By Eamonn Lowe
Yesterday morning over a Mocha (oat milk, 3 brown sugars), Fergal Logan finally broke his silence around the ‘Tyrone Bench Question’ which has single-handedly kept Irish News journalists busy for three months due to a rash of retirements.
Ignoring the £4.50 caramel squares, Fergal explained:
“You know, the boys call her “Denise”…always have done. But Brian and I just knew she wasn’t right…We tried her ourselves and you just couldn’t sit on her for more than a few minutes without getting sort of sore…and after 20 minutes or so you started to feel desperately out of sorts, your mouth went dry and your fingers started sweating”.
Warming to the topic, like a man who loves to burn his own tongue with a chocolate froth, Fergal continued:
“Brian and I had many an anguished word on this up there in the Garvaghy rain. I said I’d rebuild Denise from scratch with only the finest materials: timber you’d kill your best yew for, reinforced ratchets and bolts dipped in the bleep-test tear bucket…Brian, being Brian enrolled himself on an online Feng Shui course. He’s 5th Dan in that now, he never stops…and now today I want to reassure all Tyrone supporters that this new bench…this new Denise – Dazzler’s calling her “Darling Denise”, not that he’s allowed near her, is the finest bench that’s ever graced a Tyrone squad …in terms of her physical make up I mean… and that Brian himself has her whole energies and what-nots fully aligned and we just want this whole question of our bench to now be put to bed – as it were, like”.
This new bench was unveiled to the squad on Tuesday night in a behind-closed-doors ceremony. Fergal wouldn’t be drawn on whether those Tyrone players who remain in the squad were banned from sending photos of Denise to ex-players, now estranged.
Several members of Tyrone triple All-Ireland winning teams from the mid 2000s have warned Feargal Logan’s U21 team to be prepared for increased digging and slapping sessions from opponents who cheered them on at the weekend, as they return to the Tyrone club scene.
A 2-time All-Ireland winner from that era, who wishes to remain anonymous, reckons fixtures down by the loughshore are to be feared as they ‘love to bring medallists down a peg or two‘ especially if they turn up to games wearing earphones or fancy boots.
“After the final whistle in 2005, three fellas from Ardboe carried me off the Croke Park turf on their shoulders, crying tears of joy. Two weeks later and the same three lads kicked the dung clean out of me when we played Ardboe in a meaningless league game. One of them even said ‘who do ye think ye are ye big-headed tramp‘ and I’m a quiet sort of lad.”
Logan is to send the victorious squad to a psychologist in Mayo for two days in order to prepare them for the verbals they’ll face from the average club player.
Carrickmore squad player Patsy Gormless admitted he can’t wait to get a chance to play against some of the new All-Ireland medallists:
“I remember playing against the Moy shortly after the 2003 All-Ireland final. I managed to deck all three of Cavanagh, Mellon and Jordan within five minutes of the throw in. Caught Jordan with a belter to the back of the head. He’s my favourite Tyrone player too and he made me so proud to be a Tyrone man that year. But he was probably thinking he was deadly so I cracked him.”
It was widely reported that after the 2008 All-Ireland win Ryan McMenamin purposely punched himself in a club game to knock the cockiness out of himself.
Referees have been told to be on their guard but were also warned that any decisions awarded to the new medallists will only antagonise opponents even more.
Meanwhile, an Ardboe defender admitted he purposely floored a county man playing for Omagh on Sunday for wearing his socks up too high.
Award-winning BBC documentarist David Titchmarch has been asked by the Tyrone County Board to postpone his startling documentary on the Tyrone U21 side’s run to the All-Ireland Final.
His findings, which will send shock-waves the breadth of the province, shows former multiple All-Star Peter Canavan shouting loudly ‘like a demented school-teacher’ and Brian Dooher asking players to run around the field TWICE as a warm-up.
Manager Fergal Logan reportedly escapes criticism and is often filmed pleading ‘ah now, Peter, don’t be shouting like that’ and asking Dooher if he was maybe going a bit too hard on the players by making them do 15 press-ups and 15 squats.
