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Saturday 21 September 2019

Ros hero Murtagh close to giving up

Diarmuid Murtagh. Pic: Sportsfile
Diarmuid Murtagh. Pic: Sportsfile

It was his first ever championship goal and it ignited a famous Connacht final comeback from Roscommon.

But that wasn't the reason why Diarmuid Murtagh (inset) was so emotional at the final whistle in Pearse Stadium on Sunday.

It was all about the context... Last summer he suffered a detached retina, a serious injury that threatened the sight in his left eye and made him contemplate quitting football.

Now here he was, ten months later, savouring one of the best moments of his career after Roscommon's surge from five down at the break to topple Galway by four.

"When I was in the hospital bed last August, I considered quitting football," Murtagh admitted. "I was like, 'Why am I doing this?' It was very emotional when the final whistle went because the only thing that keeps you going is days like this, when you've a serious injury like that. It's definitely worth it and I'm happy I'm back now.

Trust

"Credit has to go to Anthony (Cunningham), Iain (Daly) and Mark (Dowd). They were so patient. They let me come back within my own time-frame and I'm delighted they put the trust in me out there."

Amazingly, Murtagh's injury was only diagnosed after he had kicked 0-6, four from play, as the Rossies lost heavily to Dublin in a Croke Park dead-rubber.

"I played against Dublin last year in the Super 8s and my vision was very blurred. So I knew there was something wrong after that and I had to get it checked," he explained.

"It ended up being a detached retina just from a simple ball that hit me on the top of the head in training. I thought it might have been a bit of concussion or maybe my eyesight was just getting worse. Little did I know.

"Before this campaign I considered not going back, just out of that injury - no other reason. And I'm delighted to be back now."

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