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What a winner - Eoghan's Ella is Dubs' lucky charm

DUBLIN may have captured Sam but super sub Eoghan O'Gara needs a new pram.

The All-Ireland champs had an unexpected lucky charm to help them win Sunday's final, the Herald can reveal.

Eoghan celebrated the birth of his first child on Friday lunchtime even though little Ella wasn't due until tomorrow.

The star forward told the Herald that he'd "trade ten All-Irelands for something like this". "I've never been happier, it was the happiest weekend of my life," he said.

The 25-year-old left his daughter in hospital to play in the All-Ireland final - taking little Ella's hat into the dressing room as a good luck charm to soothe any half-time nerves.

His delighted girlfriend Elaine (24) explained: "She wasn't due until this Thursday, and we were all concerned that she'd come at the All-Ireland because of all the excitement.

"But everyone says you go overdue on your first baby so I had a dress bought for the banquet and everything. I had my jewellery, my shoes - not a notion that I wouldn't be in Croke Park and that I'd be watching it from the hospital bed.

"Ella has a Dublin babygro that she wore for the match. And there's a blue hat to match it, and Eoghan brought it with him into the dressing room in Croke Park as a good luck charm, and at half time he took it out to look at it.

"For the rest of her life, there's going to be such a story attached to her birth."

Little Ella met Eoghan's team mates for the first time on Monday in the Burlington Hotel where she was placed into the Sam Maguire cup like a true mascot.

Eoghan was given the bumps by his team mates on Sunday to jubilant chants "Dubs for the Sam, Eoghan's going to buy a pram".

Elaine added: "All the lads had been jeering him all week not to give me curries in case the baby came. And we stupidly went to Nandos on Thursday night and three hours later my waters broke when I was in bed.

"The spicy food must have brought it on. We were in total shock. I didn't tell Eoghan at first because I thought he'd go crazy because he had to rest for the match.

"The poor baby didn't get any attention while it was on. I'm from Wexford and I'm still trying to get my head around the fact that I was shouting for Dublin, but I was so nervous."

Elaine has been promised by the players that they'll return to Croke Park next year.

"I hope they do get ten All-Irelands and I hope they get one next time because of the fact that I missed it. But obviously when I look at Ella, I don't mind," she added.