"Pure joy" - Limerick father sends us an anecdote that really sums up the best of GAA

John Clancy and his son Fionn had a day to remember at the Gaelic Grounds

BY offtheball.com 18:51 Monday 11 June 2018, 18:51 11 Jun 2018

Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea with fans after the match. Image: ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Limerick may be out of the Senior Football Championship but one father and son enjoyed a day they will never forget at the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday.


After watching the Treaty mens' footballers suffer a heavy 5-19 to 3-7 loss, John Clancy and his son Fionn wandered onto the pitch in the hope of lifting the spirits of the men they came to watch. But it was their own affection for the game that grew further as John told Off The Ball...


“We decided to go to the football because, well the hurlers are flying and not short of support, whereas the footballers are at a low ebb and definitely in need of support,” John said.


“The match itself was only a contest for a brief period and Limerick were outclassed very quickly. We did get on the pitch after the game, amongst the Mayo fans who outnumbered the home crowd by at least five to one but this is when the real joy of the GAA took my son on an adventure he'll never forget. 


“A mentor for the Limerick team saw us wandering around amongst the Mayo fans present on the pitch idolising Aidan O’Shea and Lee Keegan. The injured Tom Parsons tossed a match ball into my son's arms with the words: ‘We won't miss one’. Pure joy.


“It didn't end their though, Josh Ryan a future Limerick all star - wishful thinking - gave Fionn a high-five, a fist pump and an autograph. Beaming.


“Then Peter Nash, who is involved with the same club as Fionn, doesn't know either of us from Adam, proceeded to kneel down beside him for five minutes chatting about football, hurling and promised to keep plugging away with Limerick until Fionn was on the pitch beside him. A father can dream.


“We left the ground and walked back to the car chatting about what he described as the greatest ever experience he had at a match. I suppose it's moments like these that separate the GAA from everything else. 


“That was our story about Fionn's greatest ever match day.”


Billy Lee’s men are without a Championship win since 2016 but Fionn and his father are sure to be in attendance when that statistic comes to an end.


And who knows, maybe Peter Nash will still be plugging away with Fionn by his side.


James Hopper

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