Friday, March 6, 2009

Fallen angels

They say that you should never meet your heroes. I always thought, 'what a load of tosh, when I met Brian Clough, he was every inch the gent'. However, the close encounter that I had with another one of my heroes last night seemed to back up the old adage.

I was minding my own business sitting in a pub in London's fashionable Chelsea waiting for my friend Dave the roofer (he's a season ticket holder at 'the Bridge') and in stormed none other than former world featherweight boxing legend, and my namesake, Barry McGuigan.

He looked to be in an advanced state of concern (Barry, not Dave - Dave was yet to arrive). I was going to say "hello", but I thought 'no Barry, this is London's fashionable Chelsea, the stars all hang out here to avoid that kind of thing', so I turned back around and kept reading my copy of the Metro.

I finished my pint and thought I'd nip to the gents before Dave arrived, he gets very impatient sometimes if I interupt his football stories by going to the loo.

So I walked into the loo and came face to face with Barry!!!

Not me, I wasn't looking in the mirror ;-) it was Barry McGuigan. the Clones Cyclone. I tell you what readers, he's tiny.

He might be tiny, but he's still menacing KK?! We looked at one another, eye-to-eye, mano i mano, and I made my way over the urinal. He was wearing the kind of expression that just says "DON'T!". Suffice to say, I didn't.

He turned around to face the solitary toilet cubicle. I have to say I was quite relieved, with a former champion pugilist staring at me I would almost certainly have suffered from a certain degree of 'stage fright'.

Anyway, I precided with my business, and heard some mumblings from within the toilet trap. Barry was clearly waiting for someone inside. Now, I've heard about this sort of thing, I'm not naive. I've had a toot on the old jazz salt trumpet, I've been a weekend rockstar practising my lines, I've snorted the dragons.

Like Eric Clapton before me, I'm talking about COCAINE!!!!!!!

Anyway, I tried not to think about it, then I heard another voice, clearer this time, coming out of the toilet cubicle. "Did mum see?" asked the voice.
"I'll tell you later," said Barry.

Well, jeesh, now I didn't know what to make of the situation. I just finished up and scarpered, no sign of Dave in the bar, so I headed for the door as quick as I could!!

I had to call Dave to tell him I'd been called away by Gill. "You're under the fum mate," he said. Maybe he's right.

When I got home, I popped the TV on, and there, smiling back at me across the living room, was....yep, you guessed it, BARRY MCGUIGAN.

He was on Family Fortunes, with Vernon Kay. Amazing.

I was too stunned to blog about it at the time, but I've had a chance to think about it. This would make for an interesting piece for the Metro probably.

I wonder if any of you have had an embarassing interlude with a former famous namesake? I'll love to read your stories, I'm sure they would add a touch of 'colour'* to my piece for the Metro.

As a Citizen Journalist you've got to keep your wits about you. There are famous people EVERYWHERE.


*colour is a journalistic euphemism. It means, interesting yet not directly relevant.

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