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Where it began ... the 1903 final series

THE 1903 All-Ireland home final between Kerry and Kildare proved to be one of the most memorable events in the history of the GAA.

Dr Crokes of Killarney and Boherbee John Mitchels from Tralee were the two great rivals in Kerry club football and combined with the help of Castleisland's Denny Breen and Waterford native Rody Kirwan, made for an impressive side.

After defeating Clare and Cork to become Munster champions, they faced Kildare in an All-Ireland final that attracted the biggest crowd assembled for an Irish sporting event in those days. For the third and decisive game, 20,000 people provided gate receipts of #270.

The first game was played in Tipperary on June 23, 1905. The All-Whites were leading by 1-3 to 0-4 with five minutes remaining when a Kerry goal was disputed after the Kildare goalkeeper, Jack Fitzgerald, was believed to be behind the line as he was fielding a free.The crowd invaded the pitch when the 'own goal' was disallowed, the game eventually abandoned and re-scheduled for Cork on August 28.

The teams finished level (Kerry 0-7, Kildare 1-4) with Joyce Condon getting the crucial goal for Kildare to draw.

The deciding match was played in Cork on October 15 on an extremely wet day with Kerry winning their first All-Ireland home title by 0-8 to 0-2. They subsequently beat London Irish, captained by Sam Maguire, to become All-Ireland champions.

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