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18 Signs You're A Sports Fan Who Was Around During The Easter Rising

By Conor Neville
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You've already been alerted to Oscar Traynor's exploits in goal for Belfast Celtic. Not to mention Joseph Plunkett's pre-revolutionary days as a roller-blading champ in Algeria (we don't actually now for certain whether he was 'champion' of anything). Here are the classic signs you're a sports fan who grew up during the time of 1916.

1. Your favourite Gaelic footballer runs around the pitch in a flat cap with a fag in his mouth


2. You have attended at least one All-Ireland final which wasn't in the year it was supposed to be held

The 1916 All-Ireland hurling final between Tipperary and Kilkenny (things haven't changed that much in a century) was played off in January 1917.  Limerick's victory in

Limerick's victory in the 1921 All-Ireland hurling final was achieved on 4 March 1923.


3. You have a poster of Billy Meredith on your wall

4. The British Army frequently glared at you as went to GAA matches and you're not even from Crossmaglen

5. Your county has both won and lost matches on appeal

It turns out that, even in the 20's, Mayo were cursed with bad luck

6. Your county's star corner forward used to fist points from about 35 yards out

And he did it using the correct technique, popping the ball up in the air and launching a fist at it, rather than the trendy, modern habit of fisting the ball while it's still cupped in the other hand..

[Watch Video]
7. You remember a time when there were hardly any Catholics playing rugby for Ireland

Leinster contributes most of the players to the Irish team these days. Back then it was 'Dublin University' (ie. Trinity College). And they all had names like R.F.E Wilson and G.H.K Russell.



8. You have a hazy memory of a time when cricket used to be played on the green in the town


9. The Dublin Horse Show was a big event, albeit one you never went to

Unless you were related to the Governor-General or owned a top hat. In which case, you never missed it.


10. You thought that British Pathe's coverage of major sporting events was too constant, too in-your-face, too pervasive. It was just a barrage

You were pleased 70 years later when Sky Sports grabbed the rights to most sporting events and toned everything down a bit

11. London were a major obstacle to big hurling counties

The boys of 1901 have yet to be emulated

12. Depending on your class background, your family recall a time when Irish players were competitive at, and in some cases capable of winning, Wimbledon

Joshua Pim, Wimbledon champion of 1893 and 1894 may not have been a Sinn Feiner or even a Home Ruler but he was from Bray.


13. Soccer was only played in Belfast and Dublin. And to make matters worse mainly Belfast

There were eight teams in the top tier of the Irish league. Linfield, Glentoran, Cliftonville, Distillery, et al, were a constant presence... Shelbourne and Bohemians were the only Southern clubs.

14. You were a big fan of the hammer throw, a sport at which Ireland were world leaders

One man was anyway. Kanturk's Pat O'Callaghan. He won Gold in LA in 1928 and again four year's later. And no drugs were taken. Our great hammer throwing heritage has been betrayed since


15. Approximately 95% of Cork players you've seen in your time seemed to be dual players

Jack Lynch wasn't the 20s but you know what I mean
16. Most of your childhood heroes lost half their careers to the 'War'

Mick O'Brien, for instance, managed 14 caps for Ireland (IFA and Irish Free State team combined, naturally) and served in the Royal Navy from 1914 - 18.

Mick is on the right
17. You cycled to the Connacht Final

Or whatever provincial final you;d be motivated to attend.

18. In later years, you reckoned that the heart and soul was ripped out of the GAA when the ball was no longer thrown in by the Archbishop of Dublin or some other more junior member of the clergy


Read more: Surely The Worst Provincial Championship Of All-Time?

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