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He left his boots at home and played basketball the night before - but Macauley drove Dublin's deliverance

Joe Brolly


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‘Macauley led the revival, capping it with an immortal piece of individual heroism.’ Photo: Sportsfile

‘Macauley led the revival, capping it with an immortal piece of individual heroism.’ Photo: Sportsfile

‘Macauley led the revival, capping it with an immortal piece of individual heroism.’ Photo: Sportsfile

Croke Park. September 18, 2011. 3.15pm. Dublin manager Pat Gilroy was standing in the middle of the changing room, watching. The boys were now togged out, in their boots, ready to go. Suddenly, Michael Darragh Macauley, who was still in his trainers, caught Pat's eye and nodded him towards the toilets. Pat followed him in.

"What is it?" "I've forgotten my boots." "F**k off, Michael." "Seriously, I have." "Jesus Christ Michael. What size are you?" "12?" "I'm 13" said Pat, "they'll have to do you." Pat squeezed into the trainers as Michael Darragh put on his boots. "Do not say a word to anyone," said Gilroy. The midfielder went on to put in a monumental performance at midfield as Dublin won their first All-Ireland in 16 years. As Gilroy later joked, "It made no difference to him anyway because in those days he never kicked the ball."


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