Thursday 8 December 2016

Philly McMahon in touching tribute to Harris brothers and Dublin officials who passed away this year

Published 21/09/2015 | 12:35

Andy Kettle and (inset) the Harris brother, Alan and Stephen, and Save Billings
Andy Kettle and (inset) the Harris brother, Alan and Stephen, and Save Billings

Philly McMahon has paid tribute to the Harris brothers and everyone associated with Dublin Football who passed away this year following his team’s All Ireland win over Kerry yesterday.

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Alan and Stephen Harris were avid Dublin supporters who were tragically killed in June when they were overcome with toxic fumes while working on a sewer.

Alan Snr (45) died instantly while Stephen (34), who jumped into the tank to save his brother, passed away in hospital two days later.

Former Dublin selector Dave Billings and County Board chairman Andy Kettle also passed away this year and McMahon says that the Dubs were “spiritually motivated” ahead of yesterday’s clash with the Kingdom.

 “It’s been a long year and the hunger levels went up another notch,” said McMahon on the Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk today.

“We had spiritual motivation there as well with the people that passed away this year that were involved with Dublin.

“Dave Billings and Andy Kettle and there is a couple of people who passed away over in Boston so we didn’t need that much motivation, we had them over us and maybe they helped on the day and we can’t forget the Harris brothers as well.”

McMahon, who has been under the spotlight since the final whistle yesterday for an alleged eye gouging incident, outscored his marker Colm Cooper and put in a brilliant shift for Jim Gavin’s men.

“You don’t overlook players like Colm Cooper. He is one of the greatest players of my generation and I was delighted to get to mark him. When you mark the best it proves you as a player and it is great to say that you kept Colm Cooper scoreless in the final.

“The great thing about the Kerry team is they are a humble bunch of lads, they show a lot of humility on and off the pitch. We went to battle on the pitch, it was a really physical game and the conditions made it even more physical. We shook hands after and we will probably go into battle again next year."

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