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Joe Brolly recalls hilarious story of how he trash-talked his way to a goal

joe brolly

“I’ll probably just put it there. I’ll do it at the last second, you won’t even realise.”

Joe Brolly has recalled the hilarious build-up to his goal for Derry in their 1997 Ulster semi-final win against Tyrone.

Brolly enjoyed an illustrious career playing for his county, winning Derry’s only All-Ireland title in 1993 as well as four National Leagues and two Ulster titles.

joe brolly

Joe Brolly.

The two-time All-Star was known in his later playing career for blowing kisses to the crowd after goals and recalled one such occasion against Tyrone.

“Maybe five minutes after half-time, Dermot Duggan who was a great player you know, great passer. He just put it on a plate for me,” Brolly told The 2 Johnnies podcast.

“I’d been saying to Finbar McConnell, the Tyrone goalie, the whole match – he’s 6ft 5in you see – I kept going like this you know, I was going ‘Jesus McConnell what are you about 6ft 5in? I’m going to lob you today. I’m definitely going to lob you’.

“And you know you could imagine maybe 25,000 people at the game in Clones, blistering hot day. Really bad tempered, the two teams loathed each other.”

Tyrone goalkeeper.

Brolly continued to taunt the Tyrone goalkeeper about how he was going to lob him for a goal and made reference to all of “the papers tomorrow”.

“And I was at this from the very start to McConnell. He was sort of a shy big fella for all his size, maybe 6ft 6in.

“I was saying ‘oh my god, you’re going to be so embarrassed. The papers tomorrow, ‘Brolly lobs McConnell for winning goal’.

“I was at it the whole time, looking over my shoulder saying ‘I’ll probably just put it there. I’ll do it at the last second, you won’t even realise’.

“And I says ‘you’re the sort of stupid big heur’ – that’s what I was at – ‘you’re the sort of stupid big heur you’ll dive too quickly. You’ll go down too quick, you’re going to make it easy. Just a wee tip’.”

Brolly goal.

Five minutes into the second half – with the game in the melting pot – the corner forward finally got the chance he was waiting for.

“You’ll see it, it was the 1997 Ulster semi-final. Anyway the ball came to me,” Brolly continued.

“As soon as I got it you could see him standing up. You can just see him, you know, he actually stands up. I just zipped it into the bottom corner. He went down too late, he was on the ground.

“You can actually see me I went in to tussle his hair, I says ‘you are one stupid heur. How the f*** did you think I was going to lob a 6’6″ man. You are a stupid heur’.”

Derry went on to win the game 2-15 to 2-3 before agonisingly losing to Cavan by a point in that year’s Ulster final.

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