Mayo WAGS feature on Today FM series

When we think WAGS we think Posh Spice, Cheryl Cole, Alex Curran and Co. We’ve seen them in their Gucci shades and Jimmy Choos sitting in their cushioned thrones in the best seats of the stadium.

Cut to a wet and windy Sunday afternoon and to quote one GAA Wag “well, you can wear fake tan…. but you still look purple….’

Footballers’ Wives, a new four–part series on Today FM, takes a look at the life of the GAA WAG. Far from tanning sessions in St Tropez, the partner of a Gaelic footballer is lucky if she gets four days away with her footballing beau in December.

Footballers’ Wives producer and presenter, former Today FM news presenter Emily Tully, has travelled the length and breadth of the island from Gweedore to Cork to talk to these most tolerant ladies. Representing the Mayo WAGS are Aisling Cunningham, girlfriend of Alan Dillon, and Laura Hegarty, fiancée of Aiden Higgins.

The series also features contributions from GAA pundits Paul Collins (Today FM ), Alan Milton (The Sun ), Michael Moynihan (The Examiner ) and Liam Horan (RTE’s DriveTime Sport/ The Horan Stand ).

“I was inspired to make the programme after hearing the story of Liam McBarron up in Fermanagh,” said Footballers’ Wives creator Emily Tully. “He had to be flown to the altar in a helicopter as a match clashed with his wedding day – and I thought my God! What woman would put up with that?

“I quickly discovered that’s just the tip of the iceberg. These women have never had a summer holiday; in fact many of them have never even had a weekend away with their fella. They wash manky jerseys, adhere to strict dietary requirements (steamed mince ) and are there to mop the brow and pat the back when their defeated man returns home. They can’t even go out for dinner without getting comments from well-meaning fans suggesting an early night might be more appropriate for an inter-county player.”

Each 30-minute episode of the radio show features women from one of the four provinces discussing everything from their hectic schedules, mandatory winter weddings and raising kids while ‘himself’ is out training, to people slagging their loved ones off when they lose and the elation when they win.

They tell of their worries when it comes to injury and fears of sudden death syndrome striking again. The girls also give their views on the thorny issue of paying GAA players and whether the GAA should turn professional.

Footballers’ Wives, a four-part independent production, is funded by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland through its Sound and Vision Scheme. It will be broadcast on 100–102 Today FM on Sunday mornings at 10am from September 28.

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