herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

Heffo will be remembered for all of time

THERE'S a lovely statue of Mick O'Dwyer in Waterville. Charlie Chaplin too. Silence is golden.

There's an imposing statue of Michael Cusack behind the stand that's named in his honour in Croke Park.

Castleisland celebrates Con Houlihan. A few Dublin pubs too.

John B Keane's figure cheers up Listowel, and in Cloyne, Christy Ring is remembered.

Over in England, many stands are called after legendary figures. The Shankly Gates are at Anfield.

Now the faithful are wondering when the one and only Heffo will be so honoured.

One gent tells of meeting him at Leopardstown Races a few years ago.

Kevin's mobile rang. It was a query about the U16B hurling team he was managing at St Vincent's!

"I thought that summed him up," said the gent. "Here was this legendary figure who had done it all still looking after the 16B hurlers. And hurling wasn't even his first game."

Some years previously, Kevin was managing another juvenile side at Vincent's.

His great pal, Jack Gilroy, told The Herald that they should do a story on it.

Amused

The Heff was not amused. When Kevin saw the bright lights coming, he wouldn't just run the other way. He'd sprint.

Writing a book was the last thing on his mind. He'd rather spill the beans opening a tin of Batchelors!

Yet he was so revered throughout the county and indeed the country.

A genius of a player, and a man who sparked the revolution of Dublin football.

But as a chap said, he was much more than that. He didn't live on past glories.

He was still bringing out kids teams when he could have been at home on the Howth Road by the fire.

He was forever the father figure of Dublin GAA. He was always there behind the scenes, making the effort to steer the games in the right direction.

Making the Dublin GAA structure better was his reward.

His legacy will never fade. But it would be still nice to have something concrete to cherish him by.

Like the hand-prints at the Gaiety Theatre or the walk of fame on Hollywood.

Irish sport has never seen the likes of Heffo's Army.

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