It was the hand-shake that tremored around the world. Now two giants of Irish football have been reduced to miniature. To celebrate Diarmuid O’hAinle’s stunning book on arguably the national team’s most momentous period, the 2001 Lansdowne Road embrace between Mick McCarthy and Roy Keane has been depicted in Subbuteo form.
The tiny moment of sporting theatre is 100% hand-painted by Terry Lee who has created an outstanding collection of customised Subbuteo teams and figures.
The handshake of course refers to that between the manager of Ireland, Mick McCarthy, and his captain, Roy Keane, immediately after the 2001 victory over Holland which put the Republic well on the way to qualifying for the following summer’s World Cup.
“So, as the topless captain left the fray carrying an Oranje shirt in his left hand, McCarthy reached out for his right. A quick look and it was given before the Corkman turned away again and continued on his journey to the changing rooms.”
According to the author, it’s an incident that many people in Ireland hold as being a key indicator of the relationship between the two men, which famously came to a head in Saipan days before the tournament began. Roy Keane left his teammates and returned home, leaving a nation wondering what might have been.
“I’m hugely grateful and proud to see the scene frozen in the form of Subbuteo. It’s a piece of history that I think, even when looked at ruefully, should take pride of place on every Irish football fan’s mantelpiece,” said Diarmuid about the mini piece of memorabilia.
It Started With a Handshake is an alternative take on Ireland’s campaign in Japan and South Korea. That Lansdowne Road moment acts as a year dot to all that followed. A nation was divided over the controversy and Irish football was never the same again.
What if the tale of Mick McCarthy, Roy Keane, Saipan and all that followed had turned out very differently?
Look out for Póg Mo Goal’s review coming soon.
All of Terry Lee’s pieces are unique and highly collectable. Each piece comes with a personalised signed certificate of authenticity. Visit the website Same Old Subbuteo Brand New Kits