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04th Jul 2023

“That was as much of a celebration I’ve seen from a Dublin player in a long time” – Why Dublin never celebrated their goals

Niall McIntyre

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Colm Basquel couldn’t hide his delight when he scored his second, game-changing goal against Mayo in Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter final.

Basquel arrived with momentum, met Cormac Costello’s pass without breaking stride before palming in the goal that put Dublin seven points clear. Why would you stop there?

His momentum carried him past Colm Reape, and straight out in front of the Hill. As he wheeled back around by the Cusack Stand, the hair must have been standing on the back of the Ballyboden St Enda’s man’s neck.

These are the things young footballers dream of and, with the stadium shaking around him, he sent his arms out wide and clenched his fists.

From a viewer’s perspective, Basquel’s unadulterated delight only added to the moment but it mightn’t have been appreciated by a man who wore the Maor Foirne bib for Dublin on Saturday.

That man is Pat Gilroy.

Alan Brogan played under Pat Gilroy and, speaking on this week’s GAA Hour podcast, Brogan recalled how Gilroy banned Dublin players from celebrating their goals. When you think of it now, all through their glory years, seeing a Dublin player celebrating a goal was not the done thing.

“We actually stopped celebrating goals,” said Brogan.

“Colm Basquel’s second goal yesterday, that was as much of a celebration I’ve seen from a Dublin player for a goal in a long time.

“We were all fond of a celebration under Pillar but I remember under Pat Gilroy first, when Pat got involved, it was ‘lads, stop that nonsense,’ once you got a goal it was get back out to the full forward line and shut out the short kick-out,” said the St Oliver Plunkett’s Eoghan Rua club man.

Whatever about Basquel’s celebration, the get-ready-for-the-next-play-police certainly wouldn’t have been happy with Cork’s Rory Maguire. After scoring a brilliant goal vs Derry, the Cork full back blew kisses to the Canal End crowd but it was only 54 seconds later when Derry responded with a goal of their own.

In Maguire’s defence, he got back to his position very quickly. Brogan feels however that, like in soccer, players should be given a chance to celebrate their goals properly. It might bring back the famous celebrations of years gone by, particularly in 2002 when Ray Cosgrave went to town.

“You’d have to give a little wag so Pat Gilroy didn’t see you doing it,” recalled Brogan.

“I remember, back in 2002, when Ray Cosgrave scored the six goals, he had a celebration for every one of them. One time he was shooting bow and arrows into the top of the Cusack stand, it was great stuff. One time he ran out the back of the goal in towards Hill 16 as well. Sure the ball would be up the other end of the field by the time you’re out!

“Bernard’s first goal against Laois in 2007, he finished one right in the corner and he was going full bore towards Hill 16 so as soon as he kicked it, he still had the momentum to come back around on the arc by the Cusack stand.

“I’ll never forget it, he was wing forward at the time and when he got back to his position, he was down on his hunkers trying to get his breath back! That wasn’t because of the goal, that was because of the celebration!

“But there’s no doubt, if you get caught up in the euphoria of a big game, it can come back to bite you.”

“But look at Colm Basquel, two goals in an All-Ireland quarter final, the second one probably killed the game too – so I wouldn’t begrudge him an auld celebration coming back out.”

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