Tattoos, self-doubt & Australia: Easter Road ace Jackson Irvine

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JACKSON IRVINE has already made a Hibs fan out of one Simpsons writer.

Now he has cult director David Lynch in his sights.

The Australia internationalist went viral after an image emerged of the tattoo on his right leg which depicts Springfield favourite Moe Szylak walking across a stage and into the ‘Rejects’ section during a ‘bachelors auction’.

Jackson Irvine shows off his Simpsons tattoo | Hibs news
Jackson Irvine shows off his Simpsons tattoo

The picture — a scene from episode seven, season nine of the show, The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons — came to the attention of Tim Long, a consulting writer on The Simpsons Movie and a five-time Emmy award winner, who tweeted: “I don’t know who this guy is or even what sport he plays but he’s now my favorite player.”

The whole affair left Irvine slightly baffled – and wondering whether his Twin Peaks tattoo might be the next to attract attention from Lynch, the man behind that surreal masterpiece.

He laughed: “It was my first experience of going viral! I’ve no idea how it came about.

“It was an old photo of a tattoo I’ve had quite a while — but it found its way on to the timeline of one of the Simpsons’ writers. He decided to become a Hibs supporter because he was so impressed by it. It was a good laugh.

“I wish there was a better reason behind it, but I was just talking to the tattoo artist I use in Leeds and we are always quoting The Simpsons and laughing about it, so I said I was keen to get a tattoo from the show.

“We both had some spare time and we decided ‘let’s pick one — that’ll be a laugh’ and Moe is one of my favourite characters and I love that scene.

“Most of my tattoos have a pop culture reference somewhere . . . maybe David Lynch will start supporting Hibs after he sees my Twin Peaks tattoo.”

Irvine added: “My mum will be horrified to hear that I make such permanent decisions for the sake of a laugh!”

Jackson Irvine took inspiration from one of his favourite Simpsons' characters, Moe Sislak | Hibs news
Jackson Irvine took inspiration from one of his favourite Simpsons’ characters, Moe Sislak

Once the unusual furore surroundings unveiling died down, Irvine was able to get back to what he does best and immediately cemented his place in the Hibs midfield.

Irvine’s performances to date have belied the 10 months he endured without kicking a ball in competitive action prior to arriving in Edinburgh, restoring his swagger and self-belief which, for the first time, took a hit in 2020.

He recalled the period after leaving Hull last summer: “For the first time in my career I was starting to experience self-doubt and things like that.

“You think: ‘why is it not happening? Why is everything not coming together for me?’

“That’s when I needed the support of my family, partner and friends — the people who keep you going.

“You just want to do your job and do what you love, and to go that amount of time without being able to do it, and not through choice, was difficult to take.”

Now fit, firing and an in the process of rejuvenating his club career, Irvine has turned his attention to returning to the international stage.

The Socceroos are due to face Kuwait and Nepal next month in what will be their first fixtures since defeating Jordan 1-0 in November 2019 — a game in which Irvine and fellow Hibee Martin Boyle both played.

And he is determined to make up for lost time after confessing that that hiatus of international football due to the Covid outbreak has been a slight silver lining.

He told the Socceroos podcast: “I’m probably the only player to be out for 10 months and not miss a national team fixture!

“Even though I’d played 34 games for Australia, I felt like I was just becoming one of the main players in the group [in late 2019] — with my age and experience — and to have that taken away was tough, although we all totally understand why.

“So I’m really looking forward to being back involved. It’s a big couple of years for the Socceroos, with a lot of games to catch up on and I’m fit and pushing to get back to that form.”