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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Everyman’s Open Champion

All of us here, “Northern Ireland everyman”, are so proud of Northern Ireland’s finest; Gmac, Rory and now Darren – our Champions.
Darren is a hero for Northern Ireland everyman. His triumphs, low times and emotionally charged highs are what we all experience in our lives, though perhaps to a much lesser degree. Due to his humility, we can identify with him as an easygoing affable personality despite the fact that he is a world-class sportsman. We care about him.
Just a really nice, friendly, unaffected guy. Smoking a cigar, having a drink, sharing a joke. In enjoyment, smiling and laughing; in pain, vulnerable and crying; in defeat, gracious and phlegmatic; in triumph, generous and mindful of his family. A role model for Northern Ireland everyman. We care about him.
The unique frankness with which he personally relates his ups and downs, while facing life’s challenges under a constant media spotlight, has also made him a positive cult figure within and well beyond the golfing world. Peter Alliss said he was the most popular Open champion in his 50-year memory of the competition.
As Darren sank the final putt with his own inimitable aplomb and humorous touch, I poured a celebratory brandy to toast the man from my hometown; “Come in Dungannon, I know your knock”. Let the celebrations begin.
Nobody should rain on Darren’s parade – enough rain fell at Royal St George’s over the weekend anyway.
And yet……… From the caring admiring Northern Ireland everyman, to our role model hero –“Darren, enjoy your celebratory few pints – but not too many. Let the party roll – but not for too long”.
Man, we were so happy – but reflective - to see you with the Claret jug as your private jet landed in George Best Belfast City airport. George Best – Northern Ireland everyman’s earlier hero. We cared about George. We care about Darren.

1 comment:

salesxcellence said...

Here, Here, Will and what a joy to see Godfrey and Hetty (His Dad and Mum) by his side. A real family triumph, no one more deserving and a man of the people.

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