A county board official, who downloaded the documentary illegally using an Irish torrent site, told us:
“Peter doesn’t come out too well in this. There’s a scene when he’s shouting at Frank Burns and his veins are clearly visible in his neck and him red-faced saying things like ‘for f**k sake Frank, bend for it, ye Pomeranian gope’. This won’t go down well with the parents of many of the players, especially when he slags off their highlighted hairstyles and expensive boots. He really is cross and crabbed, as the song goes.”
The documentary also paints Dooher as a sadistic pain-merchant, at one stage making the players do piggy-backs and backwards running. Our official explained further:
“I think the parents are going to be in two minds whether or not to send their players to training for the final. Dooher is filmed at one stage standing in front of the players making them do stretches and stuff for FIFTEEN minutes before they even kick a ball, smirking and winking at Canavan. This man is a machine but comes across like some soldier from Russia or Germany in the 1940s. Or maybe from England since the 1200s.”
Titchmarch has agreed to postpone the documentary until after the final has been played and has also agreed to slap on an 18 certificate because of the shouting and stuff.
The much-anticipated ‘Nostalgia Night’ organised by the newly founded Stewartstown Historical Society ended early last night as not many could remember much that had happened in the area. The reason for the mass loss of memory is still under investigation with possible theories to be assessed such as some kind of lignite poisoning, too much drink taken over the years or the possibility that nothing has actually happened. The meeting, which started at 8pm and was attended by at least 1000 residents, ended at 8:30pm with a rendition of Faith Of Our Fathers and a goodie bag (pencil, tracing paper and a fudge) for all attendees. Chief organiser, Gerry Fee, was at a loss to explain the early finish:
“To be honest, I thought we’d be yarning away long into the early hours of this morning with tales of daring deeds and humorous turn of events. It wasn’t until the introductory speech had finished and the floor was opened up to the public that the horrible truth was clearly evident. Nobody could remember anything that had happened. After ten minutes, one woman did put her hand up and thought the football team reached an All-Ireland final a few years ago and says she vaguely recalls Fergal Logan in a jersey. She was quickly ridiculed by the others who said it was a foolish thing to claim and that Stewartstown have never nearly won anything. I put All-Ireland final with a question mark on the massive ‘White Board Of Memories’ just to take the bad look off it.”
Events appeared to take a turn for the better when another elderly man says he clearly remembers Dennis Taylor coming home in a van to parade a cup he won in England in the early 80s. A cheer went up at this recollection until it was pointed out that this probably happened in Coalisland as he was born down there. The Historical Society have asked people to email them with any memories they finally recall so they can put something on the whiteboard.
Although daily sitings of a UFO in the greater Stewartstown area have diminished slightly since the weekend, the local Community Watch Committee remain vigilant over the whereabouts of the mysterious alien motor. Word first spread that there was some kind of vehicle in the sky soon after service at St Patrick Church of Ireland. Terence Bunn claims he was the first to spot the vehicle:
“I was thinking about what the good vicar had said about abstinence during his sermon and found myself staring into the sky contemplating drinking less on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays when all of a sudden I saw this unmistakeable disc-shaped object swirling gently in the breeze over the Stewartstown Credit Union. I almost collapsed in shock. No one came to my aid as they automatically thought I’d been drinking again, which admittedly I had been. It was only when I pointed to it that others became aware of the UFO. I hope that when the movie is made that someone like James Nesbitt or Clint Eastwood plays me.”
Before long, everyone in Stewartstown emptied out onto the main street (population approx. 1400) to stare at the moving object. Explanations ranged from a very fat moth to a hubcap. Within 24 hours, over half a million people descended on Stewartstown with the local pubs, shops and hostelries experiencing a roaring trade, unprecedented in the town’s history. They have since declared to be the richest town in Ireland with Fergal Logan as their first Lord Mayor.
One woman did come forward with an explanation. Frances Graham claimed her hat flew off her outside the church and that she’s 100% certain it’s hers as it was round, green with a red rosette on it – just like the UFO. She has since gone missing and her house graffitied with, “Do Ye Want To Be Called Tin Town Again, Ye Hoor”