When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
As Tony Mangan wanders around the world and is mostly alone with his thoughts quite often, he begins to wonder about mundane things. After all, despite him having a superhuman ability to travel on two legs, the rest of him is human. As he walks around he doesn`t just like to keep his body active but, with all that blood bouncing around into his head, he`s aware that his mind needs to be kept going to. If he was to spend too much time thinking about why he is walking, to ‘educate people of getting early cancer screening‘, then he would make himself feel very down indeed.
So, Tony being Tony, chooses to keep himself motivated with upbeat measures of other pleasantries that are going on in the world around him.
Coming from the part of the world that he comes from and being an athlete like he is, it`s little wonder that one of the things he does to keep himself entertained along the long road is to continually update himself on the sporting developments around the world. That not only whets his competitive juices but it also provides a great way to continually connect with people back in Ireland who are of the same ilk as him and who have similar interests to him.
Thankfully for Tony one of his favourite pass times over the years has been football, and not just playing football because let`s face it, when you have tens of kilometres walked everyday and are facing into much of the same the following day you are going to want to rest, but rather, following football.
As Tony is a champion of athletics himself his energy has always resonated with like minded successful teams and ones that are as connected with Ireland also. That`s where his love of Liverpool Football Club came to pass some years ago.
Lately, as we chatted, Tony and I stumbled across this mutual grá for the ‘Mighty Reds’ and we swapped opinions on team selections and old stories of more successful eras of times gone by for the Merseysiders. It became very clear to me that Tony`s excitement levels for the then up and coming pivotal top of the table Premier League clash between the champions Manchester City and the challengers Liverpool was foremost in his mind. Both of us swapped theories and ideas on the potential outcome of the game and I left Tony with the knowledge that he would be a very happy man once the ‘Mighty Reds’ had disposed of ‘City’ which would have put them 10 points adrift at the top of the table with only 17 games remaining.
Alas, it was not to pass and that long road of Tony`s must have seemed much longer the following morning as this link with his past and his homely heroes had let him down as it has to many Liverpool supporters since their last League triumph in 1990.
Still, there are 15 games to go and Liverpool are 4 points ahead of Manchester City and who knows the overall outcome may make Tony smile yet. Until May of this year we won’t know the outcome. For the next few games when Tony sees red he will rue what could have been. He will feel lonely for home, that memory of 1990 when fellow Irish men like Ronnie Whelan, Ray Houghton and Steve Staunton wore the red of Liverpool and Ireland in more successful times.
For now Tony will just put one foot in front of the other and hope for a better result the next day.
For the Liverpool supporters at home we know that we too can hope of a better performance next time but, in the mean time, we can follow Tony as each step is worldly success and that, unlike many Premier League stars, he is so accessible to us all online as he travels the world for all of our health.
So Tony, don`t worry we are with you along the way and be assured
You’ll never walk alone