What strange quirk links Cooper, O’Donoghue and Clifford with Messi and Dan Carter?

What links Colm Cooper, James O’Donoghue and David Clifford, asks PM O'Sullivan.

Ah now, that’s far too easy. Everyone knows those three men are brilliant Kerry forwards, artists with a football. You could say even say the past, the present and the future of Kingdom genius.

And yes, we all know the three men are left-footed. That answer is a tad too obvious. They share something else as well, something a fair bit amazing.

Is it them all being from East Kerry clubs? It's a remarkable place, alright. Dr Crokes, Legion and Fossa are all in East Kerry. But you are getting further away from the real point. Go back to the foot issue.

And no, it's not their favoured brand of boots.

The answer is that Colm Cooper, James O’Donoghue and David Clifford are all cross-lateralised.

A parent born outside Kerry?

No, cross-lateralised means someone who's right-handed and left-footed, or vice-versa. You can tell from pictures of them signing autographs. Ian Rush, the legendary Liverpool striker, is the opposite, right-footed and left-handed, like Tipperary’s Lar Corbett and Brendan Cummins.

But it's quite rare. You would have to think being cross-lateralised must give a serious head start in balance and co-ordination.

Ryan Giggs and Lionel Messi, both right-handed and left-footed, are more cases in point. There must be some connection between the trait and unusual levels of skill since the trait is shared by so many outstanding players.

Dan Carter, the great New Zealand out-half, is cut from the same cloth. Penalties off the left, autographs off the right.

But would the All Blacks even be heard of if Kerry took rugby seriously?


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