Sunday 19 November 2017

'Eat well, take exercise, be positive'- Micko at 80

O’Dwyer bringing Sam Maguire home in 1986 Picture: NPA/Independent Library
O’Dwyer bringing Sam Maguire home in 1986 Picture: NPA/Independent Library
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

As Mick O'Dwyer celebrates his 80th birthday today, he reveals the blueprint for a long and healthy life - eat good food, take plenty of exercise and have a positive outlook.

"That has stood me well anyway. Good health is the most important possession a person can have. And you'll have a better chance of being healthy if you eat properly, exercise regularly and always look on the bright side of things," he said.

Apart from back twinges, which prevent him playing as much golf as he would like, O'Dwyer is in great shape.

"The old vocal chords are a bit damaged from all the shouting I've done on sidelines. It's remarkable that they're as good as they are at all after all the use they've got," he said.

Having placed huge emphasis on physical well-being all his life, he is disgusted by the failure to prioritise exercise in schools.

"It's a disgrace. I was on the Sports Council for some years and I kept going on about having physical education as a big part of the curriculum," he said.

"Kids should be taking some exercise from the age of two or three. And when they start National School, it should be there for them every day.

"If it becomes part of their lives early on they'll stick with it. This country badly needs it but there doesn't seem to be any will from the powers that be to make it happen. I can't understand that because it would make a huge difference to having a healthier country."

Still immersed in football - he first played for Kerry minors 62 years ago - Micko believes that while there have been some very disappointing games so far in this year's Championship, the game is still in excellent shape.

"We've always had ups and downs but overall it's okay. The crowds are still going which is a good sign," he said.

His one area of concern is the amount of handpassing in the modern game.

"It's being overdone - there's no doubt about that," he said.

Micko's 80th birthday will be celebrated in style in Waterville this weekend, starting with an All Star game tomorrow (8pm).

A club tournament for the Mick O'Dwyer Perpetual trophy will be held on Saturday and Sunday, while he will be honoured at a special birthday banquet in the Sea Lodge Hotel on Saturday night.

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