'Millionaires can never have that' - Colm Cooper explains special family connection that makes 2004 his sweetest win
Colm Cooper has revealed why his first All-Ireland win in 2004 stands out as one of his favourite moments in a glorious career.
Cooper added championship medals in 2006, 2007 and 2009 but in an exclusive interview with Vincent Hogan in yesterday's Irish Independent to discuss his retirement from inter-county football, he explains that the presence of his parents made his first All-Ireland win the most satisfying.
Cooper's father, Mike, passed away in 2006, so the 2004 win was the only time he saw his son reach the pinnacle of Gaelic football.
"Firstly because it was my first All-Ireland win, but also both my parents were there," Cooper told Hogan when asked to single out some of his favourite memories.
"We'd lost in '02 (to Armagh). Then '03 didn't go as we'd hoped against Tyrone. I remember thinking after that, 'F**k, will this ever happen?' Even though I was only two years in, I didn't know how long I'd last. I was looking at every year being, potentially, the last. 'If I play s**t here, I could be surplus to requirements...'
"We were staying in The Burlington in '04 and just to see the joy on my parents' faces after. And maybe relief as well. You couldn't put a price on that. I had won the man of the match, all my family were there to see it and just to see their joy... their boy had won with Kerry.
"Like even for Ardshanavooley, nobody had ever done that. It had maybe announced me as a national figure.
"So seeing my parents' faces...millionaires can never have that. You can't buy it, you can't put a price on it. Nor should you be able to. The best things you get in life, you've to earn. And you've probably got to go through a bit of pain along the way."