Esler was in charge of the dressing room equipment. He handed me my jersey, shorts, socks and leather boots, with big studs, and told me I would be a B man for the rest of the season. I think he missed the irony of this term!
After a few bouts of hectic training I was ready for the big final. I raced into the vast arena to the deafening roar of two million spectators. The Man himself was seated on a big, beautiful, gold-crested throne, with the gold cup by his side.
The two umpires called the referee to check the studs on my boots.
The referee said to me: ‘I know your face! You are very familiar.’
I raised an eyebrow.
‘Sure. I’m Eddie Heaney, the mineral man from Chapel Street’, he added.
On the right, John McAleavey of the Mitchels was umpire: on the left, it was John McGivern of the Shamrocks.
The ball was thrown in and the game was on !
… more later …