Tyrone is to be firmly put on the world map after Edendork Pipe Band received confirmation that they’ll parade Brazil and Croatia around the field in Sao Paulo at the opening game in the 2014 World Cup.
Pipe Major Jemmy O’Neill wasn’t overly surprised at the news:
“When we applied we had a fair idea we’d get the nod. I know there were 69’000 bands who applied from all over the world but I think when they saw a video of us parading the Ladies Football teams of Carrickmore and Coalisland around the Brackaville field last month they knew they were on to a good thing.”
O’Neill is adamant that locals will dig deep to raise the £150’000 needed to fly the entire band, instruments, WAGS and husbands over next June:
“I’m sure we’ll raise the money no bother. For the next 6 months we’ll have a man standing outside the entrance to Tyrone Brick with an empty Quality Street so drivers can slow down and toss in coppers and loose change. We’ll also be selling ballots around houses around Christmas. Tickets cost £100 and you can win a lifetime’s supply of bricks from what was left in the old factory.”
This is not the first time a Tyrone band has performed at a major sporting event. In 1984, Cloughfin played The Star Spangled Banner for Carl Lewis at his medal ceremony for the 100m during the Los Angeles Olympics. O’Neill reckons they’ll learn from Cloughfin’s experience:
“I was a member of Cloughfin and we never forgot they way we were treated. Not one sandwich was laid on after our performance. Not one. They thought the £80’000 fee would sweeten us but all we wanted were corned beef sandwiches. Eff Los Angeles we said. This time we’re taking no chances and bringing half a million sandwiches with us.”
O’Neill now becomes the first man to play at the World Cup, Olympics and the Tyrone Ladies Final.