Introducing Paul Beggs
"A Kerry footballer with an inferiority complex is one who thinks he's just as good as everybody else."
- John B. Keane
From a very early age I have loved Gaelic football. I grew up watching the Kerry-Dublin rivalry of the 70's and 80's, becoming an ardent Kerry fan in the process. I watched the television transfixed, admiring the skills of Bomber Liston and Jack O'Shea, Mikey Sheehy and the Spillane brothers, and the rest of the giants who wore the green and gold. Although they were the "enemy" I eventually gained a great deal of respect and admiration for the Dublin players too.
Then one year I found Subbuteo. Like many boys, my first Subbuteo set came from Santa Claus. I loved the idea of having my own football team, but what really captured my attention was the brochure packed with pictures of the accessories: whole stadiums with floodlights and television broadcasting units and countless other wonderful possibilities. I improvised stands out of cardboard boxes and styrofoam. They were nothing more than long rectangular shapes at the sides of the pitch, but to my imagination they were the hogan Stand and the Hill 16 while I played with the little plastic figures wishing there was a GaelicFootball version of Subbuteo.
My fascination with Subbuteo left me for a time when I was in my late teens, but was rekindled a few years ago. Out of nostalgia i bought a Subbuteo club edition on eBay, and then it took off. I was finally going to get my stadium. I saw images of some amazing stadia online which convinced me I could make my own mark. With absolutely no talent whatsoever for model making or painting, I set out on my quest. So here it is: Pairc Na Ríocht. Not as spectacularly inventive as I had first thought, certainly not the most breathtaking model Subbuteo stadium in existence, but it's mine, my childhood dream made real. I hope others enjoy my work, perhaps even give my Gaelic football game a try. If nothing else, this is a personal journey and what I hope will become a lifelong family project.
Dia dhiaibh agus go raibh míle maith agaibh!