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.
Owen Mulligan, Philip Jordan, Hub Hughes and Brian McGuigan are set to become the latest big name sporting stars to make their way to the Far East as Shanghai Emmets splashed out on all four in the hope that GAA rivals soccer as the biggest athletic attraction in China.
Early reports are sketchy but rumours suggest Mulligan, whose blonde locks are revered east of India, will be able to command upwards on £500’000 a week for the Emmets – making him comparable to the wages of Messi, Ronaldo and Roger Federer in world sport.
Killeeshil’s Kevin Hughes, whose nickname ‘Hub’ translates as ‘accurate one’ in Chinese, has reportedly spent the last week learning all the dishes in his favourite Silver Chopsticks Chinese Takeaway in Dungannon in their native language. Close friend and fellow ex-Killeeshil great Michael Hagan admitted it’s a big move for the 2003 All Ireland man-of-the-match recipient:
“It’ll be hard being away from loved ones but if Hub plays about 20 league and championship games out there, he’ll come home with around £10m tax-free. He’ll be able to buy Killeeshil and maybe a bit of Cabragh too. That’s as long as he’s not dropped.”
Jordan and McGuigan are said to be already on their way to the land of the Red Dragon in order to do a few laps at Chinese altitude. Their first game is against the Guangzhou Evergrande Pearses is due to be played in three week’s time.
Former county stars Ryan Mellon and Chris Lawn have been playing in China for over twelve months already for the Beijing Guoan St Mary’s, taking them to the Intermediate title. Due to his natural leadership tendencies, Lawn is reportedly already an Emperor, the first Moortown man to be so.
Organisers of The Moy’s Annual Outdoor Summer Gala have pulled off a major coup by persuading double world champion Carl Frampton to sing opera songs for two hours on the back of a lorry in the village on the final day of the gala.
Promoted as ‘Frampton of the Opera’, the Belfast boxer will perform hits such as ‘The Music of the Night’ and ‘Phantom of the Opera’ as well as other well-known operatic numbers including ‘Nessun Dorma’ and ‘Ave Maria’ for two hours. Barry McGuigan, an accomplished singer himself, has already begun training his protégé in a studio in Monaghan.
Moy Gala organiser Calum ‘Rosy’ O’Makily maintains he was always confident that his Frampton of the Opera would always come off:
“Years ago we persuaded another Belfast boxer, Wayne McCullough, to do a whole concert of Prince songs which we called ‘Purple Wayne’ and he was brilliant. These boxers are afeared of nothing and I’ve the utmost respect for them. Sean Cavanagh and Philly Jordan are heroes around here but they weren’t interested in doing the opera. Frampton never even had to think about it before accepting our offer.”
O’Makily confirmed that the only payment Frampton will receive is a packet of crisps and some mineral as all money made by the concert will go towards a bronze statue of Ryan Mellon who scored the first point in the 2005 All-Ireland Final.
The statue has been a thorn of contention for the village as it emerged Mellon is related to O’Makily and he actually came 18th in a poll carried out as to who it should be, with the fiction character of E.T. initially winning the vote.
Frampton of the Opera will take place on the last Sunday in August, before the unveiling of the statue.
Several members of Tyrone triple All-Ireland winning teams from the mid 2000s have warned Feargal Logan’s U21 team to be prepared for increased digging and slapping sessions from opponents who cheered them on at the weekend, as they return to the Tyrone club scene.
A 2-time All-Ireland winner from that era, who wishes to remain anonymous, reckons fixtures down by the loughshore are to be feared as they ‘love to bring medallists down a peg or two‘ especially if they turn up to games wearing earphones or fancy boots.
“After the final whistle in 2005, three fellas from Ardboe carried me off the Croke Park turf on their shoulders, crying tears of joy. Two weeks later and the same three lads kicked the dung clean out of me when we played Ardboe in a meaningless league game. One of them even said ‘who do ye think ye are ye big-headed tramp‘ and I’m a quiet sort of lad.”
Logan is to send the victorious squad to a psychologist in Mayo for two days in order to prepare them for the verbals they’ll face from the average club player.
Carrickmore squad player Patsy Gormless admitted he can’t wait to get a chance to play against some of the new All-Ireland medallists:
“I remember playing against the Moy shortly after the 2003 All-Ireland final. I managed to deck all three of Cavanagh, Mellon and Jordan within five minutes of the throw in. Caught Jordan with a belter to the back of the head. He’s my favourite Tyrone player too and he made me so proud to be a Tyrone man that year. But he was probably thinking he was deadly so I cracked him.”
