Sunday 19 August 2018

Comment: Classy Philly McMahon a source of inspiration to every young person in Ireland

Philly McMahon spoke passionately on the Late Late Show
Philly McMahon spoke passionately on the Late Late Show
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

Philly McMahon has always emphasised the point that he is more than just a gaelic footballer.

When he pulls on the famous sky blue colours of the capital city, he is acutely aware that it's not just the 14 lads by his side on the pitch and those on the bench that he represents.

"We know who we represent in this county and it is great to get down to the hospitals and give back to the kids," he told Independent.ie at Crumlin's Children's Hospital after the 2016 All Ireland win.

"We represent a really special county in Dublin. We don't only represent our clubs and our communities, we represent the people off it as well.

"When we see people in the children's hospitals and they are going through their own struggles, it is very important to come down and give them support.

"Jim (Gavin) has instilled in us that it is not just about playing football, it's about what we do off the pitch as well. We have got a really good culture and they all understand our values and who we represent."

For those you were not counting, he mentioned "represent" five time. McMahon knows he represents the ordinary man in Dublin. Read on, Eamon Dunphy... 

These are not just loose words from the five-time All Ireland winner. He speaks with the type of sincerity and honesty that he exudes on the pitch.

The Dublin defender appeared on the Late Late Show to promote his book 'The Choice' last night for a compelling and heartfelt interview where he discussed his brother John's passing and how he dealt with it. McMahon also opened up on the mistakes he made managing his relationship with his brother while he was still alive and fighting a heroin addiction in difficult conditions in London.

As highlighted by the Irish Independent's Aidan O'Hara, few sports stars could speak in such an engaged manner without actually mentioning their respective sport. 

There was no chat about cynical play, All Ireland-winning celebrations, Jim Gavin.

Football was briefly covered when McMahon revealed how an opponent taunted him over the death of John and was dealt with in as classy way as you would imagine.

"I was marking a guy and he thought saying my brother overdosed from drugs and that he was a junkie would affect my game, but it just empowered me and I played better...we all make mistakes and I'm sure that person regrets it and it just happened in the minute, but I know John was with me when he said that," McMahon said.

Following their third All Ireland win in a row, some commentators took issue with the management team and their players' dealings with the media with Eamon Dunphy, bizarrely, launching an unnecessary attack.

Watch McMahon on the Late Late Show here:

"They fancy themselves a bit more than they should do, I've met some of those Dublin players," said Dunphy on Game On shortly after Dublin's win over Mayo.

"They are acting like superstars, like Tiger Woods."

"Sport only works because people, ordinary people, have an affinity with the game.

"I won't name them but there are a few of the Dublin players who really fancy themselves. They don't give candid interviews."

Later in the programme, he added: "I met a Dublin player recently and this guy thinks he's Lionel Messi and Messi would have a bit more charm. It's unbelievable.

"I just thought, 'You big-headed pr**k'. It didn't bother me. It's in every sport. There is alway someone like that."

Will Dunphy appear on radio anytime soon to talk about Philly McMahon? Because McMahon is that "ordinary man" and is the reason why we should "have an affinity" with sport.

Philly McMahon should be placed on a pedestal and be a beacon of inspiration to all young sports stars in the country.

Online Editors

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