All-Ireland goalie Paudie has new goal: to lose two stone
BEING part of one of the greatest Gaelic football teams made gaining weight all the more "embarrassing", former Kerry star Paudie O'Mahony has revealed.
The five times All-Ireland medal winner, who has the distinction of being the only goalkeeper to never have conceded a goal in a football championship, said he went out in public less often because of the jibes he had to deal with.
"When I'd walk down the street in Killarney town I'd always get a clap in the back from someone saying, 'You don't need to dive at all now Paudie, you'd fill the goal anyway'," he told the Irish Independent.
"I also get people telling me I'd 'let myself go' a lot, with the result that I became quite insular and wouldn't go walking down the street too often because of that.
"Whereas, if I was less well known, I think it would have been easier, definitely."
Weighing 20st and 5lbs, at 61, the father of three is the oldest leader taking part in RTE's 'Operation Transformation' this year, encouraged to apply by his daughter Fiona.
The former All-Star, who retired in 1982, says his former teammates would probably be glad for him that he is doing something about his weight and will support him.
He has also had to say goodbye to close friends Paidi O Se, John Egan and Tim Kennelly, and says he didn't want to be the next one to die young.
"That Kerry team was a very close team. It was more like a club team. We knew each other intimately and had travelled the world together," he said.
"Their deaths were a wake-up call and Paidi was fitter than me, so his death was the final nail in the coffin, and I said I couldn't keep going the way I was or I'd be next."
Other events over the past year, including the liquidation of his engineering consultancy business in February and a fire in his house in April, contributed hugely to his problem eating.
"I'd been totally stressed out over the past couple of years with the business because we weren't getting paid by people, on top of the stress of dealing with banks and Revenue and trying to keep the whole show on the road and pay staff."
The arrival of his grandson Daithi in September was also a huge motivating factor, he explained.
Paudie hopes to lose 2st but, long term, he would like to lose twice that.