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Steve Staunton Recalls Scoring The Winning Goal In The 1985 Louth County Final As A 16 Year Old

Steve Staunton Recalls Scoring The Winning Goal In The 1985 Louth County Final As A 16 Year Old

Ahead of Louth's senior football championship final later this month, Dundalk's own Steve Staunton has been reminiscing of his memories on that same stage 32 years previously.

Speaking to the Dundalk Democrat, the former Liverpool, Aston Villa and Ireland full-back can vividly recall the decisive impression he left on a senior county final while still only 16 years old.

The likes of David Clifford look on from 2017 in envy at Staunton even being allowed compete at senior level at that age, but perhaps it's good the Association's rules were a little bit more relaxed back then, or Louth football would have missed out altogeter, given Staunton's success in England just a year later.

Staunton's Clan na Gael overcame Roche Emmets by a 1-06 to 0-04 scoreline; the Clan's goal coming by way of their nippy corner-forward:

I think Roche had somebody to man-mark me no matter where I played so he just said go [right corner-forward] and tire him out.

I just remember receiving it and I think I dribbled it to the 13-metre line and shot it hard and low like I did most of the time I was in that position.

The youngest player on the pitch as Clan na Gael claimed their first county title in 26 years, subsequent sporting success has not dimmed Staunton's fond recollection for this breakthrough win - the club would win four more titles over the next eleven years:

I mean it was great to be a part of such a team. It was a really good side and I was just privileged to get a jersey in it.

Personally, to score the goal was great, but I remember some of the boys scoring points at crucial stages in that game.

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Earning 102 caps for Ireland in a professional career that would see him claim winners medals in the FA Cup, League Cup (2) and the League itself in 1990, the 1985 county medal has found a home among these prized assets.

Before moving to Liverpool in 1986, the all-rounder Staunton would find the time to represent his county at senior level in a challenge match also.

After a fairly chastening experience in charge of Ireland, a brief stint under Gary McAllister at Leeds United preempted Staunton's move into scouting.

Due to the hard experiences he can recall playing Gaelic football against 'men at senior level' as a teenager, Staunton is certain that such trials and tribulations are essential in forming Ireland's young soccer players:

As I always said to any of the scouts I met, I said if you're looking at Irish boys make sure they have a GAA background for the simple reason that they're man-marked.

It doesn't matter whether you're a defender, a midfielder or a forward, you [will] have a natural instinct to get away from a man and find space.

While he may never have tested the feasibility of playing GAA and soccer like Kevin Moran managed a decade earlier, Liverpool's gain seems to have been Louth's loss here.

You can read the whole interview with Staunton in this week's Dundalk Democrat.

Photo Credit: Arthur Kinahan

 

See Also: "Jim Gavin Would Smack Me" - Michael Darragh MacAuley Offers Rare Insight Into Dublin Setup

 

Arthur James O'Dea

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