Mark Lawrenson, he of the languid Match of the Day demeanour, will be doing a double act with Jim Beglin in aid of Waterford United in the Tower Hotel on Thursday week (Nov 18).

Everyone here knows Jim’s from the City, but his ex-Liverpool team-mate also has Portláirge blood in his veins.

In the 1970s then-Republic player/manager Johnny Giles had no qualms about choosing second or third generation Irishmen and learned that Lawrenson qualified through his mother, Theresa Crotty from County Waterford.

Ireland’s ’keeper at the time, Alan Kelly Snr was with Lawrenson’s home town club Preston North End, for whom Mark’s dad Tommy had been a winger and where his childhood hero, Bobby Charlton, was boss, albeit briefly, when he signed.

Kelly made the approach and the “18-year-old spotty-faced kid playing in the middle of the Third Division” had no hesitation, making his debut in a friendly against Poland in April 1977 without Giles ever having seen him play.

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