Sunday 11 December 2016

Maurice Fitzgerald

Published 29/04/2015 | 00:42

Maurice Fitzgerald
Maurice Fitzgerald

Has there ever been a more naturally brilliant Gaelic footballer than the man from Caherciveen who spent many hours in his youth kicking the ball back out to Jack O'Shea (and when Jack O'Shea was a boy, he did likewise to Mick O'Connell and Mick O'Dwyer)? Clearly, in this part of south Kerry, they know what Albert Camus meant, "there's no way to be great except by trying to be great".

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Everybody has a Maurice Fitzgerald memory. There's the Maurice Fitzgerald Final, in 1997, when he scored 0-9 of Kerry's 0-13 in the win over Mayo to give him the medal which was starting to look like it might elude him. He was also Footballer of the Year that year. But, in the judges' deliberations, one incident stood out, his sideline kick to bring Dublin to a replay in the 2001 All-Ireland quarter-final. We've seen it repeated a few times since, but his lives longest in the memory.

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