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Adrian texted me after the match and said he had written the year 1964 on his gloves, just to remember his grandfather

Pat Spillane


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Brothers Killian Spillane, left, and Adrian Spillane of Kerry

Brothers Killian Spillane, left, and Adrian Spillane of Kerry

Brothers Killian Spillane, left, and Adrian Spillane of Kerry

I NEVER planned to shed a tear on my last appearance on the Sunday Game.

But within seconds of Seán Hurson blowing the final whistle I was overwhelmed with a range of emotions.

I was delighted for Kerry and, in particular, my two nephews, Killian and Adrian.

I thought about how proud my late father Tom would have been to see two of his grandsons win All-Ireland medals.

All these thoughts were swirling around in my head when Joanne Cantwell asked me for my immediate reaction. I’m sure viewers were taken aback when I became so emotional.

As I said on TV a Kerry v Galway All-Ireland final has resonated in the Spillane family for decades. My father was a selector with Kerry when they played Galway in the 1964 All-Ireland final.

The team were staying in the Gresham Hotel in Dublin on the night before the game.

While walking down O’Connell Street with another selector he got a very bad pain in his chest. He should have gone to the doctor, but he said: ‘no, I want to be in the dugout tomorrow with Kerry.’

He died on the Tuesday after returning home from the All-Ireland final the day before. He was just 41 years of age.

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So, Kerry-Galway clashes have always brought back those memories and what happened on Sunday was a sort of outpouring of all those memories.

It just brilliant to see the two lads, Killian and Adrian, with the Sam Maguire Cup. As I have often said, the GAA is all about families.

Adrian texted me after the match and said he had written the year 1964 on his gloves, just to remember his grandfather.

I got a huge reaction from the public to my comments and I just want to thank everybody who got in touch with me.

On a lighter note Killian and Adrian became the latest members of the Lyne-Spillane family dynasty to win All-Ireland medals.

My late mother’s brothers, Michael, Dinny and Jackie won five All-Ireland medals; Mick, Tom and I won 19 between us, and now Tom’s sons, Killian and Adrian, have joined the club. So my mother’s brothers, sons and grandsons have won 26 All-Ireland senior football medals.


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