It was widely reported that after the 2008 All-Ireland win Ryan McMenamin purposely punched himself in a club game to knock the cockiness out of himself.
Referees have been told to be on their guard but were also warned that any decisions awarded to the new medallists will only antagonise opponents even more.
Meanwhile, an Ardboe defender admitted he purposely floored a county man playing for Omagh on Sunday for wearing his socks up too high.
News coming through that Sean Cavanagh may be on his way to Beragh. More shortly
Reports emerging that Owen Mulligan has been looking at an estate agents shop in Ardboe, sparking rumours of a transfer out east
TRANSFER! Joe McMahon has made the move down the road to Drumragh for six bags of coal and two VIP tickets to see Nathan Carter in Drumragh College.
We return to the Owen Mulligan story. He was in fact just looking at his reflection in the window and not property browsing.
More on that Sean Cavanagh move to Beragh. Beragh officials are prepared to offer their historic Standing Stone as well as three months of home heating oil for Sean’s services. There appears to be a hold up due to Cavanagh’s demands that his brother Colm goes too. Beragh don’t want Colm.
Noises made about Tommy McGuigan moving to Trillick. More on that later.
Sensational news emerging that Derrytresk have bid for Kerry’s Declan O’Sullivan. More later.
Trillick’s Jewish community have announced they will not renew their season tickets if McGuigan moves out west. Deal off.
The O’Sullivan to Derrytresk story is gathering legs as reports are confirmed of a Kerry reg car speeding up from Dromid towards Ulster.
TRANSFER! Moy have sold Philip Jordan to a knackers yard.
Owen Mulligan has been spotted chatting to Donaghmore‘s chairwoman Debbie Donnelly, sparking rumours of a move to St Patrick’s.
Declan O’Sullivan has been spotted buying a bottle of mineral in Cavan Town. Deal closing in.
The Mulligan story has been quashed after it was confirmed he was just chatting Donnelly up.
Beragh have backed down and are prepared to take the two Cavanaghs in exchange for the Standing Stone and the Drumnakilly Devil.
O’Sullivan spotted in Fivemiletown asking for directions to Derrytresk. Onlookers say he looks excited.
TRANSFER! Omagh have bought Moortown underage sensation Paddy Quinn for a packet of Haribo and two VIP tickets to see Nathan Carter play at Drumragh College and have promised to have him speaking English by Christmas
Ageing journalist Ronan McSherry seen buying a Brackaville jersey in Dungannon, sparking rumours of a sensational comeback.
The Cavanagh to Beragh saga has taken another turn as it emerged that Cavanagh’s wife doesn’t like the shops in Beragh.
Owen Mulligan spotted playing bingo in Edendork Hall, suggesting of a move to St Malachy’s.
Carrickmore have made a bid for entire Clonoe team.
Cash strapped Clonoe have accepted Carrickmore’s bid for their entire team in part exchange for Conor Gormley.
The Rock have denied rumours they are in the market for a new lawn mower, stating ‘we are happy with the mower we have.’
Mulligan will not be going to Edendork. He was simply checking out the talent at bingo in a Wayne Rooney sort of way.
Philip Jordan has failed his medical at the knacker’s yard
Cavanagh to Beragh is off. Mrs Cavanagh has complained about the climate up there.
Conor Gormley has been revealed as a Clonoe O’Rahilly player at Tessie’s, the only one left, sparking wild scenes of jubilation. Ruthless manager Cassidy says ‘he’s better than the shower we had anyway”.
Tommy McGuigan has controversially tweeted ‘punch a Ballinderry man today #dicks’.
One hour of the Tyrone Transfer Window left
TRANSFER! Ryan McMenamin has been sold to Uruguay. Uruguayan manager Hector Solaris reckons he’ll give them ‘that 1954 bite back’. McMenamin learning Spanish.
Tommy McGuigan spotted with a t-shirt which says “Why Always Me?” on the front of it.
Declan O’Sullivan arrives in Derrytresk
Declan O’Sullivan leaves Derrytresk in tears. They were just messing.
Urney have announced they will not be buying anyone in this window. Restless locals storm embassy.
TRANSFER! Colm Cavanagh has been sold to Beragh on a free.
TRANSFER WINDOW SHUT!
A leaked document has revealed that the county committee will discuss a proposal which will see many of the 2003-2008 triple All-Ireland winning side offered ‘Romantic Vacations’ at special rooms up at the new Garvaghey complex.
