John Leonard: “I don’t want this book to read as a celebration of drugs. The reality is I lost my mind a lot of times. I was very close to losing friends and losing sanity.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

The former understudy to Dublin’s Stephen Cluxton was an insatiable pills-and-thrills chaser

Mayo joint-managers Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes  stepped down on Friday night after a meeting of the Mayo county board executive. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

After the resignation of Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly who is out there that can make the tiny difference that will change the gala(...)

Philly McMahon held the best forward of his generation, Kerry’s Colm Cooper, scoreless in the All-Ireland football final. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Dublin defender is brilliant player whose talents have been overshadowed by controversy

 Dublin’s Cian O’Sullivan celebrates with the Sam Maguire trophy: “It might seem like times are good now but you have to make the most of the opportunities.” Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Key defender overcame a hamstring strain to play a crucial role in Dublin’s All-Ireland win

Dublin’s  Philly McMahon and Kerry’s Colm Cooper.  Photograph: Inpho/James Crombie

Michael Darragh MacAuley said Dublin worked hard to avoid repeat of last year’s defeat

Kerry substitute Kieran Donaghy battles in the Dublin square for a high ball with Rory O’Carroll and Johnny Cooper in the All-Ireland final at Croke Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Jim Gavin’s side prove greatness as they beat Kerry to win third All-Ireland in five years

Dublin Manager Jim Gavin celebrates with Cian O’Sullivan after the game. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Dublin manager explained: ‘He was honest to say he’s good to go and we trusted him’

Dublin’s Bernard Brogan and Paul Flynn celebrate with the Sam Maguire trophy. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

This Dublin generation's achievements compare with the very best of them

Dublin have developed a more defensive system this season but as they struggled in the All-Ireland semi-final replay, James McCarthy  attacked the Mayo rearguard with gusto. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Kerry clash may finally reveal which is real team lurking inside the Leinster champions

The opening ceremony of the 2015 Rugby World Cup at Twickenham Stadium in London. Photograph: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Have you the fortitude to put up with a month of lightly condescending critiques of the former colonies?

Gareth Thomas paved the way for other gay athletes to feel sufficiently emboldened to also come out. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Gareth Thomas, Ashwin Willemse stories don’t sit well in sleek world of advertisement

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill celebrates his team’s victory over Georgia. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Subdued display from Ireland rescued by moment of individual excellence

Kilkenny’s TJ Reid and Eoin Larkin tackle Padraig Mannion of Galway during Sunday’s All-Ireland hurling final. Photograph: Inpho

Of all Cody’s perfect hurling Septembers this may have been the most imperious

The Dublin team in Croke Park last Sunday. Imagine the agony of Dublin fans watching it all dissolve. Photograph: INPHO/Donall Farmer

The nature of last Sunday’s match made it Mayo’s story but what about the Dublin fans?

Galway forward Jason Flynn: “I don’t think many players are remembered if you don’t win an All-Ireland; it’s as simple as that.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The player knows the history but thinks this team is special enough to beat Kilkenny

Dublin’s Denis Bastick scores the first goal of Dublin’s demolition of Mayo in Castlebar in March. Photograph: NPHO/Donall Farmer

After a Castlebar nightmare, Mayo had to reconfigure their strategy to cope with Dublin’s scoring bursts

Dublin’s Michael Fitzsimons, Jack McCaffrey, Philly McMahon,Tomas Brady, John Small and Paul Flynn foul Colm Boyle of Mayo resulting in a late penalty. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Leinster champions end game on the ropes as Westerners fight back for draw

Mayo fans celebrate after their side scored a late penalty in their All-Ireland semi-final draw with Dublin. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Connacht champions rescue draw in All-Ireland semi-final with glorious last stand

Billy Walsh: has overseen spectacular success for Irish boxers in his years as head coach. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Irish sport, and Irish boxing, should do everything to keep the successful coach

Using Barry Moran  as a defensive sweeper against Donegal to negate the influence of Michael Murphy was a bold statement by Mayo’s joint managers Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly have equipped county with a new level of tactical flexibility

