Well read
Kimmage meets Lowry, the education of ten Haag and the rest of the week's best sportswriting
Stick on the kettle and get stuck into this lot.

masters-golf David J. Phillip Shane Lowry hugs his caddie Brian Martin after a birdie on the 18th green during the final round at the Masters. David J. Phillip

1. “It’s a Sunday afternoon at Augusta, four days before the opening round of the 86th Masters, and two television crews, and a horde of journalists and photographers have gathered on the bank at the bottom of the range.

Two hours have passed since Tiger Woods announced on Twitter that he was “heading to Augusta today to continue my preparation” and for two hours we’ve been waiting to capture the moment.Or ‘Tiger watch’ as we say in the trade.

It’s almost 3.0pm when his bagman, Joe LaCava, rocks up to the caddie shack and a moment later when the grey Mercedes with tinted glass pulls into the car park outside. Shane Lowry steps from the car and salutes the gallery with a mischievous smile: “Are ye here for me lads?”

The Sunday Independent’s Paul Kimmage meets Shane Lowry after his stunning performance at Augusta 

2. When Martin Roberts returned to Halifax on the night of April 15, 1989, he wet the bed as he tried to sleep. The next morning, he did not say a word to either of his parents, his sister or his brother about what he had witnessed the day before in Sheffield, where 97 Liverpool supporters lost their lives in a steel pen he somehow escaped from.

“Martin spent Sunday walking around the garden for hours, hopelessly trying to make sense of it all. By Tuesday morning, he was working again, at Barclays bank. His boss called him into a side room and asked how he was feeling. A stupid question. Martin wondered what his colleagues were thinking, fearing they believed what had been written in the papers about fans like him. 

“Martin’s deepest scars from Hillsborough were not physical but mental.”

Simon Hughes writes for The Athletic about life after Hillsborough, told by the men and women who survived

3. “In 2014, when we won the All Ireland, Kerry headed for the Galtee mountains the previous May. Cian O’Neill had contacts within the Ranger Wing of the Irish Army and he organised Ed Holland and a few of his mates to put us through our paces at the foot of Galtymore. The players had no idea what lay ahead. They were merely told to be in Fitzgerald Stadium Saturday morning at 06.30. We provided them with the details of the gear required but more importantly, they were given a list of materials by the army lads to bring. 

“On the morning in question as we approached our destination there was a jovial atmosphere on the bus. That quickly evaporated when we pulled into a forest and our welcoming committee consisted of three fit and serious-looking men. They immediately began barking orders at the lads to get off the bus and get organised in lines. As an observer, it was hilarious to watch the change in dynamic. The lads then had to do a quick mile run with their bags on their backs. When we got to a little farmyard, which was our base for the day, a few of the players were randomly picked out and had to empty their bags to prove to the Rangers that they had everything on the list. 

“Poor Dáithí Casey was missing a few items from the list and the Army lads were only too delighted to make an example of him and he had to wear a gas mask for the morning session. Marc Ó Sé also got pinged, which was very unlike him, both in terms of his professionalism and also the fact that he was usually far too cute to get caught out. 

“One of the items on the Rangers list was a tin of Bachelors Beans. Marc had brought the Heinz variety. In fairness to him, he didn’t raise the white flag straight away, as he quickly took the wrapper off the can when he realised his mistake. He wasn’t fooling the boys though. He too had to wear a gas mask.”

Former Kerry manager Éamonn Fitzmaurice fondly recalls Kerry’s bonding days of hell en route to All-Ireland glory

netherlands-ten-hag Peter Dejong New Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag . Peter Dejong

4. “Erik ten Hag’s family home is in Oldenzaal, a small town about seven or eight miles outside Enschede, not far from the Dutch-German border. It’s one of those places where you can tell there’s a bit of money kicking around, but people aren’t flash about it.

“It’s an incredibly peaceful town. You can’t really tell whether it’s rush hour on a Monday morning or 3pm on a Wednesday, and you’re more in danger of getting knocked over by a bike than a car.

“People who come from Oldenzaal tend to stick around. They raise families here, they retire here. There are obviously nuances to the place that an afternoon wandering around and chatting to people can’t reveal but it appears fairly idyllic.

“They’re proud of their most famous son, though. When Ajax won their second title in three years under him last May, a group of young lads were there to greet him with a rudimentary roadside firework display. He dutifully got out of his car and posed for pictures, then was allowed to return home in peace.”

Nick Miller examines the education of recently appointed Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag on The Athletic

5“For Sean Dyche the road to salvation would begin at Rock City in Nottingham. Liberated from the treadmill of management for the first time in almost a decade after being sacked by Burnley, Dyche enjoyed his first weekend of freedom having drinks with friends before taking in a bill of Manchester tribute acts. Camera‑phone footage from Sunday night shows him swaying along to a band called The Clone Roses.

“Which on reflection feels about perfect. Given everything else going on at the moment, we may not have been ready as a society for the idea of a sad Sean Dyche. Dyche’s year-long New York sabbatical. Dyche’s lonely, penitent pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. A tearful Dyche addressing his adoring public one last time from the steps of Burnley town hall, as mourners lay scarves and candles at his feet. Nobody wants any of this. Dyche grooving along to (Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister on a shaky camera phone: nature has healed.

“Perhaps, on reflection, this was the defining motif of Dyche’s decade at Burnley: that striking point of difference, the absence of pretensions or affectations, elite football with a recognisably human face.”

Sean Dyche gave us the gift of Peak Burnley, writes Jonathan Liew for the Guardian 

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel