Dublin’s Brian Fenton has credited his late mother, Marian, for his love of sport and activity, as the Raheny man was named Footballer of the Year at the PwC GAA/GPA All-Star awards.
It was another stellar year for the midfielder who has yet to lose a championship game with Dublin and he topped it off by collecting his third All-Star award in the Convention Centre this evening.
While Hurler of the Year, Cian Lynch, decided to surprise his parents with the news, Fenton couldn’t wait to share his achievement and admitted that there were plenty of hugs and tears from his immediate family.
“Yeah, I told Dad and my immediate family, my three sisters. So, yeah, they’re all very, very excited.”
“There were tears and hugs and just joyous scenes in the house. The dog didn’t know what was going on!”
“Yeah, look, for the family and the club and the community of Raheny, I think that’s the most amazing thing for me, to just represent them on a big stage and pick up the award. I’ll remember it for a long time.”
However, the 25-year-old admitted that the win was “bittersweet” without his mother by his side, from whom he inherited his love of activity.
“Mam is always remembered. She’s always the inspiration that drives me on and the family on. For her not to be here is, again, bittersweet. But, no doubt, she’s my number one supporter always and she’ll be proud today.”
“I wasn’t allowed to sit at home in front of the Playstation anyway! I was always out and about and kicking ball and doing different things. I was even thrown into Irish dancing under her watch at one stage.”
“Yeah, look, we’re a family of go-getters and always active and that’s what I’d recommend any child to do. To just get out and get active. The skills you learn from playing all sorts of sports I suppose accumulated into this award for me, in a way.”
“You’ll be knocked down, but it’s about your response in terms of getting back up. Everyone learns that from their parents and their peers. That was certainly driven in us and she set the standards in our family quite high.”
Helped by Fenton, Dublin cruised to their fourth All-Ireland in a row with a comprehensive victory over Tyrone in September. Fenton admits that the players are “hungry” to enter into uncharted territory and collect the Sam Maguire Cup once again in 2019.
“It’s not why would we want to achieve this, it’s why would we want to be beaten? Why would we want to fall at this hurdle? Why would we want to fall at that hurdle?”
“In this group of players there’s a hunger, a greed almost, to drive on and improve and just set new standards, hopefully, for ourselves.”
“Look, we’re aware of how special the four in a row is. But, as I said, it’s not a case that we’re sitting down on a high stool with a couple of pints in front of us saying we’re great fellas. Yes, that’s done, but it’s about the next one. Hopefully, that success will carry into next year. ”