Colm 'Gooch' Cooper: Five memorable moments
His club career continues but here are some magical memories of Gooch at Croke Park
Colm Cooper celebrates Kerry’s goal against Mayo in the 2004 All-Ireland senior football final at Croke Park. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
2004 All-Ireland final
Kerry 1-20 v Mayo 2-9
In the 25th minute of the final, with Kerry four ahead, current Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice hits a long ball, which Cooper takes perfectly over Pat Kelly’s head before turning him and arcing around the covering Gary Ruane and tucking a goal into the net. It is his first All-Ireland medal.
2005 All-Ireland semi-final
Kerry 1-19 v Cork 0-9
Within 17 minutes he had fired over four points, the second a spectacular left-foot shot from tight in the right corner. He finished with five, as Kerry sailed home, and won the man of the match award. “I’m not the first person to say it but this is a great man,” said manager Jack O’Connor afterwards.
2009 All-Ireland quarter-final
Kerry 1-24 v Dublin 1-7
Unusually Dublin were favourites. Manager Pat Gilroy later memorably described his team as “startled earwigs”. The startling began early. Cooper glided in after Mike McCarthy’s blistering exchange with Darran O’Sullivan, swivelled onto his left and steered the ball into the net. Fewer than 40 seconds were on the clock.
2013 All-Ireland semi-final
Dublin 3-18 v Kerry 3-11
In the 12th minute Cooper played a 1-2 from a free, drew two defenders and then dummied a kick pass. (In these pages Malachy Clerkin said it looked like Torc Waterfall pausing midstream.) Spotting Donnchadh Walsh’s run, he picked him out instead and one pass later to James O’Donoghue – goal.
2017 All-Ireland club final
Dr Crokes 1-11 Slaughtneil 1-9
The one remaining medal that he really wanted. Slaughtneil hadn’t conceded a championship goal for two years when Daithí Casey’s driving 20th-minute run from 70 metres allowed Cooper ghost in behind the defence, take the pass and slide the ball into the net to get Crokes back into the match.