Mick O'Dwyer's Last-Ever Management Job Tells You All You Need To Know About The Man
This Monday, RTE One are broadcasting another fabulous documentary about an Irish sporting great. From the same production company that brought us Giles comes Micko, an hour-long delve into the unparalleled career of Mick O'Dwyer.
It's on RTE One at 9.35pm next Monday night, and it is necessary viewing. Throughout, Micko's sheer obsession with football is laid bare, revealing that he still thinks of the Darby goal at least once a week, as a "little nudge made history". The end of the documentary is really very poignant, as O'Dwyer laments old age as "a curse", repeating the Wildean lament that youth is wasted on the young.
That said, O'Dwyer is clearly proud of all that he achieved: he was involved in a record 21 senior All-Ireland finals as a player and a manager with Kerry and Kildare. He also had a fine spell with Wicklow followed by a less successful year in charge of Clare, in what many assumed was his final gig in management.
Not so. There was one last postscript for Micko: his final ever job was in fact in charge of the Waterville under-14s, with whom he won a South Kerry Division Four League Title.
Here's how Micko recalls it in the documentary.
If I was travelling up the country and saw a football match, I'd stop and have a look at it, even if I had no connection with it. When I drive through the village in Waterville, I'll always drive up to the football pitch, go through the gate and have a look.
The very last team that I managed was an under-14 team here two years ago. I was 79. And we won the league.
When that happened I said that the wheel has gone right around now. So that was the last team that I managed...unless I manage one up above. If there's football to be played up there...we'll wait and see.
It's a curse, old age. Youth is wasted on the young. That's the way with life. We all come into the world the same way...and guaranteed that we will all go out the same way.
I haven't one regret in life. I packed everything into the 82 years I've spent on this planet and I've enjoyed every minute of it.
I've no more to do, I've done it all.
It's a poignant, nostalgic, and wonderful documentary. RTE One next Monday night, at 9.35pm.