The first test of Ireland's 1999 International Rules series against Australia was missed by Graham Geraghty. That was not due to injury or poor from. Rather, the GAA's Management Committee instructed team manager Colm O'Rourke to not select his fellow Meath man.
The measure was seen as punishment for a racist remark which Geraghty made to Damian Cupido during a warm-up game against an AFL Academy side. Geraghty, who was 26 at the time, had called the then 17-year-old Cupido a "black c**t".
"We were only after arriving, I think, on the Monday," said Geraghty in a new episode of TG4 series Laochra Gael.
"This was Tuesday evening and it was a warm-up, first run out playing proper compromised rules.
"An incident happened with Ciarán McManus, I think. He got tackled from behind and I came in and pushed the guy that game in on him. We had verbals and I said something that I shouldn't have said to him."
In the episode, which airs on TG4 at 9:30pm on March 7th, Sean Óg Ó hAilpín defends Geraghty.
"It was a heated moment and that was the first thing that came out of his mouth and that happens," said the Cork man. "I mean I've done that in games when there were heated moments and I've said things that I didn't mean."
Geraghty apologised to Cupido after the game. The incident would make the headlines back in Ireland.
It was after the game that it was brought to my attention that I shouldn't have said something. I went over and apologised to him straight away and apologised to the mentors. I thought that was the end of it really.
The following day the media got hold of it and blew the whole thing out of the water, really. I had said something off the cuff that I shouldn't have said. I took it back, apologised to the player involved and he took no offence to it.
The extent of the media coverage annoyed Geraghty. Naively, he felt relationships which he had built with reporters should have diluted the headlines.
"Obviously, I was disappointed with myself and what happened but I was more upset for my family at home. I remember having to ring them up during the night to explain what happened and telling them that there was going to be stuff in the paper the next day. I didn't realise the extent that it was going to be.
"I was disappointed with a lot of the lads that were out there, the reporters that were out there reporting on that game in particular because I would have gave a lot of time to them over the years and never refused an interview with anybody.
"It wasn't the fact that they were reporting on the incident but to the extent that they did."
Picture credit; Damien Eagers/SPORTSFILE