Mayo Football Podcast bonus column: The Class of ’83 helped light the spark

My first column for the Mayo Football Podcast, part of our new written content offering for our club members on Patreon, focuses on the Mayo team that won the All-ireland at U21 level in 1983 and how their exploits helped to pave the way for the county’s return to prominence at senior level in the years since then.

Managed by John O’Mahony, the Mayo U21 team of 1983 was a group of many talents, with different players coming to the fore at different times over the course of an incident-packed Championship campaign. Their run culminated in a replayed All-Ireland final against Derry at Irvinestown, Co. Fermanagh, from which Mayo emerged three-point winners. Up until last year it was the only All-Ireland final ever to be played north of the border.

This week on the podcast, Rob and I paid tribute to the Class of ’83 in the company of Eddie Gibbons, who captained that All-Ireland winning team, and John Finn. That pod went up on Patreon yesterday evening.

This bonus column is now online and is available to our club members on Patreon – it’s HERE. To get access to this column and to all our other great content for as little as €1 per week, join the club HERE.

45 thoughts on “Mayo Football Podcast bonus column: The Class of ’83 helped light the spark

  1. Enjoyed this podcast. The lads talking about Ger Geraghty and how good he was just reminded me of all the great prospects we lost down the years. Ted Webb rip. Pierce Hanley and Oisin just to name a few. Many others too that I can’t recall at the moment.

  2. Ger Geraghty was a loss in 89 but it was up front where we had problems that year. Just couldn’t score frequently enough

  3. Sometimes the lads that don’t play are better then the lads that do.
    All counties loose players, here in Meath, Shane O’Rourke to injury and Conor Nash to Australian Rules.
    We banished Connor Mortimer, surely a compromise could have been reached, it is not as if we had great forwards.

  4. Well JR. when the boys say Ger cleaned Ambrose o Donovan twice and got the better of Jack O in California it’s good enough for me.

  5. I remember Eddie Gibbons playing for The Neale .
    He wasn’t blessed with pace but a powerful man .
    Ger Geraghty was up a different class , Probably in my top 4 best players that I ever saw wearing the green and red Jersey.
    @Jr … Banished Conor Mortimer???
    The game moved on , if a forward is beaten for a ball , he doesn’t stand up with his hands on his hips looking at the defender running up the pitch …
    Can’t believe I’m actually taking about him and Ger G in the same post .
    Ger was honest, talented and modest …
    Color was one of those

  6. JoeG. Not sure Jimmy Burke going off early in 89 final was detrimental to our chances of winning. Cork had the better forward s and anytime we got close they responded with a score

  7. There is no sign of that 1983 final anywhere in youtube.I was hoping to see some clips at least.

  8. Nice calm weekend this week for a change 🙂
    Challenge game last night, Sigerson night before and next week again before the Kerry game. Grand way ease into it with Tyrone the week after.

  9. We actually were in front twice in the second half of the 89 final and Larry taken the goal chance we almost certainly would have won .jimmy Burke was a huge loss that day .he was causing big problems early on .I was in the canal end that and can’t help feeling that had won that day we would have won many more .I remember a Paul McGrath point that day for cork that everyone behind that goal were sure it was wide.no Hawkeye in those days

  10. Schools Connaught A final is tomorrow between St. Geralds and Claregalway. Then a Mayo contingent with Nuig in the Freshers final on Thursday.

  11. Enjoying the podcasts but playing catch up on this one ATM.

    Hope it’s OK to promote a fundraiser we’re doing in Tuam at the moment here, Willie Joe.
    It definitely may be of interest to Mayo fans thinking of travelling to New york this summer.
    We have return flights for two, four night hotel stay , and two thousand dollars spending money ..
    Check out all Tuam Stars socials .. Draw closes in five days..
    Again I apologise if I’m overstepping the mark here…

  12. @1985: I think there’s an argument to say that the luck needed deserted us that day. Cork hit the uprights twice and both efforts bounced over for points; we did the same but both shots rebounded back into play. Anthony Larry’s effort was also inches wide of being a cracking goal.

    The margins were tight that day.

  13. I would say luck deserted us on alot of days .yea i remember those posts incidents.I was directly in line of Larry finnertys shot that day and was sure it was going in .Padraig brogan was another player that could have made the difference that day .I think he played in the opening game that year against Galway but wasn’t involved for the rest of the year.on his day a fantastic player who never fulfilled his potential and of course John maughan who was injured.we played a clearly injured TJ kilgallon at centre back that day

  14. I’m afraid Mayo football, looking at the last 2 championship campaigns are probably going through a 2007 to 2011 kind of era until a few lads come through again.. Woefully missing a real killer inside forward, a midfielder and no 6

  15. Rod and Tommy Conroy (potentially) are as good, if not better, than the forwards we had from 2011 onwards.
    We are lacking in midfield alright, hopefully Carney grows into the position, not sure Ruane is going to recapture 2019-2021 form.
    6 should be sorted, we have options with McBrien, Callinan, Brickenden, Plunkett and Loftus 😉

  16. I know that we should stick to football, but someone did ask where the promising players of the 70s and 80s.

    My understanding would be that they left the county, and it’s really only around 1989 where we start to see people staying in Mayo, and it becoming easier to stay a part of the county when outside it.

