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The 5 Vital Accessories Needed To Become King Of The Hill

The 5 Vital Accessories Needed To Become King Of The Hill
Balls Team
By Balls Team
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Prior to 1974, Hill 16 was just another terrace. Now it is a sacred place to Dublin fans. On big championship days involving Dublin, the terrace is a brilliant mass of sky blue and navy jerseys. Here is the five step plan to becoming the archetypal Hill 16 dweller, the King of the Hill.

Buy a Sombrero


'I Magno aut in domum cede' should be the Latin motto of the Hill.

This translates as 'Go Big or Go Home!'

The sombrero wearers subscribe fully with this maxim. Understated peaked caps do not belong on Hill 16.

The above gentleman - a King of the Hill if we've ever seen one - looks positively regal on the Hill in the 2012 All-Ireland semi-final. There are few places in 21st century where it is culturally acceptable to wear a sombrero and Hill 16 is one of them - a key reason why the place remains so special.

How to: Unfortunately, the hats, flags and headbands manufacturers have failed miserably to diversify their business. If they were to throw sombreros into the mix, the industry would not be in the dire straits it now finds itself in.



Body paint or Blue body suits




Painting oneself is blue is a sure sign that one is prepared to go beyond the call of duty.

This is a good chance to explain how the Dubs came to change their own colours.

You see, up until the 1940s, Dublin wore royal blue and white. From the 1940s onwards, following an accident involving a bottle of bleach, they wore sky blue and white.


In the early 1970s, despite not having played on television for several years, the Dubs were prompted to re-think their ensemble on the advice of the television people. Dublin county board chairman Jimmy Gray heard if off Mick Dunne the whole time.

Mick Dunne used to always say that Dublin, with the light blue and the white shorts, is not suitable for television.


Glasnevin born Paula Lee, the secretary to the secretary of the Dublin county board, felt that the Dubs would look better in blue and navy.


Gray told her to sketch her idea for a new jersey.

I started sketching out different gear with navy shorts, a stronger blue and the navy collar.

She brought it to Seamus Dalton of O'Neills. The conservatives on the county board were instinctively outraged by the idea. Jimmy Gray had the onerous task of informing them.


But it caused ructions at the county board. Breaking with tradition. Just through an oversight I never thought of telling them that the kit was going to be changed. There was war.

How to:The 'blue' look can be achieved through the use of either blue body paint or a blue body-hugging suit. For the latter, think 'It's Always Sunny in Philadephia' and Charlie Day's 'Green Man' character. For the former, there are any amount of willing artistes around the place.

A Bodhran with the Dublin crest on it



Stereotype would have it that bodhráns are the preserve of the western part of the country. Specifically Clare, the mecca for traditional music. But the Dubs on the Hill love to bash a bodhrán.

It is perhaps the favoured instrument of the terrace-dwelling GAA fan. As an instrument, it more easily lends itself to being played by a jersey wearing lad halfway up an embankment. Easier than the guitar anyway.

Artsy painting of Kevin Heffernan

We're entering into deluxe territory here. A deep appreciation of the history of Dublin football is what separates the true kings of the Hill from the wannabee princes. Hill 16 was just another steep-ish terrace before the blessed year of 1974. Thereafter, it became a shrine, the beloved home of Heffo's Army.

This Che Guevara-esque image of the late Heffo - held aloft during the 2013 All-Ireland final - is the type of accessory only a true King of the Hill would brandish.

How to: Try and persuade Jim Fitzpatrick to sketch out a picture of the former Dublin boss. Tall order this one in fairness, but no one said that becoming a King of the Hill was easy.



Blue flare

Back in Heffo's day, blue flares were a scarcity. Even in Charlie Redmond's era, they were an exoticism more readily associated with Serie A. These days, they are an integral aspect of the Hill 16 experience.

To be accepted as a King of the Hill by all and sundry, it helps if you take responsibility for bringing the flares. Being in control of these vital items confers respect on a person among their peers on the Hill.



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