IRELAND goalkeeper Shay Given will be in Letterkenny this weekend signing copies of his new autobiography.
‘Any Given Saturday’ traces the Lifford man’s rise from doing nets on the streets of his native Lifford to carving out an impressive career for a string of English Premiership sides as well as clinching 134 international caps for his country.
Prior to his rise to the top of the beautiful game though, the 41-year-old gives a moving insight into the loss of his mother, Agnes, who was the same age as Shay is now when she passed away from cancer.
He recalls her time in hospital, her death and the efforts of his father Seamus to bring the six Given children up on his own.
He writes, “I was only a wee child and today, here and now, it feels as if I had no real idea what was going on but one look at our photos on the day of the funeral tells a different story. Six children, dressed in their Sunday best, saying goodbye to their 41-year-old mother.
“Five children plus dad walked behind the coffin into St Patrick’s Church, Murlog, but not Liam. He was head altar boy that year so he carried the cross at the front of the coffin before serving on the altar. That can’t have been easy.”
Given is keen to point out though that his life story is anything but a “misery-fest”.
Rather it is an entertaining journey through the highs and lows of his career in which he also offers an open and frank opinion on the managerial styles of Mick McCarthy, Brian Kerr, Steve Staunton, Giovanni Trappatoni and Martin O’Neill.
Any Given Saturday also throws some fresh light on Saipan and the unsavoury departure of Roy Keane from the Irish training camp in 2002.