ANNIVERSARY: At the start of his All Ireland SF commentary a few weeks ago Ger Canning correctly informed us that this was the 131st All Ireland Final. When you add the number of draws that have taken place in finals (16) plus the four All Ireland Home Finals that were played from 1900 to 1903 then you have a total of 151 games that had ‘All Ireland Final’ in the headline. And in those 151 games there was a total of 301 goals scored.
Many will claim that of those 301 goals there is one in particular that stands out from all the others and that’s the goal scored exactly 40 years ago on this date (24th Sept 1978) by our own Mikey Sheehy – the Paddy Cullen goal – possibly the most celebrated and talked-about goal of all time.
It took a fellow Kerryman, the late great Con Houlihan, to aptly describe the goal in the following day’s ‘Evening Press’ and many will still claim that to this day they haven’t seen a better description. This is how Con described it – ‘’a close-in free was awarded to Kerry and as Paddy Cullen was arguing the decision with referee Seamus Aldridge up steps Mikey Sheehy to take the free and suddenly Paddy dashed back towards his goal like a woman who smells her cake burning. The ball won the race and it curled inside the near post as Paddy crashed into the outside of the net and lay against it like a fireman who had returned to find his station ablaze’’.
That Final was also remarkable for a unique record that was achieved that day and still stands to this very day – the one and only time that a hat-trick of goals were scored in a Final – all in the second half by the one and only Eoin The Bomber Liston.
In 2017 as part of our 100th birthday celebrations the famous goal was rein-acted and can be viewed www.stacks100.ie