Whose side are you on?
“It is 1982. 25th June. 9.47pm. World Cup football on the beeb. Northern Ireland are playing the hosts, Spain… The Spanish keeper palms it straight to Armstrong who smacks it smartly into the back of the net… i swear I can hear the whole street erupt – every house on the estate is shouting. Some four hours later my dad is blown up.”
For kids, like the young Teddy Jamieson, a knockabout in the back-lanes was as good as it got, but at least they had their heroes. Watching Barry McGuigan on telly, Teddy could feel proud to be Northern Irish. But sport – like everything else in Northern Ireland – could quickly turn nasty when politics were involved.
This extraordinary journey through sport and the Troubles has it all: from Olympic gold-medals to Gaelic football; from death threats to reconciliations. Then there is Teddy’s own story, as we learn how the age-old playground question ‘Whose side are you on?’ doesn’t always have an easy answer.
Paperback, 326 pages.