Outspoken British rock star, Noel Gallagher who has Irish roots was performing in Croke Park this week in support of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. While in Dublin, the former Oasis frontman called a press conference to promote his upcoming gig with Kasabian, but was more interested talking about a previous time he had played in Croke Park, Gaelic football and Ireland’s display in the European soccer tournament.
Noel played in Croke Park for the first time in 1983. He grew up in an Irish community in Manchester where they had lots of Gaelic football teams. After being the champions of Lancashire for a couple of years, they got the opportunity to play in Ireland.
“We came over here to play an Irish team and we got leathered. I remember, I scored, I scored a point. We got hammered, but I scored,” he said.
He has since met an Irish guy while he was playing in Australia who lived in the house he was staying at in Dublin back in the days of his GAA career.
But, his Gaelic playing days were short-lived when it was decided that he would be better off in the music business. “I’d gone as far as I could take that team. I’m not an athlete, too much hard work goes into that. My brothers all played too. I enjoyed it at the time.”
He claims that once alcohol, smoking, drugs and girls get in the way, football goes out the window.
To him, now watching football is even hard enough. He doesn’t follow Gaelic much anymore but his brother Paul supports Co.Mayo. “If I knew the All Ireland Final was on I’d probably watch it but nobody would tell. i’ve seen a few down the years, it’s quite exciting.” He does not watch hurling as he said, “It’s like gang warfare, innit?”
When asked about how Ireland played in the Euros, he stood up for the team. He reckons people have come down too hard on Ireland. “They played Spain and Italy, two of the semi-finalists- one of them is going to win it.”
He also spoke of his own country, “If you look at it in the cold light of day neither Ireland nor England have good enough players to win tournaments like this.”
When asked what he thought of Irish boyband, Westlife splitting up he answered, “Why, what’s happened? They’ve not been killed, have they?”