Big match programme a winner

The blue riband of Kilkenny hurling on the home front is up for grabs on Sunday between two outfits that have never slugged it out, toe to solid toe, in the Tom Walsh Cup final.

The blue riband of Kilkenny hurling on the home front is up for grabs on Sunday between two outfits that have never slugged it out, toe to solid toe, in the Tom Walsh Cup final.

Carrickshock and Clara will have their duelling pistols primed, aimed and ready for the mother and father of all county final battles for the honour and glory of their respective parishes.

County final day in Kilkenny is such a very special one in the life of the ’Association and the County Board are no slouches when it comes to the promotion of the occasion.

Year on year they honour the stars of yesteryear with a commemoration of some achievement worthy of the occasion. The surviving members of the team being presented to the crowd are applauded on to the pitch to be greeted by the County Board chairman (Ned Quinn on this occasion).

They stars of the past are afforded the best seats in the house, partake of some appropriate hospitality at half time, and are then guests of the County Board, together with their wives, in the Springhill Court Hotel at a sumptuous dinner, sponsored by the hotel.

I have had a sneak preview of the commemorative programme for the occasion, and it is certainly up there with the best ever. There are some photographs in the 22-page compilation that have seldom if ever been seen before.

I was at the game, and I probably saw the national papers accounts of the games, plus the appropriate photographs, but I have not seen more than the pictures of the teams before getting my hands on the programme.

This is surely a collector’s item if ever there was one. There is captivating photographs of both teams in colour marching in regimental order behind the band prior to the game.

We will all remember the photographs of Princess Grace of Monaco, and her husband, Prince Rainier in attendance, but there are some beautifully captivating shots of action around both goalmouths that we have never seen.

The programme will be on sale in Nowlan Park on Sunday, and I defy you not to purchase one. They only cost €3, and are a steal at the price.

They are one of those publications that are put in the bottom of a chest of drawers for posterity, and like the programmes for the 1932 Eucharistic Congress, or the Pope’s visit to Galway, are filed away for future generations to peruse and wonder.

For a €3 outlay, a must have item for sure.