    It’s not imo a coincidence that Mayo football has been on a high the last decade, and Castlebar was recently named the best place in the country to live.

    We are doing an awful lot right. Both footballing and society wise. Might be difficult to see sometimes, but when you compare across the decades it’s really hard not to be impressed.

  17. @1985
    Regarding being right in the line of Larry Finnerty’s shot and thinking it was going in.
    I saw the other night Robbie Hennellys free at the end of the 2014 Kerry semi final replay. For all the world I thought that was in but it fell short.
    Same as Cillians free at the end of the 2017 final. For all the world it looked in and even when it bounced off the post it went straight to a Dublin defender.
    The rub of the green definitely wasn’t with us at times.

  18. Alot of that 89 team came from the 83 under 21 team and the 2006 under 21 team provided the backbone of our senior team for the next decade.Not sure the 2016 under 21 winning team have provided us with quite as many big game players but having said that I would be slightly more positive about our chances this year after the first two games .it will be fascinating how we handle Clifford next weekend.even though we beat them easily last season when Clifford came on he was kicking points while being marked closely .would like to see how mcbrien would match up to him

  19. Is the Geralds match on a stream online? Once again schools football in Connacht get very little coverage in comparison to McRory and Corn Ni Muiri cups.

  20. @1985

    James Horan, on the Examiner Podcast last week,spoke about the topic of how young players can find it difficult to find their feet when entering a squad full of their childhood heroes.

    He was talking about Dublin but you would imagine that it was with Mayo that he experienced it.

  21. Probably Frost T but that happens with all counties and in most sports.Andy Moran Alan Dillon Ronan mcgarrity came into a mayo squad containing ciaran McDonald David Brady and James nallen .the changeover has to begin somewhere

  22. Well done to Geralds , watched it on the stream , conditions as always a problem this time of year but as boyler said in commentary it was a day for grinding it out and they did that successfully .

    I honestly think a lot of people are thinking it but not saying it (rightly so in many respects ) , we have a talented bunch on the way soon as there are a few individuals who are showing all the signs , its a few years away yet mind .

  23. @ Sean Burke, I agree ,a lot of young talent with Gerald’s, Colman’s and Crossmolina, Murdeachs and Ballinrobe
    The trick will be to bring them through.

  24. Yes JR , also throw in the minor team of 22 along with a very promising minor player this year . Im not suggesting there is any guarantee with any of them of course but i cant help noticing there are a right few serious footballers amongst the next generation possibly 2026 -2028 type thing . Pure wild speculation perhaps but lets see how the under 20s go this year as a starting point . Ive a hunch they might do very well .

  25. Sean I have a fear that the Claremorris young lads will be lost to the county like so many before them.
    What a pity that would be.

  26. New Final Whistle pod is up on Patreon, in which Mike chats with Colm Boyle, Man of the Match Dara Neary and St Gerald’s joint managers David Joyce and Diarmuid O’Connor.

  27. @Sean Burke
    The future is bright no doubt about that. Some talent there alright. The likes of Morahan,Mcmonagle,Mortimer Jnr,Ronan Clarke,Maheady, Darragh Beirne, the Hurley brothers,Macdonald Jnr, Dolan ,Diarmuid Duffy. There will be a few I’ve missed as well.

    Hon Mayo

  28. Can easily throw in a few more from Shane Cunningham, Gavin & Joe Forry, Yousif Coghill, Dara Neary & Ryan Gibbons from today along with Paul Gilmore, Eoin McGreal, Jamie Clarke, Tom Lydon & Colm Lynch from recent minor sides. A lot of crazy high potential lads bouncing around and a few great coaches seeming to be bringing the best out in lots of them.

  29. Great potential in this group of 17-21 year olds no question about it,so management of the various underage teams have an onus on them to play to the various strengths of these players. I’m convinced we have lost a few this past few years because of the style of play they were asked to adopt to. Backwards and lateral is not in a youngfellas playbook when he is growing up and dreaming of bettering himself. He wants to develop his strengths and become even better at what he does well and knows he does well,only to make a Mayo squad and have his first instinct coached out of him. So let’s hope these lads push on and are encouraged to do so.

  30. Is it harsh to say after U17 high potential lads cannot be combining soccer and Gaelic football?
    High potential Kerry or Tyrone lads are with Gaelic football only.
    The other thing is to concentrate the SnC. Like how are lads getting to the end of u20 even the age of 21 and the crucial SnC component of leg strength is way below what is required?
    If a player has a lot of work to do on leg strength he needs help to make up that deficit by skipping matches and doing strength work instead. You’ve a longer road to lift your leg strength if you’re also going to have a lot of matches workload.

  31. @JP

    It’s a little harsh. The reason a lot of guys are playing soccer is because it’s a lot less serious than GAA.

    Gaelic football has become a little too intensive to describe as a hobby, and at that age a lot of lads are probably wondering if they want to make that commitment long term.

  32. I maybe don’t rate the current Mayo football team as highly as others on here but I am as optimistic as I’ve ever been about the future.

    We are back producing good minor teams and traditionally that has been our strongest grade. We have had a few good teams lately and I’m delighted that James Horan is working with the u20s. James may lack strong in game management but I don’t think anyone has brought through as many players as James has. He turns potential into an All Ireland starter.

    The future is bright.

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