As the legendary Sean Cavanagh brings the curtain down on his illustrious county career, we take a look at some of his lesser known greatest hits:
- SHOULDER CHARGE ON FRANCIE BELLEW
Back in 2005, Tyrone and Armagh were in the midst of healthy pure hatred. Armagh were our North Korea and Francie Bellew was Kim Jong-un. In the third and most crucial game that season between the two, Francie was running about hitting boys with his knee, elbows and stuff, like normal. Sean finally decided that enough was enough that day and met Francie with a shoulder which reverberated around the stadium and whose shockwaves incidentally wrecked part of the new Cusack Stand. Bellew’s bones were still rattling as he took his seat to watch the All-Ireland final a few weeks later. After Geezer was inexplicably shown the line by his manager, a rapturous cheer erupted through Croker as the big man leapt like a Torrent trout over Coalisland to field a kickout and stride the rest of the pitch to chip over a fine coffin-nail score.
2. SHIMMY SENDS DICK CLERKIN INTO A SPIN
Two years later and Tyrone were playing Monaghan in Clones. Dick Clerkin never liked Tyrone. Some say it was because a boy from Trillick wiped his eye with a girl from Clontribret at the Gaeltacht when they were 16. I dunno. But Sean knew Dick hated us as Dick would mutter stuff like ‘red handed hoors’ during the parade. So Sean pulled his Category A shimmy, usually reserved for special occasions, and sent Dick into a spin like never before. Dick continued to spin for the rest of the game and into the changing rooms and onto the bus. At the post match meal he was still spinning and completely messed up his shirt with a plate of spaghetti Bolognese. Dick still hates Tyrone. The First Glorious Shimmy some say was taught to Cavanagh by an Edendork lad slipping on black ice getting on the bus at The Academy in Dungannon, before Seán’s Armagh days. Sean first displayed this “Geezer Teaser” in his debut in 2002. It’s said three different men from Crossmaglen were left (and still are to this day) – cross-eyed at the wondrous side step and following point. There’s talk that his shimmy is to be retired in the Croke Park Museum but must be looked at through sunglasses for fear of becoming another Dick or a pile of Dicks if looked at collectively.
3. TURNING DOWN L’OREAL CONTRACT
Whilst a lot of GAA players are lured away from these shores by the promise of a career in Aussie Rules, Sean Cavanagh stayed true to his county and refused repeated attempts by L’Oreal to be their face of L’Oreal Paris Shampoo and Conditioner. Sean’s hair has been much admired by the general public since he made his senior breakthrough in 2002. Despite the holy trinity ravages of Age, Clerkin and Bellew, the Moy man has managed to maintain his untainted barnet in perfect condition much the annoyance of the McCann brothers who have tried to mimic his magnificence unsuccessfully. L’Oreal finally stopped harassing Cavanagh in 2014 when he was caught buying a can of Just For Men in Killyman although he claimed it was for Philly Jordan.