Mayo’s Barry Moran in action against Donegal. “It really is horses for courses. So what worked against Donegal obviously isn’t going to work against Dublin.” Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Experienced midfielder says Mayo will tailor their tactics to combat Dublin’s strengths

Kerry’s James O’Donoghue jumps with joy following at the final whistle at Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Kingdom book place in All-Ireland final after finally defeating Tyrone in Croke Park

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice and trainer Cian O’Neill celebrate after their side beat Tyrone in the All-Ireland senior football championship semi-final at Croke Par. Photo: Andrew Patton/INPHO

The winning manager explained why he felt Paul Geaney could offer more

  Seán Cavanagh celebrates Tyrone’s victory over Monaghan with team-mates. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Great team of last decade has broken up but persistence of old attitudes has led to revival

Eamonn Fitzmaurice has not felt beholden to the notion Kerry teams have a moral obligation to play the game in a certain way. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Kerry manager fearless in reshaping team into winners by any means necessary

Kerry manager Eamon Fitzmaurice with selector Diarmuid Murphy. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Not even Éamonn Fitzmaurice expected such a brilliant display by All-Ireland champions

Fermanagh’s Marty O’Brien takes to the air against Dublin’s Alan Brogan at Croke Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Kingdom hit Kildare for seven goals while Dublin dispense with spirited Fermanagh

 Cecil the lion strolls around in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe before his death at the hands of American dentist Walter Palmer. Photograph: Paula French via AP

Walter Palmer provoked more anger than most skilful PETA campaign could ever hope for

Bryan Sheehan’s presence for Kerry will add to  the kick-out options for Brendan Kealy. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Kildare have pace to cause shock but Fitzmaurice’s side have smarts to avoid one

Raymie Johnston of Fermanagh in full flight against Mayo. Photograph: Andrew Paton/INPHO

Odds stacked against northern pretenders, but reaching last eight exposes potential

Michael Murphy: wasn’t moveing with his usual freedom for Donegal in the Ulster final against Monaghan. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Improving Tribesmen likely to ask serious questions of Rory Gallagher’s side

Cork’s Daniel Kearney is knocked over by the advancing Jonathan Glynn of Galway during the All-Ireland SHC quarter-final at Semple Stadium, Thurles. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.

Cork and Dublin trail in wake of counties playing like they have something to prove

Waterford’s Austin Gleeson celebrates during the  All-Ireland quarter-final against Dublin at Semple Stadium in Thurles. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Déise set sights on Kilkenny after after cracking performance in Thurles

Former England footballer Gary Lineker volunteered his services to cover BBC golf coverage after Steve Rider left the broadcasters. Photograph: Getty.

British Open’s defection to Sky has left a groundswell of resentment from established broadcaster

Michael Walsh: Dublin need to limit the ball going through him and Waterford’s other senior man Kevin Moran. Photograph: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

All-Ireland hurling quarter-final, Semple Stadium, Thurles, Sunday, 2.0pm (Live on RTE)

Henry Shefflin of Kilkenny gets by Galway full back Kevin Hynes and centre back Tony Ó Regan during the 2012 All-Ireland Senior Hurling final at Croke Park, which was won by Kilkenny after a replay. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.

List of great players that have played at 3 and 6 over the years have yet to see glory days return to the mid west

Galway’s David Collins. His influence on his team’s defence extends far beyond his position. Photograph: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

All-Ireland hurling quarter-final, Semple Stadium, Thurles, Sunday, 4.0pm (Live on RTE)

Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke speaks to a reporter at the end of the game. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Presseye/Inpho

Monaghan knew they could beat reigning champions, says manager

Monaghan’s Conor McManus celebrates scoring a point. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

O’Rourke’s clever contenders squeeze home to secure their second title in three years

Conor McManus guided Monaghan to a second Ulster football title in three years with victory over Donegal in Clones. Photograph: Inpho

Patience and a clever game plan help Malachy O’Rourke’s side reclaim the provincial crown

Gerry McCarville was a strong presence for Ulster in  the 1980s. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

County that has a habit of going into hibernation will contest third Ulster final in row

