It was the best of times, it was the best of times…
Ah, I remember it well.
Now – finally – we’re going to ‘show our age’.
To the readers. The readers will have an idea what age we are…when we start reminiscing about Big Jack, God be good to him.
It’s no secret, the age we are!
Ah, I like to keep them guessing…
I think they have a fair idea we’re not…the full…
No, I meant in the full flush of youth…
Yeah, I suppose you’re right! But there’s a lot of life left in us yet! Anyways, Jack. We were talking about Big Jack.
Ah yes, golden memories. What a sad day Saturday was. Hearing that Jack had passed on. The end of an era…
(They sit, socially distancing, on a park bench)
When Ray put the ball in the England net!
Ah he wasn’t the wildest of them, I think Cascarino knew how to party alright…
You said Ray Houghton was a header…
No! He scored with a header!
Never will forget it.
The man that Jack dropped! O’Leary came back from the wilderness to kick the penalty that put us into the World Cup quarter-final! You wouldn’t see it in a Roddy Doyle novel!
Actually I think it was referred to in a Roddy Doyle novel….
And all the emotion, as the people watched on telly and burst into tears….
Dunphy and Giles?
No, not them! The fans…the ordinary people of Ireland…sure we went mad! Even Alf was cancelled.
Didn’t Bill O’Herlihy say that the American comedy – ‘Alf’ – had been cancelled because of the extra-time and penalties?
That detail really isn’t important! Mind you, he was great.
Yeah, he was funny. Alf had a way with him…
Not Alf! Bill! Bill O’Herlihy! He was great.
He was. Such great times.
(They watch the world go by)
No! A super shot!
Yeah, I meant…
I know, I know.
We beat Italy! At the World Cup!
Revenge for 1990!
No quarter-final this time, but still, great memories!
(They stare into space, into the past)
They were the best of times…
Altogether now! ‘We’re all part of Jackie’s Army, we’re all…’
‘Ole! Ole! Ole!’
‘Let’s put ‘em under pressure!’
We’re showing our age.
Don’t care. We lived through those days. Magical times.
All thanks to Jack…
I agree. The players were great, the fans were great, I’m sure even the FAI did their bit, we won’t forget the guys who put in the foundations – people like Eoin Hand – but really, it was all thanks to Jack.
He made it possible! He lifted the nation! He brought us joy!
He even got Alf cancelled.
Jack Charlton was a great man.
Both: Rest in peace, Jack. Thanks for the memories, thanks for the best of times.