Thursday 8 December 2016

Billy Keane: 'One year on and you still want to ring Páidí'

Published 14/12/2013 | 23:32

'One year on and you still want to ring Páidí'
'One year on and you still want to ring Páidí'
Páidí O Se congratulates Sean Stack after the 1997 All-Ireland final

The Kerry team were young and very nervous. It was 1997 and we hadn't won an All-Ireland since 1986. It was the morning of the final against Mayo.

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He called the players to one side in the grounds of Blackrock College where the kickabout took place. I snuck over. He spotted me. Said nothing. It was just PO and the players. Maybe he knew, some day, I'd write about it.

At the time, I was a minor functionary in his back-room team. The talk is secret. That is the rule. All I can say is there was no shouting or roaring. It was a calm talk, but after that last few words there was no player in the group who didn't know exactly what his job was. There was no player who didn't know exactly what it meant to wear the green and gold.

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