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18 Fondest Memories Of A GAA Childhood

18 Fondest Memories Of A GAA Childhood
By Mark Farrelly
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Here are just some of our favourite GAA memories from our childhood...

1. Sitting on your Dad’s shoulders at matches

 Picture credit; Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

The worry was that when anything overly exciting happened there was always a risk the auld lad would forget that he's carrying you and start jumping around the place like a lunatic.

2. Getting crisps and fizzy drinks at u10 blitzs

 Picture credit: WorldIrish.com

'Who won?' 'I don't know. I'm just here for the fizzy drinks.'


3. You have a large collection of  players’ autographs

 Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

Many of these autographs are of players who are long forgotten but your mother's amateur cling-film laminating job means their signature will be forever perfect in your eyes.


4. 'What I did on my summer holidays’ essay was entirely about GAA adventures

Picture credit: BeyondHollywood.com

My senior infants teacher told my mother that no matter what story I ever told in her class it always somehow managed to end with 'And Peter Reilly was crying after it (former Cavan and Knockbride captain).'


5. Crazy parents on the sideline

The players were generally fairly level-headed and mild-mannered, the parents on the other hand...

6. Being unbelievably excited every time you passed the county grounds


 Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Soccer only has one 'theatre of dreams,' the GAA has 32.

7. Your entire school cramming into the one room to watch International Rules matches


It's no wonder so many of us have emigrated to Australia; sure we learned what time it is over there when we were four!

8. You looked up to the senior club players as Gods

 Picture credit: Dáire Brennan / SPORTSFILE


No shortage of local heroes. Even the Junior C lads were idolised.

9. Watching matches on television involved five minutes of watching the game, before abandoning it to run outside and play your own imaginary match

Picture credit: worldofwonder,ie

'Why would I watch Dublin against Meath on the telly when I can play it in the garden!?'

10. You survived Sundays on a diet of ham sandwiches and Club Orange.

 Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE


No time for the dinner; quick mug of tea and then straight out the door after mass.

11. When your parents drove through Dublin you’d spend the entire time looking out the window trying to spot Croke Park

 Image: geograph.ie

After countless times of asking, I have now finally come to accept that 'No. You cannot see Croke Park from Skerries.'

12. Going to county games wearing a full kit

 Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

Shorts and socks were a must.

13. Going nuts when the county team arrived at your school

Picture credit: educatetogether.ie

Didn't matter whether it was the Sam Maguire or the Hastings Cup, when the county team arrived through the school gates it was the highlight of the year.

14. And getting random half days because of it

It's no wonder Kilkenny produce such good hurlers. Sure they spend half the day playing it when they should be in class.

15. Wearing jerseys about 16 times too big


Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Playing underage football must have been a hellish experience for Paul 'I love tight-tops' Galvin.

16. Slyly playing lads who were overage in sevens tournaments

The blitzs were always a day where you could play fast and loose with the age rules.

17. Being ready to go to training four hours before you needed to be

Picture credit: Daire Brennan / SPORTSFILE

Underage training would consist of excitedly running around the place at home for four hours and then not being able to fart come the time training actually started.

18. Forging friendships that have lasted a life-time

From childhood...


Picture credit: Ray Ryan / SPORTSFILE

Picture credit: Daire Brennan / SPORTSFILE

To old age...



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