The story of Colm Cooper’s famous All-Ireland final snooze was thought to be apocryphal, but Gooch confirms he did sleep until ten to two.
On All-Ireland Final day in 2007, the majority of the Kerry squad were prepping physically and mentally for the throw in against Cork at 3.30 in Croke Park.
It was the same for Paul Galvin who was returning to his room after physio, only to see a “tuft of red hair under the duvet”.
Galvin was perplexed to find roommate Colm Cooper still in bed. Earlier this year, he told Sportsjoe.ie:
"So I go, ’It’s time to go. We have to get on the bus and we have a team meeting’.
"I was getting the bag ready and there’s still no life out of Gooch. Next thing, I pick up my bag and drop it. He grunts... ’What time is it?’
"It’s quarter past one Gooch.
"’Oh Jaysus... I’m going to stay in bed’.
"I said, ’We’ve a game there about 3:30, if you wouldn’t mind joining us’. Gooch just stretches. ’Ah, we’ve a few minutes yet’.
"It was like he hit the snooze button. Back asleep for five minutes. Rolled out of bed. Hit 1-5 that day."
Cooper eventually got up around ten to two, Kerry went on to win the game 3-13 to 1-9.
Gooch felt his unique preparation on the morning of an All-Ireland contributed to his performance. He told Tony Leen (From 8m30s)
“I had been up earlier that morning, but I love to nap coming up to big matches because I need every ounce of energy I can get.”
The Kerry forward had planned to stay in bed for half an hour, only to be woken by teammate Galvin almost two hours later.
“Some guys are like that. You see some guys who can’t stomach food, who wander around on their own. It’s whatever zone you’re comfortable in, and I’m comfortable in my own bed!”
Cooper recalled some of the more excitable preparation he saw in the dressing room beforehand a big game, compared to his own relaxed routine.
“You would see lads banging off walls or hitting off a rugby bag, which would be very strange to me. I’m just chipping a ball around trying to get my eye in and touch, things like that.
“But who’s to say what’s right and what’s wrong? For me to be asleep, or hitting off rugby bags. We’re all a little bit crazy, but you’d have to be to be going out playing in front of 80,000 people.”