Reflections: Off the Ball look back at 1977

Dublin retain Sam and Ireland down France

Reflections: Off the Ball look back at 1977

Dublin's Jimmy Keaveney in 1977. Image: © INPHO

Every Saturday, Off the Ball's "Reflections" series looks back at the big stories and glorious moments of a certain year.

1977 saw the Dubs retain Sam after beating Armagh in the final. However, it was their epic semi-final victory over arch-rivals Kerry which has lived long in the memory. 

Eoin 'bomber' Liston, Tony Hanahoe and Brian Mullins spoke to Ger Gilroy about the match.

"There was huge rivalry," said Liston, adding: "We were mad jealous of Dublin because of at this level we were playing at - it's winner takes all. They'd won '74, '76 '77 so they were the kingpins. I remember going over to play a match in New York, the lads didn't give a damn about it - they were heading off on a world trip.

Eoin Liston of Kerry and Gerry Hargan of Dublin. Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

"We were brought over for a weekend that time as fodder. They didn't even want to play the match. We were mad jealous - no doubt about it, and god, there was mayhem the same day. We just felt we had to put down a bit of a marker and all this jealousy came out and...there was skin and hair flying, 'rí-rá agus ruaile buaile'", he added.

The two squads eventually became friendly despite previous misconceptions after meeting them socially. "At Listowel Races, the Dubs, whether they won or lost, they used to come down and eventually we got to meet them and see that they weren't the animals we thought they were and that they were sound enough fellas like! And, you know, I think the friendship grew from there."  

Hanahoe went on to discuss how he became the Dubs' player-manager in '77.

The same year saw a famous result for the Republic of Ireland in a World Cup qualifier against France. Paddy Mulligan reminisced on the unlikely win when a Liam Brady goal gave the home side the win. 

"We had some smashing players in the squad," Mulligan told Dave McIntyre, "and I felt and quite a few of the players did feel we were well capable of getting to Argentina and we were actually on course to come out of that group after beating the French in Dublin 1-0, having lost a very, very controversial game against them in Paris the previous year 2-0.

"We had a perfectly good equalising goal to make it one-each but it was disallowed for offside. The offside was given against Gerry Daly - who was standing wide on the right, in an outside right position, who couldn't possibly have been interfering with play. It was a home town decision and a very bad decision."

Mulligan went on to discuss some of the bad-blood between the sides and the full episode can he heard here: