Close

Premium

'I was trying to tell them, 'I'll break ye first and then I'll make ye'' - Cyril Farrell, 40 years on from guiding Galway's hurlers to glory


Close

Noel Lane (left) and Steve Mahon of Galway makes their way up the steps of the Hogan Stand after the 1980 All-Ireland hurling final win over Limerick which ended the Tribesmen’s 57-year wait for Liam MacCarthy. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Noel Lane (left) and Steve Mahon of Galway makes their way up the steps of the Hogan Stand after the 1980 All-Ireland hurling final win over Limerick which ended the Tribesmen’s 57-year wait for Liam MacCarthy. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Noel Lane (left) and Steve Mahon of Galway makes their way up the steps of the Hogan Stand after the 1980 All-Ireland hurling final win over Limerick which ended the Tribesmen’s 57-year wait for Liam MacCarthy. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Losing an All-Ireland final is a lonely place but as the reception dragged on following Galway's defeat to Kilkenny in the 1979 hurling decider, Cyril Farrell got the impression that he was the only one who was "really hurting".

A teetotaller all of his life, Farrell was unable to suppress the pain with alcohol and he made a vow to his late friend Roger Canning that things would be different if he were to take the helm having worked as trainer under Michael 'Babs' Keating that season.

"I don't drink but I seemed to be the only one that was really hurting. I remember going back to the flat with Roger and saying, 'If I'm ever over the team in Galway and if we get this far and lose, I won't be the only one hurting'," Farrell recalls.