September Road: When Tyrone wore the green and gold

Kerry's postmortem; Kevin Cassidy's prediction; Brolly nails his colours to the mast

The evocative red hand against the white background is synonymous with Tyrone GAA, but few realise that the All-Ireland finalists once played in different colours entirely.

According to the GAA Annual 1937-1938, the cover of which carried the tag-line “official record of the Gaelic Athletic Association”, Tyrone’s official colours were green and gold hoops.

Mayo's colours – said to be inspired by a Thomas Davis poem, The Green Above the Red – were listed as "green, red hoop, waist and arm", consistent with today, but several others differed, with Laois actually donning black and amber horizontal stripes.

Clare’s were “all white, red band” while Roscommon’s official colours were the unusual combination of black with a green hoop and white collar.


Tyrone had worn white and red in winning the 1931 Ulster minor championship, but by the middle of that decade they were sporting green and gold, with their camogie team registering those colours with the Ulster council in 1934.

By the time they won their first Anglo-Celt Cup in 1956, however, the modern tradition was well established and the cup was bedecked in white and red ribbons.

Underestimating Tyrone’s power

Kevin Cassidy’s column in the GAA’s Gaelic Life magazine is always interesting, although he sent out a mixed message this week.

“Like most others, I got last week’s semi-final prediction completely wrong,” he began.

“I did say that I felt Tyrone would come out with serious fire in their stomachs after the whole Covid situation, but I did not think that they had that level of performance in them for 70 minutes, let alone extra time on top of that.”

Later he added: “Kerry simply were not ready for what Tyrone brought to the table and there really is no excuse for that because everyone knew exactly what was coming down the tracks.”

Kerry fans register their disappointment

The postmortem is ongoing in Kerry, and the Killarney Advertiser has been taking the temperature of the fans. In all, 280 subjects of the Kingdom replied to their survey and the headline finding was that 77 per cent of respondents believe Peter Keane should not stay on as manager.

More than half (55 per cent) were "dissatisfied" with the season, 27 per cent said they were "very dissatisfied" and just 2 per cent were "satisfied". A total of 49 per cent voted for Paudie Clifford as Player of the Year and the split on who will win the All-Ireland was 58-42 per cent in favour of Mayo.

On the plus side, 43 per cent feel Kerry will win Sam next year.

Believe the hype

Former Down star Marty Clarke, one of the great underage talents, was asked on Off the Ball was he aware of the hype as a teenager.

“You do hear the noise around the school and the county and maybe outside of that as well. Along the way, in one of the B grades, I had scored 1-17 in a final as captain,” he recalled.

How many of those were frees, he was asked. “All from play, as far as I can remember.”


Word of Mouth

"Mayo are in deep s**t." Pundit Joe Brolly nails his colours to the mast.

By the Numbers

4 Number of All-Ireland senior football finals Cavan's Joe McQuillan will have refereed by next weekend.