Team-mates and rivals united in farewell salute to Alan Brogan

Dublin all-rounder bows out after 70 championship appearances

Alan Brogan: ‘Representing Dublin for the last 14 years has given me immense satisfaction and joy, both the good days and the bad’. Photograph:  Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Alan Brogan: ‘Representing Dublin for the last 14 years has given me immense satisfaction and joy, both the good days and the bad’. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

 

As sporting salutes go those from your own team are typically more compelling than those from your team of rivals. Alan Brogan was being saluted on both fronts after his decision to retire from Dublin football after 14 seasons, only there was no telling the difference.

It’s just one measure of Brogan’s brilliantly successful impact on the game. He was 10 years playing senior football with Dublin before winning his first All-Ireland, in 2011, now retires having won three – signing off in the most wonderfully personal style by kicking the final point in last September’s win over closest rivals Kerry.

“Gave me a few tough days in headquarters,” said Kerry defender Marc Ó Sé, often charged with marking Brogan. “(I) was lucky to play with and against him, and he deserves all the plaudits. What a career.”

There was a similar salute, also via Twitter, from another Kerry defender Aidan O’Mahony: “Congrats to Alan on a fantastic career,” said O’Mahony. “Darling of the Hill, and a top man off the pitch . . . all-rounder and one of the best in the game.”

Then there were the similar salutes from his own Dublin team-mates: “One of the best players I’ve played with,” said Quinn. “Always had space and wanted the ball with game on the line. Great team-mate.” Likewise from Conal Keaney: “Sad day for Dublin with Alan calling it a day. He was a pleasure to play alongside, one of the best”; and Kevin McManamon said: “Privileged to play alongside my childhood hero.”

Indeed that salute is telling because Brogan ended up playing alongside several Dublin footballers he would have originally inspired.

Debut

Jim Gavin

“In 1995, as a 13 year-old boy, I sat in the Lower Hogan Stand and watched in awe as my heroes, led by John O’Leary lifted the Sam Maguire, ” he said. “Little did I know then of the great journey that lay ahead of me.

“Representing Dublin for the last 14 years has given me immense satisfaction and joy, both the good days and the bad. I would like to thank all the players that I soldiered with and against, and the managers and mentors who have guided me from an early age when I began the pursuit of my sporting dreams. I would like to pay particular thanks to Tommy Lyons, Pillar Caffrey, Pat Gilroy and Jim Gavin, whose commitment to the Dublin cause was an inspiration to me and my teammates over the years.

“To play Gaelic football at the top level many people around me have made great sacrifices in their own lives. My wife, Lydia, without whose love and support it would not have been possible, my two boys for keeping my feet on the ground, my parents for their guidance and encouragement, my brothers Bernard and Paul, with whom I was lucky enough to share an All-Ireland win with in 2011, and my friends and employers, for their understanding over the years. All of the above have played a crucial role in any success I have had throughout my career . . .”

Brogan also saluted his club St Oliver Plunketts/Eoghan Ruadh and the Dublin County Board: “The county board left no stone unturned in our pursuits of championships, and I appreciate the importance of this strong relationship between players and county board and how it has played a significant role in our success over the years.

“Lastly to the Dublin supporters and Hill 16, thank you for the unwavering support during my time playing in blue. You helped to create some of the greatest sporting occasions this country has ever seen. I have always claimed that you are the greatest fans in the world. Thanks for the memories.”

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