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Pat Spillane Recalls Disastrous Start To London Trip With His Club In 1970s

Pat Spillane Recalls Disastrous Start To London Trip With His Club In 1970s
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Going on a weekend away with the other players from your local club is always a bit of craic. Be it somewhere down the country or even abroad, a great is usually had by all that make trip.

While you can never predict what will happen on those sorts of getaway, one thing that is certain is you will always come back with a few goos stories to be told in the weeks that followed. Quite often, it tends to be recalling things that went wrong.

This is a good example.

Pat Spillane recalls disastrous trip to London with his club


Pat Spillane would have had no shortage of trips away in GAA circles over the years, be it with Kerry or on All-Star tours.

However, there is one particular trip with Templenoe that springs to mind.

Writing in the Sunday World, Spillane recalled organising an excursion over to London with his club, although things didn't exactly go to plan once they got there. He also remembered another trip over a decade later which involved playing a match near a local prison.

I have a long and chequered history with London GAA.

In 1979, when secretary of Templenoe, I organised the club’s first trip outside Ireland to London.

One of our lads got arrested in Fishguard, having overindulged on the boat trip over. It fell to me to persuade the police to release him. I had a lot of explaining to do.

Then, the bus driver took a wrong turn and we ended up somewhere in North Wales.

Having finally reached London, the coach broke down outside Harrods on the famed Brompton Road.

I swear, there is a photograph somewhere of 25 Templenoe lads pushing a bus past the famous department store.

The club made a second trip to London in the early 1990s. We played the Kingdom club on a frozen pitch outside Wormwood Scrubs Prison.

All during the game the inmates kept roaring out the windows ‘Go home Paddy, somebody is with your wife. And we roared back ‘at least it’s not with you.’

Far from an ideal way to kick off a trip away with the lads.

We're sure they had a whale of a time once they got those first few issues out of the way.


SEE ALSO: Peter Canavan Warns Kerry Not To Fall Into Same Trap As Tyrone In 2022

peter canavan kerry tyrone



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