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06th Nov 2023

‘Football has been a place to go’ – Gary Sice hails football family after difficult couple of years

Niall McIntyre

Gary Sice dropped to his knees the second the final whistle was blown in the Galway senior football final.

His team-mates Tony Gill, Micheal Lundy and Dylan McHugh dropped with him. Amid the excitement of regaining the Galway senior football championship, they patted him on the back and had a word in his ear.

For Sice, this was a different kind of emotion.

The 38-year-old has endured a painful couple of years, having lost his wife Bevin to cancer last September. After the game, Sice hailed everyone in the Corofin club for looking after him and the couple’s daughter Sadhbh during this difficult time.

He says, however, that Gaelic football has been a huge outlet for him as he came to terms with the loss of his wife.

“It has been a tricky three or four years for me,” Sice told RTÉ.

“Football has been a place to go and the club has looked after me outrageously well. I’m so grateful to everyone in the club.

“The family at home have given me the space to train and train properly and to get the body right and give as much as I could for as long as I could was the goal.”

Sice, who was called into the Galway panel briefly in 2020, said the moment he shared with his dad Jimmy after the final whistle was special. You can watch it below courtesy of Stream Sport.

“I met my dad (Jimmy) out on the pitch there and it was just special,” said Sice. There have been tough times, very tough times and I’m just grateful to everyone who helped us through it.”

This was Sice’s 13th Galway senior football medal but having watched Mountbellew-Moylough and Maigh Cuilinn dominate over the last while, it was his first time to win the Frank Fox cup since 2019.

The game was tight but very entertaining early on with the teams trading some eye-catching scores. Sice’s effort off the left from open play was a beauty, but Peter Cooke’s and Kieran Molloy’s off the outside of the boot were the pick of the bunch as Corofin went into the half-time interval leading by 0-7 to 0-6.

They powered on then after the break with young centre forward Tony Gill’s goal giving them enough breathing space to deal with a late 1-1 from Moycullen’s John Moloney, as Corofin held onto win by 1-11 to 0-9. Sice hailed youngsters like Gill, Patrick Egan and Jack McCabe for giving the team the push-on that they needed.

“It’s been a difficult year for Gary but this is his football family,” said Corofin manager Kevin Johnson afterwards, a manager who, along with this win in Galway, has also won county titles in Sligo, with Tourlestrane and in Mayo with Ballintubber.

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