Brought back to reality following cup win for Blues

It wouldn't be the Irish Cup final without a blurry celebration photograph.
It wouldn't be the Irish Cup final without a blurry celebration photograph.

The first question I got asked when I came home from Windsor Park on Saturday evening and announced, with fist clenched and chest puffed out, that we’d won the cup was ‘Why?’

My daughter’s question took me by surprise though it really shouldn’t have.

Lucy has reached that age (nearly two and a half) where she greets almost every statement with an inquisitive ‘Why?’

Examples include:

‘It’s breakfast time, Lucy.’


‘The kitchen floor is not a skating rink.’


‘Look - a bird.’


When asked to explain why Glenavon had won the Irish Cup my first reaction was to tell Lucy how Glenavon overcame Sport & Leisure, Ballinamallard, Glentoran, Crusaders and then Ballymena in the final to win the cup, but then that would be explaining how we won the cup and not why.

I considered giving her a fairy story response that Glenavon won the cup to make the people of Lurgan, who had been sad and trophyless for the last 17 years, happier than their wildest dreams and bring a renewed prosperity to the town.

Judging by social media this appeared to be the case.

The last time Glenavon won a major trophy there was no way of sharing one’s joy with the masses apart from tedious word of mouth.

Anyone taking a photo during the cup wins in 1997 or 1992 were capturing their images ‘blindly’ and it was at least a week before you picked them up from the chemists and crossed your fingers that there weren’t any stickers on them advising you what you’d done wrong. Now you can post photos to the web the second they’re taken and there are no advisory stickers, which in many cases would be appropriate.

So on Saturday night, instead of going out and getting merrily discombobulated, I sat in and read my Twitter feed and Facebook timeline, retweeting and liking Glenavon related posts as if it was going out of fashion.

Even the local politicians were in party mood - it’s fair to comment a political party was being had.

Given the posts on Saturday from MLAs, councillors and election candidates you could almost say Glenavon’s cup triumph was being used as a political football.

But while fans and followers played a part I don’t think that was the real reason why Glenavon won the cup.

Perhaps Lucy was being existential with her question.

Why does anyone win a cup?

Because they can.

Though more likely it’s because in football, like any competitive sport, as a team you’re judged by the trophies you win.

While Gary Hamilton has put together a decent side at Mourneview Park, consistency is not their strong point so the team’s efforts were focused on the Irish cup rather than the league. It all went according to plan and in each round of the cup Glenavon proved they wanted to win it more than the other teams they came up against.

That’s why Glenavon won the cup. Dedication - what you need if you want to be a record breaker.

By the time I got round to explaining this to Lucy she’d gone off into the kitchen to play with an empty cardboard tube. Meanwhile I assumed the role of tube in the living room.