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All Star Earleys gave more to the game than they got back

One of the most enjoyable interviews I have ever undertaken was with Dermot Earley Snr and Jnr in the Sarsfields clubhouse in Newbridge in 2004. Jnr was in his prime and still hoping to make the All-Ireland breakthrough with Kildare; Snr was optimistic that his son could go one step better than he did with Roscommon by winning the elusive senior medal.

It was interesting to listen as they compared experiences from different generations, albeit linked by the common thread of supreme commitment.

Sadly, Dermot Snr is no longer with us and Jnr has finally succumbed to the injury ravages which made recent years so frustrating. It means that an outstanding duo, which served Roscommon at senior level for 20 years and Kildare for 15 years respectively, never got to enjoy the thrill of winning an All-Ireland senior title (each lost one final).

Still, the pair, who entered the exclusive father-son All Star club in 1998, did the state of Gaelic football considerable service. No doubt, Jnr will continue to do so in various roles in the future.

Irish Independent