The ground-breaking initiative will see players like Philip Jordan, Owen Mulligan and Joe McMahon spend weekends in the Ballygawley building with their favourite romantic music blaring out and free chocolates, oysters and bathing robes for themselves and their partners.
Kevin Morgan of the CCCC explained:
“It has dawned on us that our golden generation may never be replicated. So, in order to keep a conveyor belt of winning DNA in the county, we will offer ‘Rooms of Love’ for those special players and leave no stone unturned. Canavan is a bit past it for all that stuff so we’re targeting boys like McMenamin, McGuigan and Hub Hughes and hope they’re given suitable surroundings to boost our chances for future success.”
No players have yet been informed about the project but the leaked document showed a brief itinery of the special weekends. Players and their partners will be met at Garvaghey by a man on a fiddle and led to a carvery of shellfish and limited supplies of wine. After the feed, couples will be shown to their rooms where their favourite music will be played on CD players.
Investigations have already ascertained the Philip Jordan prefers ‘Lady In Red’, Mugsy loosens up to ‘I Would Do Anything For Love But I Won’t Do That’ whereas the theme tune to The Sunday Game gets Ricey going.
The Tyrone CCCC hope for 4o children in total over a 5-year period. They also admit they have not sought Harte’s approval but suspect he wouldn’t be too bothered about it at all hopefully.
“Them Kerry boys are all O’Se, Fitzgerald, O’Dwyer etc. They’ve been at this for years. We’ll get some use out of this Garvaghey site yet.”
DREGISH PENSIONER ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT AS A SUPPORTER
A 71 year old former pillow-fluffer from Dregish has announced he is stepping down as a supporter of the club after 67 years of travelling the county following the Pearse Ogs. Jake O’Farrell has decided to hang up his scarf, following in the recent footsteps of Alex Ferguson and David Beckham. Although Dregish Pearse Ogs were formed in in 1968, O’Farrell says he can remember another team from that area but cannot recall what they were called.
“I just thought the time was right. I take with me many highs like the time we bate Brocagh down at their field, on and off the pitch. The lows are part of it all too and the day we couldn’t field a team for the charity match against the Dublin 1995 side in front of 3000 people down in our field was a bit of an embarrassment. But, I’ll be able to put my feet up by the fire on a Sunday now and not give a buck about the Pearse Ogs. I considered taking a year out and then coming back maybe as a Drumquin supporter but we’ll see. I’d like to thank the club for the displays they put on over the last 67 years in the junior. I’ll not be going up to Castlederg on Sunday. I’m now unattached.”
DERRYTRESK CRISPS AND MINERAL VENTURE ‘A DISASTER’
Derrytresk have pulled the plug on an innovative business venture as it was revealed that they sold only one glass of mineral and no crisps at their home game last week. In an effort to bring extra money into the coffers, Seamie Devlin came up with the idea of setting up a table on the high rampart facing the road with boxes of crisps and a few bottles of mineral to be poured into plastic cups. Chairman Iggy Fitzgerald says enough is enough:
“Total disaster. We spent £16 buying that table and sold one drink. The big problem was that you have to jump a 6-foot ditch to get across to the rampart. Only one man made it. Twelve children had to be pulled out. Mrs Campbell’s dress was ruined though it gave the lads a bit of an eyeful. The second problem was making it back. Our only buyer, Patsy Dooher from Aughabrack, couldn’t get back over the ditch so he had to do a four-mile walked up through Annaghmore and missed the rest of the game and his lift home. All for a glass of brown mineral at £1.”
PHILIP JORDAN, RICEY MCMENAMIN AND HUB HUGHES TO GET SPECIAL MATCH PRIVELEGES
With a combined age of over 100, ex county players Jordan, Hughes and McMenamin are to be given special protection by referees to ease fears of broken hips, arthritis and failing senses. The new rules state that if one of these players receives the ball, opponents are to stand off for five seconds to allow the ageing trio to find their bearings and face the right direction. County chairman Aeneas McLoughlin told us:
“We remember wee Peter’s last few games. It was a bit embarrassing when the ball would come to him and he’d just be staring into space, rambling. His teammates would’ve been calling for the ball but sure he could hardly hear a thing. We’re not going to let our elderly ex-county men shuffle off into the wilderness like that. Last week, Ricey got sent off for taking a nap. The ref had no choice and acted quickly in case it developed into stage two. Last week I heard Jordan, who’s injured, spent the entire game watching the Moy’s warm-up pitch even though no one was on it apart from a couple of cats. Hub keeps complaining about the weather and knitting during a lull in play. These new rules will help ease their journey into the light.”