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Frank (82) fears final record may end

A FANATICAL GAA supporter, who has attended 128 All-Ireland finals, fears that this weekend might see a break in his record -- because tickets are so hard to come by.

Frank O'Neill (82), from Ballymacward, Co Galway, has attended every hurling and football final since 1951 -- including the replays. Even a move to London in 1954 didn't stop him from travelling home twice a year for the clashes.

This final is extra special to Frank as his first football All- Ireland in 1951 marked the last time Mayo lifted the Sam.

"I remember the match well. Back then you didn't need a ticket, you just paid your two shillings at the turnstile. There was no trouble getting into Croke Park," he recalled.

As the entire country scrambles for tickets for Sunday's game, Frank revealed this is the first year in the past 61 that he has struggled to get a ticket.

"There doesn't seem to be a ticket anywhere. I'm just going to go up to Dublin on Saturday and get down to Croke Park early on Sunday and just hope I can scrounge for a ticket from somewhere," he said.

Frank's love of the hurling and football stemmed from his Galway childhood, when the games were discussed with passion each Sunday.

"They were the only thing that was talked about at the weekend. I was just a young lad but I was dying to get there and see these matches," he said.

And if he gets a ticket for the game, the Galway man said it will be a dream come true to see Mayo take the title once again.

"I would pay €200 for a ticket now to see that happen," he said.

Irish Independent