Tuesday 17 September 2019

Heady days - The time Dublin's Eamonn Breslin used his ceann to stun his own fans into silence

Decades of the Dubs - The 50s/60s

Eamonn Breslin heads home the winning goal in an NFL game against Laois in 1964 as Seamus Aldridge scrambles across to try and block it
Eamonn Breslin heads home the winning goal in an NFL game against Laois in 1964 as Seamus Aldridge scrambles across to try and block it

Dublin's Eamonn Breslin made history in Croke Park in 1964 when he headed a goal against Laois in a NFL game.

Twenty minutes into the Dubs clash with the O'Moore County men on November 1, 1964, Brian McDonald dribbled the ball past three Laois defenders before passing to Jackie Gilroy (father of 2011 All-Ireland SFC-winning manager Pat).

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Log In

An unconventional move continued in unconventional fashion when Gilroy chipped the ball across the goal, where it was headed by Breslin to the Canal End net past Laois keeper Tommy Miller.

It proved to be the only goal of the game as Dublin prevailed, 1-11 to 0-10, in front of a crowd of 8,027.

Breslin2.JPG
Some in the crowd were unsure if Eamonn Breslin's headed goal would be allowed stand in the days of the ban

Eamonn was interviewed by Seán Creedon for Ireland's Own in 2014 and his memory of the incident was the silence that greeted his unique goal.

He said: "It was just a spur-of-the-moment thing; the ball came across at the right height and I just headed it past a surprised goalkeeper.

"Instead of cheering, the crowd waited a few seconds before the umpire and referee agreed that the goal was legal.

"There was a lot of soccer played in Ballyfermot when I was young, but I never really played for any team.

GAA Newsletter

Expert GAA analysis straight to your inbox.

"One of my brothers played for a local team called Bromley, but I never joined any soccer club," added Eamonn.

And who was the referee who allowed the goal? A 28-year-old Seamus Aldridge.

"There was no rule against it and there still isn't as far as I am aware. To me it was just like the ball going in off a player's hand or foot. But the ban [on soccer and rugby] was still in force back then and naturally it was a controversial score," said Aldridge.

"It was quickly forgotten by me, but I know it still comes up in quizzes."

Folklore has it a headed goal was scored in an inter-county Gaelic football clash in Cork a few years earlier but was disallowed for 'dangerous play'.

Online Editors

The Throw-In: 'Jim Gavin has achieved what Mick O'Dwyer and Brian Cody couldn't do'

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Also in Sport