Jimmy plays it cool with the stars of the game but doesn’t forget his roots

James Nesbitt.  Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
James Nesbitt. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography

Jimmy Nesbitt admitted there was some excitement in the build up to him hosting the Fifa Ballon d’Or 2015 ceremony in Zurich on Monday.

The Coleraine man was the host of football’s biggest awards ceremony.

Jimmy has performed to many audiences during his own sparkling career, but he admitted beforehand he was a little nervous.

“I’m excited enough when I get to meet players from involved with my hometown club of Coleraine!” the award-winning actor admitted.

“There’s always the chance that I might break out into a rash or start crying at the moment I start seeing Ronaldo,” the United fan said. “

“I’m planning to play it quite cool, but I’m sure that won’t be the case on the night.

“The big challenge will not be me speaking other languages, it will be them understanding my Northern Irish accent!” the actor,confessed.

“I’m quite excited about getting the opportunity to speak to them on stage, getting to ask questions that a fan would ask. It’s a big responsibility, as I’m representing millions of people of all ages from all over the world.”

Jimmy already has his summer holidays planned and it will involve watching our wee country at the European Championships in France.

“I was speaking at a function recently and I was paying tribute to (NI manager) Michael O’Neill and his astonishing achievement. I mean it’s not everyone who has scored four goals in 18 appearances for Coleraine,” he said

“I’ll be in France, it’s going to magical. My dad took me to all the qualifying games when we got to the World Cup in 1982 and 1986, we never thought then it would be another 30 years before we tasted that sort of success again. It would be criminal to miss it.”

Coleraine is Jimmy’s first love though and he revealed recently he continues to back the club in more ways than one.

“I haven’t really spoken about it before, I’ve given them money in the past and I’ve committed more money to help them with players,” he said.

“A football club is the heartbeat of a community and it’s a privilege to be able to do it.

“I remember sitting at home watching Coleraine play Linfield on Sky.

“Coleraine were 2-1 up and I got a text from Sir Alex: ‘Great game Jimmy, hope Coleraine hang on I’ve got two quid on them! United were playing in the Champions League the following night, but he’s just so obsessed with football he was watching an Irish League match!”