The game changer needs his greatest ever performance

I don’t mind admitting I’m numb, have no idea why I’m writing this, yet felt overcome by a compulsion to do something. By now, most of you will undoubtedly have heard that arguably the greatest footballer this county ever produced needs a bigger performance now than any of the mesmeric one he produced for club, county, province and country over the last 30+ years.

Graham Geraghty is gravely ill in a Dublin hospital. I cannot believe I’ve just typed those words. How often over the years have you heard it said that early morning or late night phone calls are invariably bad news. Nothing or nobody could’ve prepared me for this morning’s bombshell however.

How is this happening? This shouldn’t be. One of the most active, fittest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. Never mind got to know and been privileged to become very close friends with. Someone once said you should never meet your heroes, well, I call complete bull dung on that.

Numerous examples thrashing that asinine idea could and have been reeled off here. None more so than Graham Geraghty. Many moons ago, when the great man was playing into the wind a bit himself, I not-so-gently persuaded somebody who knew him well to give me his number and, completely unsolicited, gave him a buzz to offer my support during the ongoing travails at that stage.

Some bonds run far deeper than anything which happens on a football field

Being honest, I wasn’t sure what sort of reception I’d get having heard so much bovine excrement about the man over the years. To say that was exactly what it turned out to be is one of the most glorious understatements ever uttered. 45 minutes later, the call ended with arrangements made for himself and his wife Amanda to pop up to Dunboyne the following weekend. After our lads had won the county championship, as it happened.

Thereafter, whenever one of us were under pressure, there’d be phone calls or texts over and back. In an attempt to halt the mind from straying into places that cannot even be contemplated, my best course of action is to recall some of the special, treasured days when the deeds of Graham and the lads were what made life worth living.

From the marvelous minor who became a senior sensation overnight, scoring a goal from wing back in his first Leinster Final against Dublin. Being so good there the following again that eventually Sean had to give in to his urgings and re-deploy him to the forward line. Never has a positional switch worked out so bountifully for the individual and the many teams he was the fulcrum of thereafter, as the attached amply demonstrates.

Just as this piece was being completed, word has come through that Graham’s emergency surgery has been completed and gone well. No doubt there are still many battles for himself, Amanda and family on the road ahead. But have no doubt, the entire county will be behind you willing you to score the most crucial goal of all.

Hang in there fella, just treat it like you so often did opposing defenders, drive through it and bury it.

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