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Joe Brolly: MacAuley forgot his boots ahead of 2011 All-Ireland final

joe brolly macauley

“What is it?” “I’ve forgotten my boots.” “F**k off, Michael.” “Seriously, I have.” “Jesus Christ Michael. What size are you?” “12?” “I’m 13” said Pat, “they’ll have to do you.”

Joe Brolly, who considers Michael Darragh MacAuley a close friend, has shared a couple of stories from the Ballyboden St. Enda’s midfielders career.

MacAuley retired earlier this week, after winning eight All-Irelands with Dublin.


Joe Brolly.

Brolly, writing in his Sunday Independent column, tells the anecdote of MacAuley turning up to the 2011 All-Ireland final with no boots.

“Dublin manager Pat Gilroy was standing in the middle of the changing room, watching,” Brolly recalls.

“The boys were now togged out, in their boots, ready to go. Suddenly, Michael Darragh Macauley, who was still in his trainers, caught Pat’s eye and nodded him towards the toilets. Pat followed him in.

“What is it?” “I’ve forgotten my boots.” “F**k off, Michael.” “Seriously, I have.” “Jesus Christ Michael. What size are you?” “12?” “I’m 13” said Pat, “they’ll have to do you.”

“Pat squeezed into the trainers as Michael Darragh put on his boots. “Do not say a word to anyone,” said Gilroy.

“The midfielder went on to put in a monumental performance at midfield as Dublin won their first All-Ireland in 16 years. As Gilroy later joked, ‘It made no difference to him anyway because in those days he never kicked the ball.'”

joe brolly

Colm O’Rourke

Michael Darragh MacAuley would end up winning the 2013 Footballer of the Year award after Dublin beat Mayo in the All-Ireland final to give Jim Gavin his first title as manager.

The two-time All Star was immense throughout that year, with a crucial flick for Kevin McManamon’s goal against Kerry one of the highlights.

“I subsequently argued strongly for him as player of the year,” Brolly continued.

“Colm O’Rourke agreed, quipping that Michael D was a bit like the KitKat ad, you can’t play, you look awful, you’ll go a long way.”



Heading into the 2011 final week, Pat Gilroy demanded that his players take a complete rest before Sunday’s game.

After telling his players on the Tuesday, Gilroy was leaving Parnell Park when he was approached by MacAuley.

“What is it, Michael?” “Look Pat, I have to play a basketball game on Saturday evening.” “You are joking me?” “No, it’s a mates’ game, we have only 10 so I have to play. I can’t let them down.”

“Gilroy says, “I could see he would be very upset if I said no, so I just said ok, just do not tell anyone else. That was Michael. What could you do?”

“When Gilroy gave him permission, Macauley said, ‘Thanks Pat, I’m not really into the Gah anyway.'”

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