WATCH: ‘I Will Die Happy If Mayo Win’ Says Paddy Prendergast

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Paddy Prendergast 1

Paddy Prendergast.

A MAYO man, living in Tralee, who is just one of two remaining players from their All-Ireland winning team 65 years ago, said he will die happy if his native county wins on Sunday.

Paddy Prendergast is still hale and hearty and living in Tralee and he has assessed Mayo’s chances in the 2016 All-Ireland on Sunday stating, “We should be capable of winning it. I will die happy if we do.”

During his contribution to the Irish TV ‘Mad For Sam’ live broadcast from Kiltimagh in Mayo on Tuesday night, Prendergast recalled the great years of 1950 and 1951 when he played for Mayo All-Ireland winners and lamented the passing of his former team-mates over the years.

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“A lot of sweat was lost winning the medal, we had a great bunch of fellows, a fine team no doubt about it. When you think of all the friends and they’re all gone, it is sad. When I think about them and the friendship, the joy of playing together and winning matches and suddenly they are not there anymore, it’s the absence of all pals, you know. What you remember after is the people you played with, they’re far more important than what you won.”
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Back then the Mayo team members came from all walks of life.

“There were five lawyers on our team and there were five doctors, three members of the Gardai, there was a farmer an engineer and a priest. We lived together for the Connaught Final and for the Semi-Final and the All-Ireland Final that year. It was just like a family it was that close-knit. I suppose it was the first time that a Gaelic team was brought in to one house and lived there for the weeks before the match.

“We trained, we discussed and we analysed the opposition and they were totally committed. It was as if they had Mayo printed on their chest and of course we had been without a win for so long. It was a huge thing in Mayo at the time as you can imagine.”

Prendergast recounted the origins of ‘The Curse’ that Mayo people dread to think about.

“I remember coming back after winning one All-Ireland final and we travelled by lorry to Ballina. We stopped in Foxford, there was supposed to have been a funeral that evening in Foxford and of course the story came out, they said that because we didn’t attend this funeral, if it was a funeral, that Mayo would never again win an All-Ireland while any of the members playing at that time lived.

“That was the curse. But sure Good Heavens, there was no basis whatever for it. I often think to myself BeJesus when you’re not winning an All-Ireland year after year you begin to say, ah there must be something in the curse.”

“Anyway Mayo have a game to play on Sunday, they’re up there, they’re in the final and if you’re in the final you should be capable of winning it. I hope to God almighty we’re capable of winning. I would die happy. That’s all I can say.”

• Irish TV will air a live Dublin All-Ireland preview event from the Fingallians GAA Club in Swords tonight, Thursday from 8pm-10pm. It’s on Sky Channel 191.

One Comment

  1. OMG I never knew Foxford was responsible for the curse? ? Please God make this man die happy Mayo for Sam! !