Good manners. The easy carry. At a time when some of the biggest names in sport are making the headlines for all the wrong reasons, the modesty and dignity of Seamus Coleman really was something to marvel at when he performed the official opening of McGinley’s Garage in Donegal Town on Tuesday evening.
The 22-year-old, who swapped life in his native Killybegs as a part-time footballer in the League of Ireland with Sligo Rovers for the professional game on Merseyside, talked openly and about life in soccer’s fast lane to members of the local media.
When he said a lot of what he’s done since being signed by Everton’s David Moyes two-and-a-half years ago still seems surreal, he meant it. And when he said he was mindful that the Everton squad would be added to in the close-season and that the competition for places would intensify, he meant it. And when he took time to speak to the dozens of fans who wanted photos taken and various bits and pieces autographed, he was genuinely interested in what they were saying.
It was a tanned, slim and casually dressed athletic figure who climbed out of his shining black Audi A5 shortly after seven o’clock. Nothing was a problem as fans of all ages closed in. Having just returned from a foreign holiday earlier in the day - he still has two weeks to enjoy before preseason gets underway - he was keen to keep everyone happy.
Moyes and Giovanni Trappatoni will have identified many qualities in one of life’s gentlemen - not least his humility and honesty. As the wide-eyed youngsters looked up in awe of their hero who has the world literally at his feet, the older and wiser among them knew they couldn’t have picked a better role model to idolise.
Good things. Good qualities. A good individual.
SEE TODAY’S DONEGAL DEMOCRAT FOR FULL PHOTOGRAPHIC COVERAGE OF SEAMUS COLEMAN’S VISIT TO DONEGAL TOWN.