How Cluxton hit McAteer where it hurts

Jason McAteer has revealed how Stephen Cluxton left him nursing another headache after last year’s All-Ireland SFC final.

The former Liverpool star was infamously knocked out by the Dublin goalkeeper during a charity match in Santry, last April. But while the bruising didn’t last, the former Ireland star admits it’s been more difficult to forget how the Dublin star cost him a small fortune.

“I like the odd bet, and I backed Kerry in the All-Ireland final,” McAteer told the Paddy Power podcast. “I was told it was like Barcelona v Man United, so I obviously went for Kerry. They were going well up to five minutes to go and then in the last minute Dublin got a free and Stephen Cluxton comes running out of his goal and just kicks me right in the knackers. He might well have kicked me rather than put that ball over the posts. Obviously Dublin went on and won the All-Ireland and cost me a fortune.”

The revelation begged the question — which hurt more; the punch or losing a bet?

“It felt the same — like he’d given me another right hook,” laughed McAteer.

Meanwhile McAteer expressed hope that Giovanni Trapattoni takes a punt on Sunderland star James McClean ahead of the European Championship.

“I’ve seen James a lot and I’m glad he’s been called up, he’s played really well under the Martin O’Neill regime, he’s been different class. He’s flourishing at the right time and if he plays well in these warm up games, he might just book a place on the plane.

“I read Jack Charlton’s book a while ago and it was the warm up game against Germany where me and Gary Kelly booked our place for the World Cup (in 1994). When you’re so young, you’re fearless you don’t fear failure or loss, you just get on with it. You get out there and do your best, there’s no repercussions.”

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