O'Hanlon's Archives


December 2002: The Regina Roadrunners Players Association annual fundraising luncheon at O’Hanlon’s this Thursday will feature special farewells to retiring player Bruce Crouter

The farewell to Crouter, who has the unique distinction of been the leagues oldest player having first played football in 1947. Last year when approached about retirement, Crouter grunted “as long as I am faster than Darryl Luterbach I’ll keep Hacking” To celebrate Bruce’s Birthday on Thursday, I thought I would ask Bruce and a few other Roadrunners what they think about Bruce.

"I'll never change my game. It isn't possible. If I did I would be half the player that I am." B. Crouter

"Bruce Crouter is Damien, the devil incarnate off the film The Omen. He's evil. Even in training." J. Gibbons

  "I hate losing in training, I'm always arguing, having a go at everybody. I take my football very seriously." B. Crouter

  "The type of game I play, I'm going to pick up injuries and suspensions, unfortunately."  B. Crouter

  I don't think he is mentally right". Dick Stinson

"He's a bully, a firkin big-time Charlie". Dick Stinson

"If we played like that every week we wouldn't be so inconsistent."
B. Crouter

"Dick Stinson is the best manager I've ever had at this level. Well, he's the only manager I've actually had at this level. But he's the best manager I've ever had."
B. Crouter

"I'm 40 now and I just felt I had to draw the line somewhere. I thought I can't let people say what they want and get away with it..... In my opinion his behaviour towards me has been cowardly."
B. Crouter in regards to my last column  

"0 to 0… well from Lapland to the Antarctic, that's level scores in any mans language…" B. Crouter. Bruce can make sense of any game

"The Baggio brothers, of course, are not related. B. Crouter

"The lad got over-excited when he saw the whites of the goalpost's eyes." Dick Stinson

I never comment on referees and I'm not going to break the habit of a lifetime for that prat." Bruce Crouter

"I make no apologies for my absence but I'm sorry they're not here." 
Bruce Crouter

“As Dick Stinson said, each game is unique, and this one is no different to any other." Bruce Crouter

"Dick is everywhere. It's like we've got eleven Dicks on the field."
Bruce Crouter

There is also talk of why Bruce had to leave Halifax . I am pleased to report with the help of Darryl Luterbach and his vast knowledge of illicit internet sites we have found out the truth. Here is a clip from the Halifax Sun Newspaper

  A footballer has been given a six-month ban after pinching the referee's bottom.  Bruce Crouter is a defender for Whitecaps United. He repeatedly pinched the referee in a bid to make him change his mind over a penalty kick. The incident happened during a seventh division match in Halifax , Darryl Luterbach’s website reports.


November 2002: Well after last night's defeat to the raiders I don’t feel much like writing about football.  So instead I will delve in to another of my favourite topics. BEER. Not just any beer the one and only our sponsor, yes folks you guinnessed it. Guinness! Since I started writing these pieces I have been inundated with countless questions about Guinness. Here are Some of the more interesting queries. 

Bruce Crouter Q. I have heard that it is possible to live on Guinness and milk alone. Is this true, or even partially true?

Niall A. This is not quite true. Guinness does contain many vitamins and minerals in small quantities, but is lacking vitamin C, as well as calcium and fat. So, to fulfill all of your daily nutritional requirements you would need to drink a glass of orange juice, two glasses of milk, and 47 pints of Guinness.

Bruce Crouter Q. Does Guinness make you better in bed or the
soccer pitch?

Niall A. Tough question Bruce. There is medical folklore about Guinness and stout, in general. In some countries, stout is seen as an aphrodisiac or as a beneficial bath for newborn babies. Since most research indicates the aphrodisiac effects are primarily psychological, there may be truth to the former. As for the pitch I think the ever improving Roadrunners answers that i.e. the more we drink the better we get.

Bruce Crouter Q. Is it true that if I am in hospital in Ireland I
can get myself some free Guinness.

Niall A. Yes
Bruce in Ireland, Guinness is still made available to blood donors and stomach and intestinal post-operative patients. Guinness is known to be high in iron
content. But I’d like to point out to you Bruce that a pint of the black stuff is only$5.50 in O’Hanlon’s whilst the flight to Ireland will set up back in the region of $1000.00.

You will have to stay in hospital in Ireland for a considerable time to make this idea of yours economically viable.

Bruce Crouter Q. Although when in Regina I always drink my Guinness in O’Hanlon’s, my duties as Roadrunner scout sometimes takes me to
the four corners of the earth. How do I go about finding another good Irish pub with good Guinness?

Niall A. Well Bruce you have asked real conundrum of a question this time. I will try to make my answer into points for you.

1 Choose your pub carefully. A pint of Guinness does not appreciate loud music, loud people or bright flashing lights. 

2 Ask politely for a pint of Guinness. Depending on the pub, it is possible to catch the barman’s eye and mouth the word "pint", he will translate this accurately. 

3 The barman will fill the glass between 70% and 80% capacity. It will then be put to the side for a few moments to allow it "to settle". Once the brownish liquid has almost turned to a solid black the barman will then fill the rest of the glass. NB: do not under any circumstances take the glass before it is filled. Some virgins seem to think that the settling stage is the final stage and walk away with an unfinished pint. At this point we Irish DO understand the predicament, but I assure you it causes endless mirth as well. (Remember the first we spoke Bruce you don’t want everyone laughing again now do we?)

4 Once you have received your pint, find a comfortable stool or seat, gaze with awe into the deep blackness, raise the pint to your mouth and take a large mouthful. Be firm. 

