library Lane cafe in Ballyphehane celebrating their 1st birthday in business with Mark McNulty, Cork City goalkeeper and the FAI Cup. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Aidan Forde, proprietor of The Library Lane cafe in Ballyphehane celebrating their 1st birthday in business with Mark McNulty, Cork City goalkeeper and the FAI Cup. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The schoolkids are always calling his name, talking to him and he gives them all his time and can regularly be seen laughing and joking with them as no doubt the young Cork City fans slag him off.

You may say, why wouldn't he?

But sport changes people. Success changes people. 

Thankfully, it has not affected the Cork City players in a negative way.

Thankfully, they remain very grounded and approachable.

Right now City are playing the best football ever seen by Cork fans, and probably even better football than Dundalk have done over the previous three years when winning the league, but they remain true to their character.

And long may that continue.

While it's nice to be important, it's far more important to be nice.

More in this section

Sponsored Content