’Thirty feet above ground, I picked some flecks of peeling paint from my skin and looked clean across the dressing-room rooftops ... to the cars whizzing by on the Straight Road. I glanced at them for a blurry second and exhaled.’
So begins Boy Wonder in the summer of 1984.
A collage of personal memories passed over into family myth, Boy Wonder is a funny and moving account of a childhood spent, like countless others, on pitches, sidelines and in stands, struggling to make sense of competition and the outsized role it plays in the lives of men and boys, fathers and sons. From tough lessons on the parish pitch and the politics of afterschool football to the euphoria of Croke Park and brushes with demigods like Jimmy Barry-Murphy and Roy Keane, Boy Wonder is one man’s story - but a testament to every man’s experience.
Dave Hannigan is a professor of history at Suffolk County Community College on Long Island, and a weekly columnist with the Irish Times, the Evening Echo, and the Irish Echo (New York). He is the author of several non-fiction books and two children’s novels. Born and raised in Togher, Cork, he now lives in East Setauket, New York with his wife Cathy and his sons, Abe, Charlie and Finn.