Cavanagh’s story an early leader in list of best sellers
IT’S EARLY days yet in determining which books will be most popular this Christmas, but already it looks like ‘The Obsession - Seán Cavanagh, My Autobiography’ will be high on the sports list. When I sought a copy in The Book Centre last week, I was lucky to get my hands on the last one as apparently it had been flying off the shelves.
And while it’s nothing special in terms of a G.A.A. player’s life story, following the same pattern that can be quite predictable and tiresome after a while, in hindsight I shouldn’t have been surprised at its strong early sales.
One thing that has become apparent since Cavanagh’s retirement as an inter-county player last year is that he is a master when it comes to generating self-publicity.
And forgive me if I appear cynical, but wasn’t it quite pointed that a photograph of his maimed face, after a recent incident in a club game with Moy, was so widely distributed around the time that this book was hitting the shelves?
Cavanagh’s airbrushed portrait adorns the cover, but its markedly different than the image that was on every newspaper and all over social media of his broken nose and gash under the eye after that clash with Edendork.
Given that six players were dismissed in that heated game, it was natural to assume that he was struck off the ball after viewing that picture, but that wasn’t the case.
An opponent’s knee did the damage, and both the referee and the Tyrone
C.C.C.C. were satisfied that it was an accident and there was no case to answer.
Moy dispute that view, but it would have helped at the outset if Cavanagh had at least clarified to the general public that this didn’t happen as the result of a box in the face.
He comes across in this book as the type of individual who would divide opinion in his native county, despite his outstanding on-field achievements which included three All-Ireland Senior medals.
While nobody could ever question his commitment to those great teams he played on in the noughties, there is a selfishness and a desire to be centre stage that comes across in this collaboration with Damian Lawlor, whether intentional or not.
Despite their shared journey over the past 20 years, he has a cool relationship with manager Mickey Harte that originated in 2009 when Cavanagh was sick on the morning of the All-Ireland semi-final against Cork and was dropped for the game.
Harte’s own book later claimed that the ‘roof caved in’ on Cavanagh as a result of the many demands placed on his time after the previous year’s success, and the player was disappointed to read this headline in a newspaper.
Their relationship remains frosty, something that was evident during the year when Cavanagh was a regular guest on ‘ The Sunday Game’.
From a Wexford viewpoint, his recall of our 2005 National League semi-final win over Tyrone in Portlaoise is interesting.
He reveals that the night before, they stayed in Citywest Hotel and hit the Asian restaurant around 8 p.m. Normally they were only allowed chicken or beef, but they ordered whatever they wanted on that occasion and paid a costly price the next day in a rain-sodden O’Moore Park.
It was the wake-up call they needed, and less than six months later they were All-Ireland champions for the second time in three years. ALAN AHERNE
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