herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Hoses, goals, pubs and boots - 1970s clashes were fierce, remembers Dubs legendary 'keeper Paddy Cullen

Paddy Cullen
Paddy Cullen

THIS Sunday will be the latest instalment of the long-running Dublin v Kerry saga.

The first great clash came in 1975 when the Dubs played the Kingdom in the final - and Kerry came out on top.

Dublin's defeat was compounded when they players had to be hosed down post-match, because the Croke Park showers were broken.

Legendary Dublin goalkeeper Paddy Cullen said the out-of-order showers added insult to injury following a 2-11 to 0-12 defeat.

"We came in to the changing room and one of the lads who told us the showers weren't working got a hose," Mr Cullen told the Herald.

"So he insisted that he would hose us down, so we'd get some throw of water on ourselves."

The rivalry between the teams intensified as the years went on - meeting six years in succession and in three more finals.

One particular final stands out for all the wrong reasons for Cullen, that was when Mikey Sheehy scored that famous goal over the scrambling goalkeeper in 1978.

In that game, Dublin were on top against their rivals when an innocuous free-kick was given against Cullen, leading to a goal.

Years later, Mr Cullen opened a pub in Ballsbridge and included a nine-photo series of the goal.

He also got hold of Sheehy's boots from the day, placing them behind the bar.

Dublin forward and long-time friend Jimmy Keaveney previously said the goal made Cullen a millionaire with the publicity he received.

"That's what he keeps saying but, you know, the fella that has it keeps shouting about everyone else," he said.

"That goal is a bit of fun now, but at the time it was disastrous," he added.

Former Kerry player and current Government Minister Jimmy Deenihan said the games between the two were all about survival.

"It was urban against rural, but at the same time there was tremendous respect between the players," Mr Deenihan said.

"On the field there was no quarter given or taken," the Kerryman said.

"When you're out there it's every man for himself, but there was no malice," Mr Cullen added.

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