GAA: Unbreakable bond between Derry ‘Men who won Maguire’

Anthony Tohill and Cork player Tony Davis.
Anthony Tohill and Cork player Tony Davis.

On Saturday night at the Tullyglass Hotel in Ballymena there was a special guest booked in for the night.

It was Sam Maguire. The cup was present at the Club Derry celebration for the 1993 Derry All Ireland football team.

The event attended by over 600 people was the final in a series of events to mark the jubilee celebrations.

Hosted by local sports broadcaster, Thomas Niblock, guests enjoyed a series of live interviews with players, specially commissioned interviews with prominent GAA figures across Ulster as well viewing previously unseen footage of the 93 year.

Speaking after the event on Saturday night Derry Captain, Henry Downey said: "Watching some of the previously unseen archive footage of 93 was a truly unique experience and one we all really enjoyed doing together.

"There is an unbreakable bond between the players from 93. We might not see each other all the time or meet up regularly but when we all get together, we just pick up where we left off. It's a sign of real friendship, the bond is as strong today as it was in 93.

Saturday night though wasn’t all about nostalgia and the past. Club Derry exists to support teams in their preparations and there was a mixture of youth and experience.

Henry Downey said: "When I was chatting to some of our younger players tonight who weren’t even born when we won the All-Ireland and are now part of our under 20 team, I couldn't help but think of Eamonn Coleman.

“Eamonn Coleman would have been in the middle of them young boys having the craic but also letting them know in his own inimitable way what was required to be the best they can be.

“Tonight was a celebration of what we achieved 25 years ago and looking around the county there is plenty to be excited about over the next 25 years.”