the first Sunday in September
Tadhg Coakley
Mercier press

Sport is a leveler they say. When I was an idealistic teenager getting ready to change this world I stopped playing sport and went in protest marches. My training ground became gigs or rehearsal rooms as I planned on moving our nuclear clock away from 7 minutes to midnight or imploring people that on our bodies was “all the arms we need”. As maxol were using Brendan grace to free nippers we were looking to free Nelson Mandela or the Birmingham 6 or even Martin Foran. There was no internet so political newspapers were read with abandon. The world did change but with it a new world order came in, a society where people were still compassionate but communities were vanishing.

And that’s where sport came back in. My punk rock community we’re getting more disparate as profit became a motive. Money somehow seeped into my movement as the punks needed to pay bills too. Participation in team sports is generally voluntary. Most do it for altruistic reasons. Ready to help their comrades, ready to battle. I gravitated back towards sport as bands were seeking major label contracts. My playing days resumed as my arguments moved on to friends questioning commitment. The accusations would fly “If you put the time into changing the world that you put into sport we could do things”. I had no answer, I was not for turning. Family came and it was important to raise them a certain way. Be good to others, be the change you want. Oh and okay team sports.

this story tells the story of a community coming together, not to change the world but to live their glory through sport. One that many political movements have tried in vain to repricate.


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