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Kevin McManamon Was Put On This Earth To Break The Hearts Of Kerry People

Kevin McManamon Was Put On This Earth To Break The Hearts Of Kerry People
By Conall Cahill Updated

Years from now, men who are now young will have grown old and wise. Tales will be told of past glories, of epic matches played, of heartbreaking loss. Of great heroes and hated villains and everything in between.

And perhaps when this modern generation of young Kerry fans are old, they will mutter a name, over and over, as if trapped by some nightmare.

Their grandchildren will put it down, perhaps, to old senility, to eccentricity; they will laugh it off and smile at their elder family member.

But they will have no idea of what those quietly whispered words might mean.

To some, it means the powerful battles of the noughties....to others, it means the agonising physical wars of the years after 2010.

But the name will sound the same. 'McMenamin', or 'McManamon' - it could be either; both symbolise equally torturous experiences for those who consider themselves the aristocrats of football.

Tyrone came in 2003 and bullied Kerry with their 'puke football' and left an imprint on Kerry that still bears scars. They spent the noughties as what seemed to be the perpetual providers of doom to Kerry and as always there were players who acted as symbols of that doom. Ryan McMenamin was definitely one of them; with his snarl, his tenacity, his tendency to pop up and score a point after helping to nullify the threat of the Kingdom's prized forward line. The name 'McMenamin' would be one hated and respected in equal measure; he became one of the symbols of a rivalry that haunted Kerry, following them with every step. 2003. 2005. 2008.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZZNGsD_PIs

So it is slightly eerie that, in this decade, a McManamon - another small, dark-haired, tenacious figure - should emerge to draw Kerry tears on three notable occasions.

It all started off in 2011, and a game in which Dublin looked dead and buried before McManamon gave his team the kiss of life, coming off the bench to help send himself and that Dublin squad into immortality (with the help of a certain Clucko's boot, of course).

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B8yqLAX7iE

Then there was 2013. We still don't know whether McManamon meant to dip his shot incredibly skilfully under the bar or whether he was going for a point (no matter what he might say). A bit of a 'Ronaldinho in 2002' moment. But either way, his goal was absolutely pivotal in turning the tide in the Dubs' favour in what turned out to be a victorious match and campaign.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dM0XMjr96FY

And now we come to 2016. It was a double-whammy from McManamon this time (perhaps after this he'll finally leave Kerry alone). For not only did he land an absolute peach of a point in the closing final moments, but he body - checked Peter Crowley when the Laune Rangers man looked set to orchestrate an equaliser. Outraged, Kerry cried foul, but there was no free given and Diarmuid Connolly duly did what he does best and swung the ball over the bar to put Dublin into a final and send Kerry off pondering what could have been.

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Frame-By-Frame: Was This A Fair Shoulder By Kevin McManamon On Peter Crowley?

Always from the bench, always effective. He might have been relatively quiet in the All-Ireland final in 2015 after coming on as a substitute - but, overall, when Kerry fans see McManamon warming up they must feel ready to puke.

McManamon? McMenamin?

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There'll be many a nightmare about one, the other, or both, over the coming decades. Let's just hope, for Kerry's sake, that the next generation of McMenamins/McManamons are into soccer.

See also: Player Ratings: Kevin McManamon Haunts Kerry Again As Dublin Seal Incredible Win


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