An article based on an item in The Nottingham Evening Post 1/9/00
Life is a road with many twists and turnings. Who knows what is round the next bend? As the poet Edward Thomas in his poem 'Roads' avers the next turn may 'Heaven reveal or Hell conceal.'
Buddy McGovern is an ordinary Irishman whose head was untroubled with desire for fame. He little thought that he would achieve immortality after his working life was over. Thanks to his daughter this is what has happened.
Buddy was born in Dublin and it was on a visit to Nottingham over forty years ago that he met the girl who became his wife and the reason for leaving Ireland and settling here. He counts himself lucky for he has been married for 41 years and has six children. However, he has never forgotten his homeland and has been able to keep in touch with the many Irish who live and work here. He is well known and liked by Nottingham's Irish community.
Indeed many of his working colleagues were from Ireland and Nottingham has an active Irish Club. Now age 65 Buddy has retired from the building trade.
What feat did he perform to warrant his fame? None really, it was due to the enterprise of his daughter. She sent a photograph of him, as a young man, to a competition organised by the local newspaper. The Post House Hotel was looking for a star to feature in their new mural a painting based on the Irish racecourse 'The Curragh.'
What better, Buddy's daughter thought, than a fine looking race loving Irishman? The judges agreed with her and Buddy's photograph was chosen from more than forty entries. It is the Post House Hotel, with the aid of a Kent company, who developed the bar's Irish theme, that has immortalised this ordinary Irishman..
Buddy himself knew nothing of his success until he received the phone call telling him he was to be a jockey in the mural over the Irish bar.
Now Buddy is looking forward to taking his friends to the hotel and standing by the bar waiting for them to recognise him. He knows that fame does not come without a price and he will need to put his hand in his pocket when they raise their glasses to the lucky Irishman in the frame.