So said Roy Keane, who was more than happy to play the role of ambassador for Mayfield last night at the first Mayfield Community Volunteer Awards in the Silversprings Moran Hotel, a stone’s throw from his family home.
“It’s nice to give a bit back,” said Keane. “I’m from Mayfield, born and bred here, married here, the kids were christened here, I grew up here.”
He didn’t like the fact that Mayfield sometimes got bad press and that the good work done by many was often overlooked.
“Sometimes Mayfield gets a bad reputation,” he said. “I think it’s unfair. There’s a lot of good people, a lot of good people in the community, and that’s why I’m here tonight, to show my appreciation.”
Roy was guest of honour at the ceremony, at which a number of volunteers were honoured for their ongoing selfless contribution to the community. One of the award nominees, Bríd Houlihan, shook hands with Keane, and reminded him of the time she snuck him into the Mayfield Sports Awards.
“He was a teenager, 16 or 17,” said Bríd. “I was waiting for him in the foyer of the Country Club Hotel. He was getting the overall award but he was late and I tried to get him in without anyone noticing.”
She had a photograph of the night in question to show him, of herself pictured with Keane’s father, Mossie. Bríd was delighted to meet Keane again she said, if somewhat embarrassed about finding herself in the spotlight.
Roy took time to pose for photographs with whoever asked and smilingly accepted his own award.
Eddie Carey, chairman of the Mayfield East Community Association, said they were delighted Roy was the guest of honour at their awards ceremony.
“Roy is a hugely popular figure in Cork and Mayfield and many people look up to him,” he said.
“We’re delighted to have him here and I’m sure his presence will give all the local clubs and organisations a boost.”