Waterford manager Derek McGrath before the Munster SHC final against Tipperary at Semple Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Manager proud that his young charges put it up to Tipperary at Semple Stadium

Waterford’s Michael Walsh is tackled by Tipperary’s Padraic Maher during the Munster senior hurling championship final at Semple Stadium in Thurles. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Young Waterford side beaten but unbowed following a gripping final clash at Thurles

Tipperary’s Shane McGrath kicks the sliotar  forward as he’s challenged by Waterford players during the Munster SHC Final at Semple Stadium. Photograph:   Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Munster hurling final fails to catch fire at Semple Stadium

Media coverage of Gaelic games is growing: most managers can reasonably argue that there simply isn’t sufficient time to accede to(...)

Plane Landing in Sligo by Aleksandra Mir, which is one of the pieces on display at the old Snia/Saehan factory in the grounds of Hazelwood House in Sligo. Photograph: James Connolly

The new owners of Hazelwood, a Palladian manor in Co Sligo, have turned an old textile plant in the grounds into a venue for a hug(...)

Davy Fitzgerald: “Between this summer and the next two or three summers we will be working very hard to get a fifth All-Ireland back to Clare in 130 years.”  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Victory over Cork would see the 2013 All-Ireland champions generate serious momentum

Mark Collins reacts with dismay as referee Pádraig Hughes awards a penalty for Kerry in the Munster final in Killarney. photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Brian Cuthbert left disappointed after Cork are denied at the death in Killarney

Kerry’s Jonathon Lyons and Kevin O’Dricoll of Cork at the Munster GAA Football Senior Championship Final in  Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Cuthbert is left vexed, while Kerry’s leaky form continues to cause problems

This is where Colm Cooper is used to being, in the Kerry starting XV. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Páidí Ó Sé didn’t speak to Mick O’Dwyer for two years after he was put there

Éamonn Fitzmaurice made the move into management with what appeared to be seamless ease. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Éamonn Fitzmaurice is hungry for more silverware after unconvincing league run

Latvian Kristaps Porzingis, who  was drafted number four overall by the New York Knicks, towers over NBA commissioner Adam Silver, at the Barclays Center in New York. Photograph: Earl Wilson/The New York Times

New York Knicks fans have little faith obscure seven-foot Latvian can revive them

Rory Kavanagh and current Derry manager Brian McIver celebrate Donegal’s National League final victory over Mayo in 2007. Given the transformation of Donegal football, the win has been reduced to a footnote, but it was only the county’s second senior national title. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Derry man was close to achieving breakthrough during tenure with neighbouring county

Liam Dunne: “We expected a lot of ourselves. We felt we were very well prepared. But obviously some things weren’t right.” Photo: James Crombie/ Inpho

Wexford manager struggles to explain away another black day for Wexford hurling

Kilkenny’s TJ Reid  is brought down for a penalty by the combined efforts of Matthew O’Hanlon and Liam Ryan of Wexford during the Leinster SHC semi-final at Nowlan Park.  Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Glenmore player scores 3-5 from play on championship debut at Nowlan Park

In his role as club manager or pundit you couldn’t listen to Martin O’Neill without grasping how enthralled he is by the game. As Ireland manager, he has cut a much more subdued figure. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Expecting international stars to materialise just like that is no longer way forward

A determined Karl Lacey keeps Tony Kernan at arm’s length at the Athletics Ground. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Presseye/Inpho

Kerry, Donegal and Mayo tighten grip locally as Wicklow almost pull off shock

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill cuts a frustrated figure. Photograph: Inpho/Cathal Noonan

Republic of Ireland’s hopes of reaching finals hang by thread after disappointing draw

Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney talks to his players after the final whistle against Donegal. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Presseye/Inpho

Rory Gallagher pleased with Donegal’s hunger as they brush aside rivals

Martin O’Reilly scores Donegal’s second goal in their comfortable Ulster Championship win over Armagh. Photograph: Inpho

Early Paddy McBrearty goal sets the tone as Gallagher’s men breeze into Ulster semis

