Meet Jerome

“I’m living in Kilnamanagh forty years, I’m originally from Sandymount, I moved to Tallaght when I got married. Where I live all the roads are named after trees because it used to be all wood lands. I’ve seen a lot of changes in Tallaght during that time. From The Square to the college and all the new developments it has changed quite a bit, it’s a very vibrant place. It was a pity with the recession that a lot of the work stopped on redeveloping the area but things seem to be picking up a bit now, lets hope that continues, things can only get better. I’m retired, I used to be a porter in Ballyfermot College. I’m a widower, my wife is dead ten years, I live with my son and daughter.

I’ve about over two hundred football jerseys from all over the world going back a few years…it’s like a hobby

I’ve about over two hundred football jerseys from all over the world going back a few years but I follow Aston Villa and Sligo Rovers. How I started collecting them was there used to be a shop I went to on Georges Street called “The Soccer Shop” and Pat Seery, who owned it, used to get jerseys in from South America and all over Europe, of teams you’ve never heard of. I’d wait till they were on sale and get them for about a tenner! I’d never buy the usual Man Utd/Liverpool etc and went for the more unusual jerseys.

That’s how the collection started, it’s like a hobby, I would never sell them. A lot of people remark on it because I never wear the same jersey twice! I have a few favourites. I have a Down jersey that’s grey and red that people say is nice and some of the Villa ones, they’d be my favourites. I’ve been supporting Aston Villa since the FA Cup final in 1957 when they beat Manchester United 2-1. Sometimes I’ll be wearing a jersey and someone from the place the team is from will come up to me and ask me about it. Last week I was wearing a Sporting Lisbon one and a security guard from Lisbon came over to talk to me about the club.

I’ve stopped collecting them now because I’ve run out of space to keep them, I’d have to build an extra room in the house! Anyway, jerseys today are more or less the same, they’re not as interesting as they used to be twenty or thirty years ago, I think they’ve run out if ideas! My father, who was an ex-paratrooper in the Second World War, used to train the Dublin-based players from the Sligo team so that’s how I started supporting them. They had a good spell over the last few years but things aren’t going so well now! Ah they’ll rise again, they always do!