Sad news today of the passing of Irish soccer legend Liam Tuohy - he was 83. I remember him as manager of the Irish senior football team, but he also coached other Irish teams. He played for Newcastle United in England, but his most famous time was as Player-manager of Shamrock Rovers whom he lead to an incredible six FAI Cups in a row (1964-1969).
|Image source: Irish Independent.|
The reason that I am writing a post about Liam is that I was nearly responsible for ending his life 36 years ago. He is the only person I ever ran into on my motorbike! It was 1980 (possibly 1981), when I was riding my Honda CD175 north up Camden Street in the direction of George's Street. I remember that the traffic was stopped as I passed everyone out on the outside - there was no traffic coming in the opposite direction so I was a couple of feet on the "wrong" side of the road. Liam was jaywalking through the stopped traffic looking left to see if there were any cars coming down the road when he walked right out in front of me without looking right in my direction. He would not have heard me coming as the CD175 was a very quiet bike. Luckily I wasn't going very fast and while I hit him he was not knocked down. Despite being shaken by the incident (I was a bit shaken too - I had nearly killed a celebrity!) he was able to lecture me about crossing the solid white line in the middle of the road. He seemed OK and I continued on, worrying if he would report me to the Gardaí - he didn't.
Rest in peace Liam, you will be missed by all soccer fans in Ireland.
On my first visit to Ireland I went to cross O'Connell Street. I was careful to look right to left! As I went to cross I felt someone grab the collar of my coat and I got tugged back just as a car whisked by. I was asked by the person if I was trying to kill myself. He said it in a kind way as he smiled and then I got a lecture on how to cross the street. I thanked him and we parted ways.ReplyDelete
Someone ran over to me an asked if I knew who that man was and I said, "I have no idea." I was told it was Liam Tuohy. To an Irish person that's exciting but to an American it means nothing. I didn't want to appear rude so I replied, "Really?" I went along and always careful when I crossed streets after because I didn't want this Liam Tuohy person to have to grab and lecture me again!
Being a curious person I started asking people who this man was and of course I found out. So thank you for not killing him because if you did I wouldn't be able to share this story with you (that you might find silly).
The point that I'm trying to make is that in one second I saw kindness and caring in a stranger (with celebrity status) who could have just let the car hit me. Instead he took time out to explain about the traffic flow, told me to take care of myself and enjoy my holiday.
When I read your blog and noticed he was jaywalking I started to laugh. My guess is he wouldn't mind me laughing because I got the impression he had a good sense of humor. It seems though Ireland lost a great man.
Thank you for sharing your meeting with the legend that Liam Tuohy is, I'm glad I didn't kill him! HE was indeed a caring man.Delete