Crokes celebrate atrue hero and pal
Kilmacud salute legacy of the leader of the band
IT is such a striking television advert. And it has touched the heart of the nation.
Gerry Collins is urging everybody to give up smoking. His own time was short but what a legacy he has left.
The selfless gesture summed him up as a person. Sean Fox, the Kilmacud Crokes football chairman, knew him well.
They were colleagues on the Dublin U21 football team in the late 70's. Kevin Moran and Tommy Drumm were team-mates.
Sean and Gerry were also on the Dublin senior squad under Kevin Heffernan.
Gerry also played junior for the county. He was steeped in Kilmacud, just like his father, Paddy. Gerry played in the half-back line or at midfield. He was on the Crokes side that won the Intermediate Championship in the late 70's."He was managing a junior team until a couple of years ago.
"He was a good footballer and always such great fun. He was a laugh a minute," recalled Sean.
This Saturday, Kilmacud are staging The Gerry Collins Memorial Football Tournament. It's an internal 7-a-side event.
"The day will be all about honouring Gerry's contribution to the club and to highlight the Quit Smoking campaign," explains Sean.
"Gerry's very powerful anti smoking adverts have encouraged over 100,000 people to quit smoking this year.
"The HSE Quit Smoking Campaign and the Bank of Ireland have agreed to partner us in the event. The competition brings together players of all ages."
Many of the Crokes All-Ireland winners of 1995 and 2009 are taking part. Gerry's old band, The Upbeats, will be providing the music. Michael Kinsella will be providing the treats.
Special jerseys have been commissioned. The action begins at 1.pm.There will be two groups of four. The top two in each group progress to the cup semi-final, and the bottom two go into the shield semi-final.
The shield final is at 5.0. The cup final is at 5.30. Tony Lambe and Paul Faughnan will be refereeing. "We'll have a barbecue and a bar. People are coming down to the club who haven't been here in a while. We are sending out an open invitation to all our past and present members and indeed friends of the club. We'd love to see everybody there." More details from Sean on 087-7749000.