Bernard Brogan’s arch marker Marc Ó Sé has hailed the retiring 2010 footballer of the year as one of the most dangerous forwards to have played the game.
A NUI Maynooth college mate of Brogan’s along with his older brother Alan, Ó Sé was assigned to tag the Dublin star on at least five occasions this past decade.
Their duels were keenly contested, both winning All-Stars in 2011 when they first clashed in Championship. Ó Sé admits he was never given a moment’s rest by the St Oliver Plunketts-Eoghan Ruadh man.
“He started off in ‘07 marking Tomás on the wing and eventually made his way into the corner towards me. I marked him in the 2011 final and to be honest I was delighted in terms of marking him that day but obviously not with the way the game went.
“If you were marking Bernard Brogan and you were told beforehand you’d keep him to two points you’d be happy.
“He did almost kick the winner before (Stephen) Cluxton did it and he nearly did it off his left too.
“That was the thing about him - he took minding all day long because he was potent off both feet.
“I was happy with how I went against him earlier that year in the League too. We were also level in that one and I was thinking to myself I was almost out the gap and then he kicks the winner.
“He was the type of fella you could keep quiet for 72 minutes and then he does that.. When things were going wrong for Dublin, you know he had that bit of magic to make it right.
“He could take you on either side, he was good over his head, was brave making tackles and went back to do his bit defending.”
Ó Sé marked him again in the 2013 All-Ireland semi-final and 2016 Division 1 final where Brogan came out on top: “Those are days I’d like to forget very lively. In the 2016 league final, I was pushing on but no matter who you are when you’re getting beaten in the middle of the field you know it’s going to be a tough day out.
“Ball upon ball was coming our way and we were lambs to the slaughter.
“He had the ability to make mincemeat of you and if he didn’t he was able to bring other fellas into the game.
“When he won, he was as gracious as he was in defeat — a gentleman — and he and Alan would have learned an awful lot from their father.
We’re all retired now and we will be friends for life. A few years ago, I’d a few lovely pints with Bernard in Croke Park and he’s the type of fella that you can get on with it. Career-wise, he has all his ducks in a row and he knows what he’s about. He’s going to have a successful career and I wish him all the best in retirement.
Colm Cooper yesterday appeared in a tribute video for Brogan put together by his work colleagues at his company Legacy Communications.
“We had some battles over the years, maybe us on top in the early part of your career but ye have certainly turned the tide in recent years.
“There is life after football so I’m sure yourself and Keira and the two boys will get to experience that over the next few years.”
Former team-mates lined up to praise him including Michael Darragh Macauley who posted on Twitter: “My bus buddy is no more. Way better at life off the pitch than on it which is saying something to be fair.”
Eamon Fennell tweeted: “This fella has achieved things in his career that every GAA player could only dream of! He was at the top of his game for so long, that his name will be forever etched in GAA history. Enjoy the retirement mate and thanks for the memories.”