The brilliant thing about Ireland's Euro 2016 journey is that we still have so much to learn about our players. This isn't USA '94 where everyone in Ireland knew John Aldridge's star sign (Virgo) and which goalie glove Packie Bonner put on first (the left one). Lads like Ciaran Clark, Darren Randolph and Daryl Murphy are relative unknowns to the public at large. We have much to discover about the Ireland squad over the next 8 months.
Take Richard Keogh. He's emerged as one of the rocks of our defense this year but beyond the fact he plays for Derby and looks like a badass with a bandage on, we know next to nothing about him. So I took special note of Stephen Hunt's column in yesterday's Sindo where Hunt said that most people in the Ireland squad called Keogh 'Stevie' from X-Factor.
Now I'm no different from the rest of you people. I stopped watching X-Factor when Chico was given the boot in 2005. I'd never heard of this Stevi character. But having done some digging, I must admit the similarities are uncanny and with Hunt's help, we've stumbled onto one of the more random Derby County in-jokes - Richard Keogh is Stevi from X-Factor.
On Twitter, where he is criminally underfollowed, Keogh does not shirk the Stevi comparisons. In fact he seems to have given up Twitter entirely after Stevi was voted off last year. His last Twitter activity was a retweet of a Stevi gag by teammate Chris Martin a year ago.
These kids in Derby area were quick to point out the similarities between Stevi and Key-oh.
Wikipedia informs us that Stevi appeared on the X-Factor in 2014 and was voted off the programme after Week 6. Keogh, who may or may not be a failed pop star, meanwhile will likely be a starting central defender for Ireland at Euro 2016 barring injury or a collapse in form.
Call him Stevi. He won't mind.