Monday 18 December 2017

Graham Geraghty: The timeline of a life less ordinary

September 1990 -- Wins All-Ireland minor title.

October 1991 -- Makes senior inter-county debut aged just 19.

1993 -- Wins All-Ireland U-21 title.

July 1994 -- After a Leinster final defeat to Dublin where Geraghty scored 1-2 from right half-back, a watching Alex Ferguson remarks to reporters afterwards that he was a player he would like to "see a lot more of."

Two weeks later he's on trial with Arsenal, but at 22 is deemed too old. Paul Merson would later remark that Geraghty was the fittest player he'd ever seen.

August 1994 -- Wins his first All Star at wing-back after a series of stunning displays.

September 1996 -- Geraghty wins his first All-Ireland title.

September 1999 -- Captains Meath to All-Ireland success and collects his second Celtic Cross. He's also named at full-forward in the All Star team, joining the elite list of players to win the awards in both defence and attack.

October 1999 -- He is stood down for the first International Rules Test in Australia after making a racist remark at a young Aborigine player, Damian Cupido, during a challenge game. He sits out the first clash with the Aussies.

August 2003 -- Geraghty gets a 48-week ban after referee Jim Smith reports the Seneschalstown clubman for verbal and physical abuse following a club SFC game. The player admits verbally abusing the Dunshaughlin official and knocking the notebook out of his hands, but says he "never physically abused or hit him." His initial appeal fails and he threatens to quit the inter-county scene, but he eventually gets a reprieve after serving two-thirds of the suspension.

Soon afterwards he publishes his autobiography, 'Misunderstood', and makes an appearance on 'The Late, Late Show' to address persistent rumours about his private life.

February 2006 -- Geraghty is off the county panel in the wake of a dressing-room row with manager Eamonn Barry, who asks the player to apologise to Meath ref Jim Smith for remarks he made to the official during a challenge game against Antrim. After six weeks and much deliberation, the former team captain returns to the county squad.

October 2006 -- After being cited by Australia while on International Rules duty during the first Test in Galway, he is cleared by a disciplinary tribunal held midweek.

The Aussies publicly vow there will be revenge -- or "open slather" -- sought in the next encounter.

Within 13 minutes of a stormy second Test, Geraghty has to be stretchered from the field after being concussed when flung to the ground in a tackle by Aussie rookie Danyle Pearce.

May 2007 -- Nominated by Fine Gael to run in the general election, the aspiring Dáil deputy only manages to get 1,284 first preference votes. He is eliminated on the fourth count after mustering just 136 transfers.

July 2007 -- Training ground bust-up with 19-year-old Stephen Sheppard throws his inter-county future into doubt once more, but a return is quickly negotiated.

July 2008 -- Geraghty retires from inter-county football after Meath's dismal defeat to Limerick in the qualifiers.

May 2009 -- Hits the headlines again, but this time for coming to the aid of a taxi driver who had been assaulted in Athboy. A witness said he "probably saved the man's life", but Geraghty himself plays down the incident.

May 2010 -- Joins Longford's back-room team as 'forwards coach' and helps Glenn Ryan's side scalp Mayo in Pearse Park.

March 2011 -- EBS chase Geraghty for monies owed after a business deal went wrong.

May 2011 -- Meath manager Seamus McEnaney confirms that 38-year-old Geraghty will return to inter-county football, three years after his last outing for the county.

Irish Independent

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