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Many GAA Players Will Relate To This All-Ireland Winner's Training Dilemma

Many GAA Players Will Relate To This All-Ireland Winner's Training Dilemma
By Balls Team Updated

Ger 'Sparrow' O'Loughlin was a part of one of the most memorable All-Ireland winning sides ever as a member of the Clare team that ended an 81 year wait in 1995. In the latest episode of our 'The Cult Of...' podcast with Bulmers, Damien Donohoe spoke to O'Loughlin about some of the lesser known details around that very celebrated side.

Of the many entertaining anecdotes that emerged, there was one that just about anyone who has lived in the likes of Dublin and commuted to play football or hurling at any level can relate to as he notes that he feels like part of the reason some of his teammates urged him not to retire year after year was that he was the only one who had a car and would give them lifts to training.

Rather than accept the point that's put to him during the interview that he was known for being a senior member of the panel that took defeats especially hard and  needed to be urged to keep going, Sparrow had a different reasoning as to why some of the younger players were so keen for him to stay on.

Nah, I was the only one with a car so they had to come down and keep asking me for a lift to training so I think that when it came to January, y'know (that's why) they were the people that revved me up to knock the cobwebs off and get going again.

Speaking of journeys that O'Loughlin wasn't too keen on, he also gave an amusing account of how Ger Loughnane's famed long runs weren't really for him.

He would often get away with slipping out of them after a couple of miles to hide behind the famous hill near Shannon where they would go for exhausting runs.


He would then re-emerging for the last stretch to the delight and surprise of Loughnane who would exclaim, 'That's it Sparrow, you're flying!'

O'Loughlin explains this away with an extended use of the old saying 'horses for courses' as he always felt, 'I was a fella for the six furlongs not this National Hunt stuff'.

Throughout the interview, O'Loughlin gives some great insights into how the team didn't feel like they were all that far away from reaching the mountaintop given that they had made league finals in previous years.


This goes against the common narrative that they seemingly came out of nowhere to win the All-Ireland in 1995.

You can listen to the full episode of The Cult Of... podcast series with Balls and Bulmers above, as we delve into some of the most fascinating cult sporting moments. Whether it's Maurice Fitzgerald's majestic sideline point or the Clare team that reached the promised land in 1995, it's always 100% Irish.

Please drink Bulmers responsibly.

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