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'I Got A Phone Call. I Wasn't In The Form To Talk To Nobody. It Was Actually Cluxton'

'I Got A Phone Call. I Wasn't In The Form To Talk To Nobody. It Was Actually Cluxton'

In the minutes following the final whistle of the 2011 All-Ireland football final, Dáire Brennan snapped an iconic photograph.

Tomás Ó Sé, Stephen Cluxton and Rory O'Caroll were its subjects. Cluxton had just kicked a famous winning point into Hill 16 to defeat Kerry and end a 16-year All-Ireland drought for Dublin.

Ó Sé was captured handing the match ball to Cluxton.

Speaking on RTÉ's GAA podcast this week, Ó Sé elaborated regarding the story of that photo.

"I was actually in possession of the ball when the final whistle went," he said.

Obviously, Hill 16 was right behind me so I wasn't going up that direction, I was going the opposite direction to the Canal [End].

I knew I had to stay on the pitch because you have to stay out to clap them. Jesus, I wanted to go to the dressing room but I said I'd stay out for a while. I said I'd go down towards the Canal End and I met Cluxton on the way.

I had the ball in my hand. Obviously, balls change throughout the match - I don't know if it was the ball he kicked over the bar. It wasn't that I went looking for him - I didn't go looking for him - but he happened to pass me so I said, 'here'.

I didn't have any chat with him or anything.

Despite its significance, the ball did not remain in Cluxton's possession

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"Somebody told me he rifled it into the Cusack Stand after, which was funny in itself," Ó Sé explained.

"It (the story that Cluxton had kicked the ball away) obviously went around for a few days. We went down to Killarney and were drowning our sorrows. [People were saying], 'Oh, it's terrible form, Tomás did this brilliant thing'.

"Look, if I hadn't crossed paths with him I wouldn't have given him the ball. It wasn't as if I was going around looking for him - the fact that I actually passed him, I did.

"I was getting calls from fellas in Dublin saying, 'Jeez it was very bad form from your man'.

"I wasn't paying too much attention to it all. I was on my way back down to Cork on the Wednesday. I got a phone call - and I wasn't in the form to talk to nobody - and it was actually Cluxton.

"He said, 'Just to explain, me kicking that ball away was in no way an insult to you or anything like that'.

"It gives you an insight into the guy. He isn't a guy that's about the razzmatazz and nostalgia. I love the way he operates."

Picture credit; Dáire Brennan / SPORTSFILE

See Also: 'The Shot Rang Off, One Footballer Looked Up The Road... Aidan Was Dead At That Stage'

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