Donegal’s Mickey McDonald, who is Rory McIlroy’s uncle, in action in 1982: “I would have said that we expected to go there and win because we had won in 1980. But it was tough, end-to-end football”

As they meet Donegal, Rory McIlroy’s uncle Mickey McDonald recalls that tense moment

Robbie Brady gets above Raheem Sterling during the drab stalemate at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Martin O’Neill tunes up side for vital qualifier but Jack Charlton gets loudest cheer of day

The late Jerry Collins in action for New Zealand during the 2007 World Cup. Photograph: William West/Getty Images

All Black lit up forlorn November afternoon when he visited Donegal a decade ago

Mark Lynch: “Aye, well, we have been involved in a lot of games where we have played open attacking football and we have been praised for it. But we ended up getting beat. So you do have to weigh the options up.” Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho/Presseye

Derry need a result against heavily favoured Down in Sunday’s Ulster SFC clash

“We could have won four of five All-Irelands in a row,”says Galway’s two-time All-Ireland winner (1987 and ’88) Tony Keady, seen here during the 1990 All-Ireland hurling final loss to Cork. Photograph: Inpho

Twenty seven years on from the county’s last All-Ireland triumph, there is belief that another is close

Sepp Blatter: elected for the fifth time as president of Fifa despite the ongoing corruption scandal. Photo: Walter Bieri/EPA

Underpaid workers are dying in their droves in the name of football’s greatest tournament

Limerick manager TJ Ryan celebrates his side’s goal in the victory over Clare at Semple Stadium. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Magnanimous Davy Fitzgerald already working on ways to end Clare’s bad streak

Limerick’s Shane Dowling celebrates scoring a point at Semple Stadium. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Davy Fitzgerald praises opponents but says Clare are not far away

Tyrone’s Justin McMahon and Peter Harte get up close and personal with Donegal’s Michael Murphy in Ballybofey last week. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Fiercely competitive province always produces compelling drama the locals savour

London manager Paul Coggins is carried by his jubilant team members after their famous 2013 victory over Sligo in the Connacht championship. Photograph: Jim Keogh/Inpho.

Improvements in results for the English capital have served to give players an added dimension of identity

Donegal’s Michael Murphy and Tyrone’s Ronan McNabb exchange words during the Ulster senior championship match at Ballybofey, Donegal. Photograph: Inpho

Both managers take positives out of performance’s from their respective sides

Steven Gerrard was given a standing ovation at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea fans recognised the passing of a major figure in their period of devoting themselves to football. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

If the Liverpool captain holds it together at Anfield he will be in the minority

Rory Gallagher was always likely to be in the frame to succeed Jim McGuinness, despite their abrupt parting of the ways. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Presseye/Inpho

Donegal manger’s influence will be easier to recognise than during league campaign

The Wexford football team of 1915-18 was led by the irrepressible Seán O’Kennedy

Donegal manager and Celtic performance consultant Jim McGuinness. Photograph: Inpho Donegal manager and Celtic performance consultant Jim McGuinness. Photograph: Inpho

Former manager looking forward to some time out from his role with Celtic

“I think the Tyrone players do have confidence,” Darren McCurry says. “It’s about gelling as a team and playing well on that particular day. Sometimes we got the rub of the green, sometimes we didn’t.” Photograph: Russell Pritchard Inpho.

Forward understands Owen Mulligan’s criticism but believes hard work can pay off against Donegal

Donegal’s Mark McHugh in action against Mayo in the 2013 All-Ireland final. He is the only one in the squad with a winner’s medal who did not experience last year’s final defeat. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Playmaker missed the 2014 All-Ireland but says the squad are driven by that ‘grief’

The Dublin team make their way to Hill 16 in 2006 after Mayo choose to warm-up in front of it. Photograph: Inpho

Warming up in front of the Hill example of how Croke Park is never truly neutral for the Dubs

Waterford’s Noel Connors and Kevin Moran celebrates at the final whistle of the league final. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

