David Brady has spoken passionately about the sustaining qualities of Mayo football in his Laochra Gael programme set to be shown on TG4 this Thursday.
The Ballina man speaks of how he lost two cousins - Ronan and Declan - to cancer and how much the fortunes of the team mean to them.
“There’s a bus from Westport and that bus goes to every single (Mayo) game. Declan, Ronan used to be on it, Lord rest them. Declan died on the Tuesday before the All-Ireland final 2016. Buried in his Mayo jersey.
“The brother Paul - he’s the only one left - drives that bus. My father goes on that bus and for our family and many other families that are on that bus and have had hard times and struggles and barriers in life, we need football more than Mayo football needs us.
It keeps us together. It keeps us together, whether it’s travelling, going to a game, the morning of a match, the family breakfast whether it’s in Dublin or Mayo. It means so much to so many people. There might be hard things going on in your life but Mayo football will get you through it. It helps you through it.
Working for Amgen Ireland, which produces oncology and hematology medicines, Brady gets solace from the hope he is working for a company that helps people in difficulty.
“Football was an integral part of their lives but cancer cut it short. There’s no-one who hasn’t been touched by it. And if it means through data, through our new company, through new medicines that can make a difference in people’s lives I’m proud to be part of it. I love what I do every single day I get up.”
Brady touches on the heavy 2004 All-Ireland final defeat to Kerry when manager John Maughan elected to keep him on the bench despite having helped Mayo see off Fermanagh in a semi-final replay and the frustration is still evident 16 years on.
“The gamble was taken not to start me,” he recalled. “You don’t gamble with Mayo football in any way shape or form because there is too much at stake. The game itself? We were annihilated. Positional-wise, it wasn’t right. You get it wrong.
“I do think it was wrong from John’s point of view. I know it and John knows it. It hurt a lot of people, supporters, my family, but that’s on the grass. That’s football. We don’t, I don’t, none of my family are tossing and turning over that.”
- David Brady - Laochra Gael will be televised on TG4 this Thursday at 9.30pm.