My initial reason for writing And A Bang on the Ear was to leave my children, Eileen and Joe, a legacy of sorts, to show them exactly what it’s like to be their Daddy. What I go through every day for them. To make them happy and safe. And to hopefully instil the same morals and values that I grew up with.
Hopefully it will help make them more resilient in life, and teach them a bit of empathy for the things and people that matter – and not to shy away from asking questions, or talking to people with a disability.
Armed with the sense of grit that my parents instilled in me during the tough 1980s and early 1990s, I went back to school, college and then struck out on my own to travel the world. I learned about other countries, and their more relaxed attitudes towards people with disabilities.
Sport has given me far more than it has taken from me and I’ll always be an avid watcher now, rather than a player. What happened to me was definitely character-building, and I think sport teaches kids that. It won’t always go their way because there’s always someone bigger, better, faster and wiser, but you can always strive to be better.
When I see both my kids playing for the team I played with, that fills me with a myriad of emotions, particularly pride.
The very important subject of concussion and brain injuries – not just in sport – has been in my mind ever since my own injury, and I always felt that this was an important story to tell. I would also be very interested to hear what elite athletes think about my story.
And A Bang on the Ear by Phil Quinlan with Steve O’Rourke is available in our shops and online.