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'77 semi a classic of the Dublin-Kerry era

DUBLIN and Kerry bring their own charm – tales of songs and stories.

Tony Hanahoe achieved quite a feat – player-manager and captain of an All-Ireland winning team.

He took over from Heffo after the Dubs beat Kerry in the 1976 final. A priority for Tony was to maintain his own form, even though he was the boss.

There were plenty of young players coming into the frame. But Tony felt they mightn't have been tackling him 100pc at training in Parnell Park in case they damage their chances by injuring the manager.

But there was one young Dub that never pulled out of a challenge against Tony or anybody else – Kevin Moran, who'd go in where angels fear to tread.

Tony was the classical centre half-forward. He could ghost in and out of the room, leaving big gaps in the carpet for team-mates to exploit.



The '77 Dublin-Kerry All-Ireland semi-final was billed as the game of the century. Some people who have watched it since on TG4 didn't agree.

But Tony remembers a match of the highest standard that never paused for breath. And it was goals from David Hickey and Bernard Brogan that proved critical.

In the final against Armagh, Jimmy Keaveney produced a goal from the Gods. Jimmy was so central to the story of Heffo's Heroes. Heffo plucked him from the Hill.

He turned free-taking into an art form. No fuss. Ball on the turf. A couple of steps back and bang. Jimmy was never a song and dance man. But they wrote poetry about him.

Hopefully, Sunday's game will see a few more golden verses written as Dublin and Kerry once again share a date in the shadow of Clery's clock.