"He would dig you out of a hole, there's nobody else like him" 1 week ago

"He would dig you out of a hole, there's nobody else like him"

You wouldn't think Eoghan O'Gara has won seven All-Irelands.

You wouldn't think he has played in four All-Ireland finals. You probably never thought he was Dublin's most clinical or dangerous forward.

But you can't argue with the facts.

Pillar Caffrey. Pat Gilroy. Jim Gavin.

Three of the most powerful and influential men in Dublin football over the last number of years. Each one of the three reckoned O'Gara had something something about him.

That tells a story in itself.

No matter who was in charge, O'Gara was front and centre and if he wasn't starting and tearing into opposition players from minute one, he was always one of the first subs Dublin would bank on to make an impact with the game in the melting pot.

The Templeogue Synge Street club man usually made his presence felt. He always threw himself into the deep end.

Nobody knows O'Gara better than Denis Bastick, who played alongside him for years in their club colours as well as in the sky blue. We chatted to Bastick, who singled out the sheer single-mindedness, aggression and physicality that O'Gara brought not just to games, but to training as well.

He had something unique to offer. That's why managers had so much faith in him.

"There's nobody else like Eoghan. He could do things that others can't.

"The strength and physicality that he brought was a nightmare for defenders and he'd keep going until he made an impact..."

"He raised the bar in training. There'd be no-one slacking off with Eoghan around because his attitude is always spot on and he was always up for the challenge. He was a leader by his actions and that's great for any squad.."

"He'd dig you out of a hole," said Bastick.

"That's the type of player Eoghan was. The game could be going against you and the team, but he'd be the same player, he'd still be running hard and trying to make inroads, fighting for every inch..."

"He was living off scraps for large parts, and that's why he always had to be tuned in and make every chance count, and he knew that and lived by it."

"For me as a midfielder, he was always a target to aim at. He'd turn a bad ball into a good ball just through sheer work-rate."

"I wasn't surprised to see him go no, he has a young family at home and he's given it his all for eleven years. It was a great way to bow out, and he'll have lots of great memories."

It all started in 2008. Back then O'Gara won an All-Ireland junior with Jonny Cooper and Mick Fitzsimons and that was the beginning of a beautiful journey.

Caffrey called him into the senior panel later that year and for the next eleven, he would remain a pivotal squad player during Dublin's most successful ever era.

He had his doubters, but the regard his teammates and managers held him in tells the real story. Opponents never had it easy either.

The Dublin players will miss him around the place.

"Not all heroes wear capes. A Synge Street legend," said Niall Scully.

Dean Rock dubbed him the "ultimate teammate," while Bernard Brogan will never forget their days in blue.