Here's an interview where Stevie G chatted about Cork City for ExtraTime.ie
Original article here
Extratime with ... DJ Stevie G
By Joseph Sexton
Red FM presenter and club DJ Stevie G is a well-known figure on Leeside. Known as the Godfather of the Cork hip-hop scene after his long residency in Sir Henry’s, Stevie has been very active in recent years, organising musical workshops for youngsters and supporting the music community. Although famous for his support of Manchester United, Stevie is a fixture in the stands at Turner’s Cross for Cork City’s home games. ExtraTime.ie caught up with him last week to talk about City’s past and present, as well as its future prospects.
Q: How long have you been going to see Cork City?
Well, I’m old enough to remember the first couple of games. I would have been 8 or 9 back then. Now at that time there hadn’t been any team in Cork for a while. We’d all heard about the heyday at Flower Lodge back in the 70’s, but already by that stage I was already a big [Manchester] United fan. I always loved my soccer, and I went down to the games a lot during the 80’s. Of course it’s a big thing these days, it’s almost as if it has to be one thing or the other when it comes to following the national League or English football, but we never saw it like that. If anything, the two were complementary. I’d follow the Cork hurling and football teams, as well as the national team, and I went to a lot of games in 80’s. Like a lot of people, I found my interest waned during the Bishopstown era, but I still went to games regularly enough. Work commitments have got in the way at times, but for the last few years now I’ve been able to get down to see every home game. I’ll never claim to be a die-hard City fan, of course, but I’ve always followed the club’s progress throughout the years.
Q: Can you remember the first game you went to?
I can’t remember because I was so young at the time. I can remember there being a great buzz around the Lodge back around 1983, when Cobh had a good cup run. But my first City memory would be a cup game against Derry. The exact year escapes me, but I can remember it being a huge thing at the time. They brought a massive crowd down with them, as they always do. The game looked to be petering out towards the end, and then City nicked a goal in the last few minutes. I’ll never forget it. It could be nostalgia, but I remember it being absolutely packed down there that day- maybe more than 10,000. It was madness; people were already leaving, and they had to rush back in. That would be my first real memory anyway.
Q: Who would be your favourite City player over the years?
I’ve always liked strikers, so I’d have to mention Pat Morley. Everyone remembers Dave Barry of course; he was a great player over the years, pulling the strings from midfield. I’d have a lot of time for John Caulfield too, another good, honest forward. Of course, there have been some great defenders down through the years, but I’d always be inclined to go for the front men, or those in the middle.
Q: And what about the current City team? Who would be your favourite?
These days it’s hard because you get attached to players, and then they’re gone. I thought Mooney was unbelievable in the short time he was at the club, but for me it’s got to be Joe Gamble. He’s got great energy levels. It’s great to see Colin Healy playing here too, but for me Joe Gamble epitomises the last few years. I know he was close to leaving recently, but he’s been here now for a while and I hope he stays put as the team rebuild.
Q. What would be the highlight for you in the history of Cork City FC to date?
Obviously, there’s the Bayern Munich home game [UEFA Cup in 1991], and the away game too. Galatasaray also ; being a United fan as well, United ended up losing to them just weeks later. City ran them close, and could have gone through, and that was great. You only have to look at what those Galatasaray players went on to do in later years. Then we had those great Euro runs in recent years, but for me it’s got to be winning the league in 1993 and 2005. I know they’ve won a couple of cups, but I just don’t find it to be the same thing. Winning leagues is the ultimate test for any side, so I’d have to go with those.
Q. What are your thoughts on the present uncertainty surrounding the club?
It’s unfortunate, but there’s so much good feeling towards the club. Of course, there is a fantastic hardcore support, but we do need bring in the wider public in Cork. I know there’s a huge ‘barstool’ thing; people go on about the bandwagon, and I know some people don’t want them. I can understand that. If you look at Munster, they were getting really low crowds even just a couple of year’s back, despite reaching European finals. We’ve seen situations with very low numbers heading up to follow the football side in All Ireland semi-finals, and then everyone’s looking for a ticket when they make the final. Even hurling, the real top dog for support, isn’t immune to this. City will have to look to draw in part of this element to grow. It’s important to keep the community thing going, and the hardcore is already there. Even through the last few months, the attendance has remained solidly above 3,000 a game.
I think the raw materials are there. With a bit more acumen, with a bit more support from the business community and some stability, the club can come through and improve in the future. The supporters trust is a massive thing; it’s great to see the fans pulling together. Maybe the club will end up following the Barcelona model, maybe not; but I don’t see the club going to the wall. Rumour has it that there are one or two people with muscle and ability looking to step in too, and I’d welcome that. These people apparently welcome the idea of getting [supporters trust] FORAS on board, which would be great. I’m sure it will all work out one way or another. Let’s not forget the mess Ramblers are in though- I think the FAI and the league have got to look after things a bit better but it can be done.
Q. Finally Stevie, what does Cork City mean to you?
It’s our local team. It’s the community. As I’ve said, the way it happened for me by the time Cork City came along, I’d already been crying when [Manchester] United lost. There was no City, there was hurling and football, and the stories of the great days of Cork soccer in the 1970s, Miah Dennehy and the like. So while I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t already formed the allegiance to United in my formative years, I’ve never had time for the whole barstooling thing. I can’t watch games in pubs myself, it does my head in. But what City means to me is the local banter. I’ve travelled to Old Trafford for years, but when it’s in your own town it’s just that extra bit special. You can’t beat that. We’re a sporting town, and it’s soccer right in the middle of town. Turner’s Cross is the place to be, I don’t think it was ever going to work in Bishopstown. It’s about local soccer, and the players we’ve seen especially in the last couple of years, but even going right back.
There are ignorant people out there who’ll say, ‘oh, I went there and the quality was crap’, but it’s not a bit like that. There’s better quality than a lot of top level soccer, all these hyped-up games on Sky and internationals; games with teams dogging it out for 120 minutes to get to penalties. Most teams in the league play good football now. Sure, there were times back in the day where there was a bit of hoofing, but sometimes you’ve got to hoof it too! But there’s quality football down there and a good vibe and I would encourage anyone to try it out. It’s fantastic. The Friday night thing is great also. For me it means that even with work I can make it down. It’s the perfect way to kick off the weekend. But most of all it’s about going down and getting behind your local team.
Stevie's Blog can be found here.