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Thursday 8 December 2016

'My mates used to steal my Dubs jerseys from off the washing line' - Charlie Redmond

Charlie Redmond
Charlie Redmond
Charlie Redmond

Playing football for Dublin provided star forward Charlie Redmond with some of his best memories - and some of his friends with precious Dublin jerseys.

The Dubs have had a chequered record against Kerry in All-Ireland football finals in the 1980s, with defeats in both 1984 and 1985.

The 1984 final - 101 years after the foundation of the GAA - was a day of mixed emotions for Dublin youngster Charlie Redmond (22), who was starting in his first-ever final.

Charlie was a substitute when the Dubs beat Galway in 1983 and almost came on at the very end.

"I'd been on the panel since 1982 and I was very close to getting on in the final in 1983.

"I was told to get ready to go on because someone got injured, but I couldn't get my tracksuit off quick enough and missed my chance," Charlie said this week.

The forward was living abroad for the first final in 1984 and returned to the panel "bigger and stronger" a year later.

He was a substitute again for most of the 1985 championship.

"Before the semi-final against Mayo we had a meeting and Kevin (Heffernan) said to me that I was starting - he told me literally an hour-and-a-half before the match, so I had no time to get nervous," he said.

"I retained my place for the final but I remember - in the lead up to the game - I didn't want to believe that I was going to start, just in case I didn't."

However, the game soon turned into a disaster for Redmond, when he dislocated his shoulder halfway through the first half.

Thundering

He fell awkwardly when diving for a ball and knocked the shoulder out of place, but continued playing until another collision minutes later.

"Tommy Doyle came in and hit me with a thundering shoulder," he said.

"It was a completely fair shoulder, but my shoulder had already been separated in the previous incident."

The Dubs made a second-half surge to get back into the match, but ultimately came up short against their great rivals.

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Charlie playing for the Dubs

"It was strange. I felt I'd been robbed a bit, because I'd been playing well up until the final and thought I could make an impact," he said.

Charlie is a fireman based in the North Strand. He is married to Grainne and they have three daughters - Sarah (21), Ciara (17) and Ruth (15).

He contested numerous finals for Dublin in the following years, but had to wait until 1995 for All-Ireland glory - when he scored a decisive goal but later got sent off as the Dubs defeated Tyrone.

The three-time All-Star recently said he had his medals stolen from his house, but told the Herald that it's the memories that count.

He also said that while playing for the Boys in Blue, he had jerseys stolen from the washing line at his home.

matches

"I remember when my mother would put my Dublin jerseys out on the washing line after matches, my mates would rob them off the line.

"I'd see them walking down the street wearing my jersey in front of me a few days later," he said.

Charlie told the Herald that if Dublin manage to defeat Kerry on Sunday, it'll be worth more than a regular All-Ireland victory.

"To beat Kerry in an All- Ireland final doesn't happen that often and it's worth two All-Irelands.

"So when it does happen you make sure that you enjoy it - Sunday is a tough game to call and who knows who's going to take it," Charlie said.

He doesn't expect Jim Gavin's side to be fazed by the hype surrounding them ahead of Sunday.

"The lads playing for Dublin, especially nowadays, know what to expect and what comes with the territory. "They have every angle covered," he said.

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