False dawn to end of lifelong losing streak

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It had been a normal Monday evening until an unexpected email popped into the ‘in’ box – telling me that I’d just won two tickets to meet former Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva and to have a photograph taken with him for posterity.

Now Lucas might not have been everyone’s cup of tea as a Liverpool player and he’s unlikely to rank among the club’s all-time great midfielders, but I’d always admired his commitment and honesty.

And aside from that, I don’t live in a world where you casually bump into former Premiership players who are happy to pose for photos with you before regaling you (and obviously other people) with stories of their time at the greatest football club in the world.

The only problem was that this was on Monday of last week and, in order to hook up with Lucas, I’d have to get myself to the Hotel Anfield for 6pm last Saturday.

I’d never heard of Hotel Anfield, but no matter; chances are it was near the ground. The bigger issue was that this meant securing flights and hotel accommodation on Merseyside, which pushed the price of a ‘free’ night into a different stratosphere.

Plus, while the email said I’d ‘won’ this chance, I’d never entered any competition in the first place – mainly for the aforementioned reality that the cost of getting there would require careful consideration.

As against that, a win is a win, and my previous raffle win was a cowboy hat and gun in Senior Infants at the Convent of Mercy in Oughterard which meant that – outside from the odd tenner on a Lotto scratch card – this was the first time my name had been drawn out of a proverbial hat in the best part of half a century.


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