Colm Cooper: Horrible Tyrone won by hook or by crook

Colm Cooper: Horrible Tyrone won by hook or by crook
Tyrone goalkeeper Pascal McConnell punches the ball away from Colm Cooper, Kerry in the 2005 All-Ireland Senior Football Final. Picture: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile

Writing in his new autobiography, Gooch, Colm Cooper has been strongly critical of the underhand tactics and ‘sledging’ employed by Kerry’s bitter rivals Tyrone during his career and names the player who struck him in the eye during the 2005 All-Ireland final.

Tyrone beat Kerry in that final and while Cooper accepts Mickey Harte’s men deserved their victory, he was unimpressed with their win-at-all-costs attitude.

“Tyrone were different. They were the first team I came up against who seemed to regard trash-talk as being just as fundamental to the game as tackling. And they were relentless in ‘05. Right from the throw-in, a constant commentary.

Colm Cooper is blocked by Tyrone's Michael McGee as Tyrone goalkeeper Pascal McConnell takes the kick out during the  20054 All-Ireland Senior Football Final. Picture: Damien Eagers/ Sportsfile
Colm Cooper is blocked by Tyrone's Michael McGee as Tyrone goalkeeper Pascal McConnell takes the kick out during the 20054 All-Ireland Senior Football Final. Picture: Damien Eagers/ Sportsfile

“Ryan McMenamin would be my marker in that year’s All-Ireland final and ‘Ricey’ almost prided himself on being able to wind a forward up.

“He’d hit you the odd dig into the back too and try to annoy you with these little pinches, hoping you might throw an elbow back and get the line.

“Tyrone were pushing the boundaries that year — maybe overstepping them at times — and who could really blame them?

“Bottom line, if winning demanded Tyrone be nasty, they were more than willing to be that.”

Tyrone goalkeeper Pascal McConnell gets to the ball ahead of Colm Cooper, Kerry in the 2005 All-Ireland Senior Football Final. Picture: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Tyrone goalkeeper Pascal McConnell gets to the ball ahead of Colm Cooper, Kerry in the 2005 All-Ireland Senior Football Final. Picture: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

“They were testing you in every single way,” Gooch adds.

“But the big issue for me was that they were allowed to do it. That’s the bit I really hated it, the stuff that would go unpunished.”

“Winning by hook or by crook. Horrible.”

In extracts from the book published in today’s Irish Independent, Cooper also describes the first-half incident in that game that resulted in him briefly losing the sight in one of his eyes.

“I was making a run in around the penalty spot, just trying to lose my man.

“And Tyrone’s goalie, Pascal McConnell, kept charging out towards me, as if trying to block my run. On this one occasion, his glove made contact with my face.

“I got this horrible sensation of grit in my eye and immediately went down. And all around me became a symphony directed towards the referee Mick Monahan.

“Diving ref, diving, diving, diving.

“Monahan comes over to me and says ‘whatever you do, don’t retaliate’,” Cooper continues.

“Rightly or wrongly, I reckon I’ve just been taken out of the game, possibly in a premeditated move, and the ref’s only answer is to tell me not to hit back.”


More in this Section

Zidane still interested in signing Pogba for Real Madrid: Football rumours from the mediaZidane still interested in signing Pogba for Real Madrid: Football rumours from the media

FAI working on Ireland eligibility of former Cork City playerFAI working on Ireland eligibility of former Cork City player

Mikel Arteta feels Jamie Vardy should have been sent off before equaliserMikel Arteta feels Jamie Vardy should have been sent off before equaliser

Delfine Persoon staying mum on Katie Taylor rematchDelfine Persoon staying mum on Katie Taylor rematch


Lifestyle

Dónal Clancy is a musician from An Rinn in Co Waterford. He will perform the music of his late father, Liam Clancy, in a special online solo performance on Thursday at 7pm as part of this year's Clonmel Junction Festival.Question of Taste: Dónal Clancy

BETWEEN 1973 and early 1975, John Lennon split with Yoko Ono, took up with his assistant May Pang and embarked on a period of intense creativity and outrageous behaviour. Lennon later described this time as his “lost weekend”.Rufus Wainwright has returned a new man

Stan O’Sullivan tells Ellie O’Byrne about the genre-busting album from 2007 that probably doesn’t get the recognition it deservesB-Side the Leeside - Cork’s Greatest Records: Louder & Clearer from Stanley Super 800

In recent times one of the most recurring and troubling conversations I have with teenagers, in therapy, is around their use of marijuana. Often parents seek out therapy because they have noticed a dramatic shift in their child’s behaviour.Richard Hogan: Beware of making light of your teen's marijuana use

More From The Irish Examiner