‘Championship is championship’ Waterford defender is wary of a Cork backlash

Waterford’s Austin Gleeson, Martin O’Neill and Pauric Mahony celebrate with the trophy. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Waterford manager says plan is to play more attacking game as team develops

Waterford’s Noel Connors and Kevin Moran celebrate securing the county’s third league title with a 10-point victory over Cork. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Derek McGrath’s rejuvenated side overwhelm Cork to delight of Déise fans

WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather  and WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao pose ahead of their unification title fight at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. Photograph: John Gurzinski/AFP Photo/Getty Images

Even if Pacquiao humiliates his opponent, it won’t be represent any kind of atonement

Dan Shanahan motivates some of the Waterford players before their league semi-final with Tipperary. “It has been easy going training because we have won a few games and the atmosphere is really good,” he says. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Waterford selector is fully immersed in his second hurling life for the county

Still green: Jack Grealish celebrates scoring for Ireland Under-21s in 2013. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Choice on international future is one the 19-year-old must be allowed to take time over

Jim Gavin’s Dublin are challenging for their third league title in a row but no longer possess the aura of invincibility that developed around the side last year. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Gavin unwilling to leave team open to kind of lightning raid that derailed them last year

Back to the Future: Christopher Lloyd and Michael J Fox with their DeLorean time machine

Created by a ‘con man’, immortalised by Hollywood, and built in Belfast at the height of the Troubles, John DeLorean’s DMC-12 was (...)

A police officer runs in front of the blazing main stand at Bradford City’s Valley Parade football ground, where 56 people lost their lives. Photograph: PA Wire

Club chairman was connected to eight other fires before 1985 disaster

The successful appeal of Séamus Callanan’s red card suspension restores the focal point of Tipperary’s attack. Photograph: Inpho

Preview: Allianz Hurling League semi-final – Tipperary v Waterford, Nowlan Park, 4pm , TG4

Rory McIlroy shares the sporting firmament with fellow megastars Messi, Federer, Kobe and LeBron. Photograph: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

What is staggering about golfer’s story is that it seems somehow predestined

Donncha O’Connor was a key member of the Cork side that won the All-Ireland final in 2010. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Cork forward is one of few survivors from 2010 and has knack of scoring when it matters

Donegal’s Martin McElhinney in action against Mayo’s  Donal Vaughan last weekend. Photo: Mike Shaughnessy/Inpho

Young Rebels will be looking to impress in headquarters semi-final clash

Denis Bastick: said Dublin created a lot of chances against Derry’s defensive structure. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘No two games the same,’ warns midfielder before semi-final rematch

Monaghan goalkeeper Rory Beggan taking a long-range free against Dublin last week.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Keeper Rory Beggan wary of Dublin challenge in Division One semi-final

Monghan’s Owen Duffy and Dublin goalscorer Brian Fenton. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Articulate response imaginable to weeklong conversation on the demise of Gaelic football

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte says it is not his job to entertain. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Presseye/Inpho

All-Ireland final in 1990 shows past also had games short on entertainment

Kerry captain Kieran Donaghy has been a central figure for the county so far this season. Photograph:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Fitzmaurice’s face relegation but there’s no panic after what transpired last season

Martin McElhinney in action against Kerry’s Bryan Sheehan and Anthony Maher. “We are not safe. We have to go and put on a performance against Mayo and that is going to be hard without Michael Murphy.” Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Win over Tyrone should ensure top-flight status but side now focused on Mayo test

Ryan McHugh slots home Donegal’s goal in the Allianz Football League Division One game against Tyrone at  Ballybofey. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty. Photograph: Inpho/Presseye

Donegal run out easy winners in Ballybofey as Tyrone left with huge task to avoid relegation

New stadia, like The Emirates above, have helped transform England’s football tradition from a national embarrassment to an international phenomenon. Photograph: Ian Kington/Getty Images

Moving to a new stadium can have a curious impact on a team’s fortunes

It was the Jim McGuinness-managed Donegal that knocked Mickey Harte’s Tyrone off their perch in Ulster.  Photograph: Russell Pritchard/Inpho.

More than just another league encounter as Donegal’s Ulster dominance to be contested

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