It was the game that had everything — blood, sweat, tears, and crazy behaviour from both players and fans at the All Ireland senior championship semi-final replay between Kerry and Mayo on Saturday.
With Mayo three points behind and emotions at fever pitch in the closing minutes of extra time, it was all too much for one Mayo man.
Before you could say “game over”, he was striding across the pitch towards the referee, swatting away officials like flies, Jonah Lomu-style.
Pleas of “Daddy, daddy, stop” fell on deaf ears as his mortified daughter was dragged up the field behind him in her frantic efforts to hold him back by the tail of his t-shirt.
In the end, it took five men to take out the pitch invader and set him at a safe remove from an overwrought ref who had to break up a players’ brawl moments earlier.
The performance of the human juggernaut was caught on camera and yesterday he was the centre of a Twitter story which identified him as Mick Barrett, 49, a builder from Castlebar.
Reactions varied from “Pity that mayo fan wasn’t a couple of yrs younger.. Would be some man on wet night in sportsground, took 5 of them to get him down #tank” from @JohnMuldoon8 to “Pitch invasion man to tog next year. Half man, half beast!”
Fianna Fáil TD Colm Keaveney tweeted: “Word is, Ireland rugby coach, Joe Schmidt making his way to Limerick to sign up Mayo pitch invader.Took 14 security to move him to sideline!”. And @Rachel_Lynchx said: “That Mayo fan ??his poor daughter.She has to go to school Monday knowing her da tried to take on every Kerry player,the ref...& 17 stewards ??”
Word is, Ireland rugby coach, Joe Schmidt making his way to Limerick to sign up Mayo pitch invader.Took 14 security to move him to sideline!— Colm Keaveney T.D. (@Colm_Keaveney) August 30, 2014
Mayo’s now famous supporter was pictured later that day in a Supermac’s outlet posing for photos for his own new-found fans.
A separate incident at the end of the Mayo/Kerry game, also caught on camera, saw a garda fall to the ground and a nearby fan, who appeared to take a swing at another garda, shoved to the ground.
Despite the fighting, it was a good weekend for GAA fan, who enjoyed two entertaining games, with Donegal beating Dublin in the second semi-final yesterday.
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