5 A good pint can distinguished by a number of methods. A smooth, slightly off- white head is one, another is the residue left on the inside of the glass. These, surprise surprise, are known as rings. As long as they are there you know you’re okay. A science of rings is developing - the instance that comes to mind is determining a persons nationality by the number of rings (a ring is dependent on a swig of Guinness each swig leaving its own ring). An Irishman will have in the region of 5-6 rings (we pace ourselves), an Englishman will have 8-10 rings, an American will have 17-20 (they sip) and an Australian won't have any at all as they tend to knock it back in one go! 

6 As you near the end of your pint, it is the custom to order another one. It is a well known fact that a bird does not fly on one wing. 

September 2002: These are some strange football stories that will inspire us all to a higher level.  If we can’t do it for each other or for glory. Lets do it for a keg from our sponsors Guinness

Once, Newtownards football club were playing a match against Ballycastle junior farmers, in the bass Irish cup. The crowd was about 100 in total. Nearby, a pie baking competition was taking place. A man named Douglas Saulters had taken surprise first place, with a beef and apricot pie, his rival, Bernie Botmann, was irate at the judges decision, and stormed out of the contest. He drove to the football ground to calm down. However, he decided to get rid of the pies, and, in a rage, threw at the footballers. Johnny Mccreadie, the Ballycastle forward, who was a bit fat, halted an attack to bend over to sample the pieman's wares. suddenly, the crowd began to sing "who ate all the pies, who ate all the pies, you fat bas****, you fat bas****, who ate all the pies? and this was how that famous song was begun!!! 


Me:  "What's that for, ref?"
Ref: "Ungentlemanly conduct."
Me:  "What did I do?"
Ref: "You're shouting too loud."
Me:  "What?!"
Ref: "Shouting too loud and scaring the other players" *
Me:   Laughter
Ref: "You can laugh, but if you do it again you're in the book"
Me:  "Because I shouted too loud"
Ref: "Yes"
Me:  "OK, so can you please tell me how I should shout?"
Ref: "Don't shout! Why do you need to shout?"
Me:  "Well if I'm up in the air I want to call my team-mates off"
Ref: "But there wasn't anyone near you"
Me:  "How the f##k do I know- I'm looking at the ball. What am I supposed
        "to do - use sonar?**"
Ref: "I don't care... just don't do it again"  


There was a soccer match between two under-16 teams in a town in Ireland . One team was good, and the other team was miserably pathetic, and frequently lost matches 10-0. After the half, realizing that his team might actually come close to winning after being down by only 3 points, the eager but inexperienced coach of the worst team in the league tried something different. He told every player save the goalie to keep himself on the offensive half with hopes that the other team would choke under the pressure of having no defence to go up against. Sure enough, when the awestruck team tried to dribble down the bare naked half of the field, some idiot would get excited (remember, they were 15 year- olds) and make himself offsides, and when the ball got on the other half, the ridiculous amount of offence would naturally force the ball into the goal. The worst team in the league won their first game using the ever popular "remove-your-whole-defense-and- watch-the-other-team-choke" trick.  This is the new formation for the roadrunners

MAY 23rd: "Just Gutted"

A common way of complimenting a courageous footballer is by saying he's the sort of player you'd happily have alongside you "in the trenches". When the goings gets tough, he wouldn't chicken out. But what about when the going gets stupid? 

Roy Keane would be a useless soldier. Because this boy from the Rebel County is not prepared to blindly follow orders if they're nonsensical. 

And so, Ireland's captain, who also happens to be one of the best players on the planet, has been expelled from the World Cup for being a "disruptive influence". Is that what we should do with dissidents? Banish them to the gulags? Let them wallow wastefully in the wilderness with their hi-falutin' notions of progress? 

Tremendous. Roll up, roll up, the country that brought the world endless internicine strife in Ulster now brings you a shambolic World Cup campaign! 

Roy Keane is by his own definition a private man. Some would even say the boy Roy is coy. And yet, in recent seasons, he has rocked many a boat with his carefully considered comments. And they are carefully considered. Read them.( the Shrimp munchers at Old trafford) He is an articulate man, indeed, he speaks like he plays, with a kind of grinding minimalism - deliberately, forcefully, but with not a single wasted syllable. 

Why has this timid lad become so outspoken? Is it because he's pampered in Manchester? Has he degenerated into just another spoilt celebrity brat? 

Certainly not. He is the captain of his club and country and he knows it is his responsibility to further his teams' cause. Gaining the captaincy at one of the biggest clubs in the world co-incided almost precisely with his becoming a father - another hefty responsibility, another job a man can cock up if he's not prepared to stand up for what he believes to be right for him and his. 

And, of course, he is reported to have introduced some personal vitriol to the "clear-the-air" talks with McCarthy. We don't know what he said, but when you hear Steve Staunton, Niall Quinn, and even Alan Kelly, the Irish player with whom Keane is probably closest, saying it was GUBU, then there's a blatant problem. But was it irretrievable? Could Mick not have referred again to Roy's "personal problems" and sent him to his room to think about apologizing, rather than
dispatching him home immediately? 

Ultimately, Roy cares passionately about Ireland. Knowing he and his team are about to confront some of the finest footballers in the world, he was distraught to find that the bureaucrats who get such splendid junkets on the back of his boys efforts couldn't even organize simple things like water, footballs, and a quality training pitch, all of which, we must agree, are fairly essential to football at any level, let alone a World Cup. 

Perhaps, stressed by the heat, the pressure, and "personal problems", he expressed himself rudely. But did sending him home so quickly not make losers of all football fans especially Irish publicans in their native land and abroad. After all this is the man that if he came up against a more skilled player he would simply kick his way to success. (ask Zidane, Figo or even Beckam, they crap their pants whenever 
Keane is in opposition). Ireland will probably not even make it into the second round now and will only have themselves to blame.

I think its a good thing the game is cancelled today as I feel like doing a whole lot of kicking myself. The Surge have been spared for another day 

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