Sunday 19 February 2017

'The GPA, who seem to believe they invented mental health, would have been horrified': Joe Brolly on dressing room confrontation with angry fan

Read Joe Brolly's full  column in today's Sunday Independent or on Independent.ie from 5pm this evening.

Published 23/10/2016 | 10:40

In Joe Brolly's latest Sunday Independent column, he addresses the important place that the club game holds within the GAA.

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As more and more emphasis is placed on inter-county teams, club championships are often run off over consecutive weekends as winter rolls around, after months of inactivity.

Brolly asks the question of whether the GAA and the GPA are doing enough to help club football, while also sharing a brilliant anecdote that sums up the passion that people have for their local team.

While preparing for the first round of the championship with Dungiven in 1997, an irate supporter burst into the dressing room to confront Brolly about his poor performances with the club.

The corner forward, who had won an All Star with Derry the previous season, admits that fan was ultimately right about Brolly's club form.

""I have wan thing to say boys, that badly needs saying," the fan said."

"There's a man here that can win us another championship. He has two already from '87 and '91.

"He's done fuck all for this team for six years now. Last year in the county final he was an embarrassment. Two points from play?" he roared.

""Joe Brolly," he bellowed, striding towards me and leaning right up into my face. "Are you going to fucking lead us this year or do you not give a fuck about your club any more?"

"Then: "Come on to fuck, sir. It's time for you to give something back."

"The GPA, who seem to genuinely believe they invented mental health, would have been horrified. The thing is, Geoffrey was spot on."

Read Joe Brolly's full  column in today's Sunday Independent or on Independent.ie from 5pm this evening.

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