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Watch: Stephen Rochford Pays Emotional Tribute To Mayo Support At Post-Game Function

Watch: Stephen Rochford Pays Emotional Tribute To Mayo Support At Post-Game Function

The RTE cameras ultimately decamped to the Dublin team hotel last night, yet the story lingered with the losers. Mayo's post-All Ireland function was funereal for the ninth successive occasion, and few banquets have ever borne witness to such a famine.

May players, management, and fans gathered in CityWest last night to try and endure another defeat together, and speeches by Stephen Rochford and captain Cillian O'Connor accentuate the unique bond between team and supporters.

Rochford thanked the Mayo supporters during his speech, captured and uploaded to Facebook by MidWest Radio.

The manager thanked families and friends of the players for their support of his players:

When people seem to take the pleasure of kicking these guys, see them as soft targets, you are the people who put their arm around them and keep them going.

That's the reason they are able to give the kind of performances they gave today. And yes, we didn't get over the line, but believe me, if they didn't have that support around them, we wouldn't have had the season we have had.

In the coming weeks and months, be there for them once more. It's important that we make this winter as short as we can. It's your support that will do that.

He went on to thank the Mayo support, during which he broke down and struggled to complete his speech. What followed was hair-raising: the room rose as one to give Rochford a standing ovation as he gathered himself. Once he had done so, he told supporters that he is proud of them, and believes that "If ever a group of supporters deserves a day in the sun, it's you". After wishing the Mayo Ladies' good luck in their All-Ireland final next weekend, Rochford finished by looking ahead to next year.

The dream has not died, just postponed. We'll go home tomorrow with dignity and pride, and we will lick our wounds. But we will rise again. Because this year, like so many years that have gone before, has shown that Mayo may be temporarily down, but we will never, ever be out.

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You can watch the clip below. The ovation begins at the three-minute mark.

Stephen Rochford Speech

See Also: Tomás O'Sé Critical Of AFL's Very Strange Tweet About David Clifford

See Also: Dublin and Mayo Get Seven Spots Each In The Sunday Game Football Team Of The Year

Gavin Cooney
Article written by
Changed the spelling of his name upon pressure from Michael Owen.

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