Alan, 33, called time on his 14-year Dublin career on Tuesday, leaving Bernard, one of three brothers to have played for the county, as the last man standing in the famous family approaching 2016.
Many believe that Bernard, a former footballer of the year like Alan, is the more effective player of the pair though Bernard himself insisted he owes everything to his sibling.
He said it is more than just empty platitudes and admitted that when he was finding it difficult to nail down a first team place early in his career, he would have walked away only for Alan’s guidance.
“I probably wouldn’t be playing for Dublin now if it wasn’t for him,” said Bernard. “I was three years on the bench and there were many times when I would have thrown my hat at it if I wasn’t travelling to training with Alan.
“It was easy to keep going because of that, Alan was the hero of the Hill, he was everything I wanted to be and he was there beside me. If he hadn’t been there, I probably wouldn’t have put in the commitment or the work needed to get up there beside him.
“He was my stepping stone all the way along, my standard that I needed to match and that is what drove me on. If he wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have reached the levels that I am at today. That is 100% fact. I have to be thankful for that, that he drove me on and helped me along the way in other ways, a lot of passes, a lot of assists for my scores came through his hands. I will be forever grateful to him.”
Bernard admitted that he pleaded with Alan to continue his career into 2016 but while Alan agonised over the decision, he eventually chose to retire at the very top having kicked an important score late on in September’s All-Ireland final win over Kerry.
The Brogan family, which includes Bernard Brogan senior, a Dublin legend of the 1970s and 1980s, at least gave the retiring forward a good send off.
“I met Alan last night (Tuesday),” said Bernard. “I only live across the road and went across to him for a couple of hours just to have a glass of champagne and we didn’t know whether to say congratulations or commiserations, we still haven’t figured out what is the right word to say.
“Just by chance, my uncle had the (family) cups in his house and family and friends were over. So myself and Alan went over and Alan’s godfather, Jim Brogan, said a lot of nice words to Alan. The family have had an amazing journey the last 10 years. Our cousins, the Curries, would have a barbecue on Connacht Street down in Phibsboro before and after every game and they were just saying thanks to Alan for all the joy he has brought. So it was a nice end to it, a fitting end to it.”