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Alan Brogan – A Star That Went Out On His Own Terms

In association with Irish Blood Transfusion Services

From 1995 until 2011 the All-Ireland alluded Dublin. For Alan Brogan, 2011 was the culmination of 10 years of hard work. After falling to Mayo in 2012, a second All-Ireland followed in 2013.

The 2014 season was set to be the year that Dublin completed back-to-back All-Ireland titles in a swashbuckling style not seen by anyone before and for Alan Brogan it was to be the fairytale ending to an illustrious career.

Brogan regaled the story to Barry Fennell, host of the Dublin supporters podcast; ‘Blue Is The Colour’.

“I probably had it in the back of my mind. I’d struggled in 2012 and 2013 with a groin injury and I had put a lot of effort into getting myself back for 2014 but look, I hadn’t made a definitive decision but I was probably thinking if we can manage to win an All-Ireland here then that would be a good way for me to go.”

Unfortunately for Dublin, disaster struck as Donegal caught them on the hop in the All-Ireland semi-final.

For Brogan, it was particularly tough to take being what he thought was his final year and it got worse for the Dublin star when his son Jamie emerged from the crowd with tears streaming down his face.

alan brogan

“Yeah it was tough to take, particularly they way it happened. I think having won the All-Ireland in 2011, having lost our way a little bit in 2012 but in 2013 a lot of the older guys were aware of those pitfalls and I think 2013 gave the younger guys great confidence and I think the older guys were able to come back in 2014 and say; ‘let’s not let happen what happened in 2012’ , so I think we were primed.

“We were playing a similar style of football and I just think we got sucker punched by Jim McGuinness. Whether we like the way he plays or not he’s a shrewd tactician and what he did that day was he spotted a weakness in our game and they exploited it fully and I think we all learned a lot from that day and I think we’ve never been caught off guard like that since. Look there were lessons for everybody, we probably made heroes out of Donegal that day but I suppose it was disappointing.

“I suppose it was more Jamie coming down out of the crowd crying because we’d lost the game so it was the first time I realised that he actually knew what was going on as well but yeah, look it was tough on the day but that’s what sport is all about and we look back on that image now with fondness we having it hanging at home.”

The loss not only hit home with Brogan but with his son also. 2014 was meant to be his final swansong but following the Donegal heartbreak, he realised he was not meant to go out like this.

As a result, there would be one more year in the Dublin legend and what a year it would turn out to be.

Brogan would go on to play a pivotal role in Dublin’s third All-Ireland win in five years. With seven minutes to go in the All-Ireland final, the veteran was sprung from the bench. Dublin led by two and were looking to close the game out.

alan brogan

They needed a wise head, some experience, someone who knew how to win tight games. They needed Alan Brogan and boy, did he deliver.

With Dublin leading by two and the clock ticking down, Brogan picked the ball up in his own half before playing a one-two with his younger brother, Bernard, and carrying the ball into Kerry territory before slotting over the insurance point and securing a third All-Ireland title with his final kick for Dublin.

“In the games previous I’d come on with 20 minutes left and I’d got a good stint in each game whereas in the final it was a tight game.

“I was warming up for about 15 minutes, I was only short of running over Jim (Gavin) on the sideline to get him to put me on but I was on with six or seven minutes left I think and I think we were winning 0-11 to 0-9.

alan brogan

“I suppose going up the field I didn’t really have a score on my mind. Diarmo (Diarmuid Connolly) came past me at one stage and didn’t even look to take the ball off me. I’d carried it for 70 or 80 yards at that stage so if he wanted it I probably would have given it to him… when I look back it wasn’t that easy a kick in the rain but I never caught a sweeter ball with my left foot in all my life.

“In 2015 there was a huge sense of relief, thank God I didn’t have to go out on that loss to Donegal and maybe that picture (with Jamie) helped me go on. I remember up around the middle of the pitch after the 2015 All-Ireland final, just turning to the Hill and making a bit of a gallop there on my own and then I turned and I spotted my mam and dad up in the box in Croke Park so the feeling of relief then, thank God I got another one.

“So I knew that was the time to go… I kicked the last score in an All-Ireland final win against Kerry. There was no real reason for me to go on anymore.”

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‘The Power of One More’, in association with IBTS, is part of an ongoing series that looks to highlight athletes, teams and sporting personalities who have tasted success at the highest level of their sport, and what takes to go after one more victory.

IBTS believes in the ‘Power of One More’ as well, and want to encourage current and potential donors to bring one more person with them when donating blood this year.

For more information on how you can get involved, please visit us at

https://www.giveblood.ie/

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