GAA stars regret temper, losses, and racist remarks

Temper tantrums, racist remarks and missed opportunities are among the regrets shared by some of the GAA’s best-loved football stars when quizzed by schoolchildren for a book due to be published later this month.

GAA stars regret temper, losses, and racist remarks

Colin Corkery from Cork regretted getting sent off during the All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry in 2002.

“I let the occasion get to me and I was sent off,” he recalled “I was so disappointed afterwards. Kerry were the better team that day and were always going to beat us so I should have calmed down and just continued”.

Kerry greats Pat Spillane and Mikey Sheehy still rank not bringing Sam to the Kingdom for the fifth year running when their five in a row dream was scuppered in 1982 as a major regret.

Pat Spillane
Pat Spillane

When children from the two-teacher school wrote to 150 GAA greats and asked for their regrets, they expected to hear a lot of yarns about All-Ireland titles which got away. They got that but an awful lot more as well.

Former Roscommon goalie Shane Curran didn’t express regret for one of his own school day escapades when he helped to blow up a science lab in Castlerea Vocational School but he did regret not having been a professional soccer player.

“Unfortunately my ambition to play in England was never realised,” the one time Athlone Town player said.

Meath’s Graham Geraghty, who was at centre of a racism storm following an International rules game against Australia in 1999, told the pupils: “I called an Aborigine player something I shouldn’t have. If I could turn back the clock to that moment I would handle things differently.”

Geraghty also said he regretted letting football rule his life. “I never went to college until last year,” he explained. “So if I can give you any advice it would be study hard, play hard and most of all enjoy life.”

Graham Geraghty
Graham Geraghty

Mayo footballing legend Conor Mortimer regrets “throwing a Mayo jersey into the crowd” in what newspapers described as a show of petulance after he was substituted during an All-Ireland qualifier in 2002.

The Scrapbook of Regrets is the work of first to sixth class pupils in the 43-pupil school and will fund an upgrade of their school pitch which is unplayable in winter. The book will be launched by GAA president Aogan O’ Fearghail at the old courthouse in Dowra on Sunday November 22 .

  • Scrapbook of Regrets will be in on sale at 60 outlets and online at www.thescrapbookofregrets.com

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