‘The Sunday Game’ Music Still Gives Man PTSD Flashbacks Of Being Stuck In Pub With Parents


“DEN, den, den, den, dan, dan, den, daw, daw daw den den daaaah dah,” sang local man Terry Hayes as he rocked back and forth holding his knees close to his chest as he recalled the Sunday Game theme tune which continues to haunt his childhood memories.

44-year-old Hayes is one of thousands of 80s and 90s children who suffer from a newly diagnosed form of post-traumatic stress called Sunday Game Syndrome, triggered by the music from the popular GAA television program containing highlights of all the week’s fixtures every Sunday night on RTÉ, religiously aired in pubs up and down the country.

“Den! Den! Den! Den, da daw,” Hayes continued, as psychologist Dr. Kevin Fielding begged him to stop singing the song, and to focus his mind on happier childhood memories that don’t relate to being stuck in a pub.

“Many Irish adults are unaware they may have SGS, but hopefully Terry’s case will bring awareness and help others come forward and open up about those countless hours spent in a packed, smoke-filled pub full of die-hard GAA heads while consuming their own weight in club orange and King crisps,” said Dr. Fielding, a pioneer who has been treating the condition for the past 10 years.

“Sufferers usually lead a happy life but upon hearing the music are triggered into a serious spell of anxiety unaware it’s the music itself that caused it,” he adds, “even the mention of Michael Lyster can set them off and can cause their sphincters to spasm”.

Treatment for SGS include watching old reruns of Wanderley Wagon, old interviews of Lenny Henry on The Late Late Show or weirdly enough the cartoon Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds.

“Basically, any program that didn’t feature on a Sunday night like Where In The World or Glenroe,” Fielding advised.