The day Mickey Whelan snubbed Manchester United for the Dubs


Mickey Whelan being honoured by the Bord Gáis Energy Legends Tour Series in 2014. Pic: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Niall Scully

Mickey Whelan remembers the moment well. He was playing soccer on the street in Cabra West. His father called him in.

Sitting at the kitchen table was Billy Behan, the famous Manchester United scout. He had been impressed with Mickey’s footballing ability. He offered him a trial at Manchester United.

The young boy immediately said no. Home was where the heart was. And, all these years on, nothing has changed.

Sixty years ago this September, Mickey scored five points as Dublin beat Galway in the 1963 All-Ireland Senior Football final. He was the championship’s top scorer that season.

They say he played football with such intelligence. He proved it in his coaching.

What he has done for St Vincent’s and Dublin is just priceless. Worth more than all the billions of the Premiership and the Champions League.

History of the All-Stars recalled

The All-Star trophy has never lost its shine. Often, players will say that an award from your fellow players is the ultimate.

Yet the media pick the All-Stars. And its prestige is as strong as ever it was.

Mick Dunne was a founding father of the scheme in 1971. His daughters, Moira and Eileen, wrote a charming book, All-Star Gazing: 50 Years of the All-Stars.

It’s packed with memories and fascinating interviews. And also controversy. What is an All-Star team without a splash of controversy?

Eileen is taking part in the VHI Women’s Mini-Marathon on June 4. She is raising funds for the St Francis Hospice.

To make a donation ring 01 8327535/ 01 8294000 or log onto

Tony Hannon and Meath GAA gives back

Tony Hannon, alongside his daughter Alannah and Richard Hogan, visited the seafaring Badjao Tribe in the Philippines.

“They live in deep poverty, but they are such happy people,” Tony told John Harrington on Embrace Badjao was founded.

Volunteers from the Meath GAA communities of Kildalkey and Boardsmill subsequently travelled over. They built a school. Funding has allowed a teacher to be appointed for a year.

“The GAA community, all over the country, are always so giving. So generous in every way,” Tony said.

While there, Tony and the crew brought local children out for a meal. The children asked for small bags.

“So that they could bring home some of their meal to their families, although they were hungry themselves,” Tony added.