Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

What the focal? Stan Collymore shows off by tweeting 'as Gaeilge'

He’s really quite good, you know.

FOOTBALLERS ON TWITTER rarely have the capacity to leave you sitting in stunned silence, jaw on the floor, staring in disbelief at the screen.

But that was pretty much what happened when former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker Stan Collymore fired out a few quick messages last night — in Irish.

Collymore’s Irish followers were caught off guard when the TalkSport presenter tweeted a link to Sinead O’Connor’s 1992 single ‘Success Has Made a Failure of Our Home’ with the line “An t-éan beag is áille sa ghairdín” (“the most beautiful little bird in the garden).

Collymore’s perfect use of the superlative and correct deployment of that troublesome little séimhú did not go unnoticed, and he later explained that hours of Welsh language TV had given him an interest in the Celtic languages and inspired him to learn a “cúpla focal”.

“I haven’t got much Irish but at least I’m trying,” he tweeted as Gaeilge. “All started with Pobol y cwm(S4C) and a fascination with Cymreag/Alba/Irish & Kernow languages. So giving all a go in the next 40 years! Lol.”

As it turns out he’s actually pretty good; good enough to discuss the ins and outs of Thierry Henry’s return to Arsenal with Dara O’Briain and even ask the comedian for a few private lessons over a couple of pints.

I wonder how he’d fare with the Leaving Cert aural exam. “Léigh anois go cúramach ar do scrúdpháipéar na treoracha agus na ceisteanna…”

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