Colin Corkery: When you’re not playing well, the white boots gave fans a case to have a go

"I wouldn’t exactly say I had a deal with Adidas; I had an arrangement with them, put it that way."
Colin Corkery: When you’re not playing well, the white boots gave fans a case to have a go

Colin Corkery scores Nemo Rangers’ winning point against Crossmolina in the 2003 All-Ireland Club Football Final. Photo: INPHO/Patrick Bolger
Colin Corkery scores Nemo Rangers’ winning point against Crossmolina in the 2003 All-Ireland Club Football Final. Photo: INPHO/Patrick Bolger

BOOT ROOM: Colin Corkery (Nemo Rangers)

Adidas Predator Mania (white)

Winning point v Crossmolina, 2003 All-Ireland Club SFC final

I wouldn’t exactly say I had a deal with Adidas; I had an arrangement with them, put it that way. I knew a fella in Adidas, Paul Moloney, and he would have been giving me boots and gear all along.

When I met him first, he was a rep in Cork and he went up to become marketing director of Adidas Ireland in Dublin and we kept the old thing going. A pair of white Predators came out at that time and we said we’d have a go off them. They started to embroider my name into the boots and for that St Patrick’s Day they put a shamrock on them with the date.

I had first worn a white pair when we drew with Tipperary in the 2002 Munster final and got a bit of stick. The first coloured boots I played with were in the All-Ireland semi-final later that year against Kerry, red ones. They didn’t go down with some people who didn’t want me wearing anything but black but the colour made no difference to me and we sold the boots off for charity afterwards.

I suppose when you’re not playing well fans would have a case to go at you but when things fall right they don’t and thankfully they did for me in the 2003 club final and in a couple of games before that. The whole Predator thing got a good bit of press when the former Liverpool player Craig Johnston consulted with them and then the rugby guys brought it to another level again, the Jonny Wilkinsons and Ronan O’Garas.

Adidas were excellent at marketing like that, bringing attention to the product. When it took off, I was doing a lot of interviews and there were a lot of articles about the effects produced by the Predator boot. We were hyping it up all the time.

The boots are still around but they’re not in my house. My mother might but somebody has them. They came straight out of the box that day — I didn’t wear them in. I didn’t need to, they were fine. Again, we were trying to generate a bit of razzmatazz as we had been for a few years.

I was up at their warehouse one day in Dublin, just passing and Paul was saying, “Go in the back there and pick out a pair of boots.” You know, the usual. I went back there anyway and I saw Jayo on a pair of boots. I asked Paul what the story was there and he was saying they were trying to get a bit of marketing with Jason Sherlock. They started putting my name on my boots then.

Adidas and Paul were very good to the GAA guys and you were seeing the likes of Brian O’Driscoll up in the warehouse. The following year against Clare in a qualifier, I had the Suzuki logo on the tongue of my boots but that was more for a laugh than anything else. We were just trying to bring more and more focus on the boot and if it was a little bit of notoriety than so be it.

When I was minor, because Adidas were here in Cork with Michael O’Connell of Three Stripe International, we were able to call down and get boots and a bit of gear. I was wearing Adidas in Australia too when I played with Carlton and just kept going from there until the end of my career.

Interview with John Fogarty

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