Colm Cooper was never your average footballer on the field, his versatility and elegance on the ball was contrary to the pure brute strength that many of his counter-parts approached the game with, but a couple of years ago Paul Gavin disclosed a story that showed the man acted just as burdenless off the pitch as he did on it.
In Galvin's 2014 book 'In My Own Words' he gave an anecdotal example of the coolness of Colm Cooper's character before big games. Before an All-Ireland final you'd imagine most players would be bouncing off the walls and shaking with nerves, but not The Gooch.
Looking back on the 2007 All-Ireland Final, Kerry probably could've beaten Cork in their sleep, and according to Galvin it wasn't for a lack of trying by the then-24-year old prodigy.
The former Kilmacud Crokes man explained that after the team meal there had been no sign of Cooper for the rest of the afternoon and once it went past 1 o'clock he went to check the room they were sharing to find him "sound asleep."
I was worried that he may be sick, or something. There was no sign of life. Without stirring from under the duvet he finally woke.
‘What time is it?’ It wasn’t so much what he asked me but the inconvenienced way he asked me. Like a teenager who has been woken from his lie-in on a Saturday morning. It seemed he was more concerned with how long more he could knock out of the scratcher than the game.
It’s good to be around guys like that. Relaxed, unconcerned, bigger than any occasion. ‘It’s now ten minutes to two, Gooch. We have a game there in a bit. You might join us for it?’ No reply from Gooch.
You wouldn’t know with Gooch. He scored 1–05 and won Man of the Match – he was dead to the world at ten to two.
Almost ten years after the incident took place, the Irish Examiner has asked the Gooch for his version of Galvin's story in a twenty-minute interview that was released today. Cooper confirmed that the incident did happen but explained that napping on game days is something he regularly does - although he didn't intend to sleep as long as he did before playing Cork that day.
It is factually correct but I was up earlier in the morning.
I love to nap coming up to big matches because I find that I need every ounce of energy I can get.
I had lunch at 12 o clock because the final was 3 or half 3, obviously whenever you eat you kind of become lazy and tired and I knew we had an hour to kill before we were heading to Croke Park.
So I said I'd throw myself to bed because I knew Paul (Galvin) was gone to physio so the room was nice and quiet, I closed the curtains and expected to sleep for about half an hour but I think it was about 1.50pm when Paul gave me a bit of a shove.
Things went well that day for us that day and it went well for me.
The Gooch went on the score 1-05 that day as Kerry romped home to a 3-13 to 1-09 win over the Rebels.