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'People still say to us, 'did ye plan it?' It was purely coincidental' - how two Kildare men changed Cork football

The Big Interview: Larry Tompkins and Shea Fahy

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Former Cork Gaelic football stars Larry Tompkins (left) and Shea Fahy share a joke. Photo: Provision

Former Cork Gaelic football stars Larry Tompkins (left) and Shea Fahy share a joke. Photo: Provision

Former Cork Gaelic football stars Larry Tompkins (left) and Shea Fahy share a joke. Photo: Provision

On June 13, 1987, the day of his 24th birthday, Larry Tompkins joined the Cork football squad for the first time, boarding a train out of Cork's Kent Station for a challenge match against Dublin in Parnell Park later that day.

With one eye still on a return to the US, where he had been based for the previous two years, Tompkins was still non-committal about pitching in with Cork, but Frank Murphy, the county's long-time secretary, managed to convince him that an inter-county transfer was the best way to advance a desired move to play club football with Castlehaven.

In a remarkable coincidence, Shea Fahy, Tompkins' one-time Kildare colleague, who himself had only recently committed to Cork after transferring to Nemo Rangers, was also on the train bound for Dublin that morning for his first game with his new county.