"It was one of my worst days with Dublin": Alan Brogan recalls abhorrent abuse hurled at a former Dublin manager

Alan Brogan retired from intercounty football last year

"It was one of my worst days with Dublin": Alan Brogan recalls abhorrent abuse hurled at a former Dublin manager

©INPHO/Patrick Bolger

Considering Dublin's dominance in the GAA's current climate, it's difficult to believe that they were once a side who struggled to compete outside of Leinster.

Between their 1995 and 2011 All-Ireland wins, Dublin had no All-Ireland final appearances and made it to just three semi-finals in that time. Of course, their famous rivalry with Meath in the 90's, coupled with the absence of a qualifier system prior to 2001 would have to factored in as part of that statistic.

And in 2004, they fell foul of a team within their own province, who previously would not have registered on their radar. But with a manager like Páidí Ó Sé working in the control room, they learned the true cost of undermining that Westmeath team.

The pair met in the Leinster Quarter-Final in a game that would end with Dublin manager Tommy Lyons on the receiving end of some inexcusable treatment from some of their own fans. Dublin were three points in front at half-time and a corner forward pairing of Alan Brogan and Jason Sherlock had accumulated seven points between them.

But Westmeath found a way to ground out a win which caused a seismic upset.

Alan Brogan describes the aftermath in his column in The Herald:

"The Hogan Stand was still under construction then, so our dressing-rooms were beneath the Cusack Stand and my horrible and abiding memory was Tommy Lyons coming off the pitch that day, down that tunnel and some of the Dublin fans spitting down on top of him.

"It was one of my worst days with Dublin - maybe the worst - and the way Tommy was treated made it sickening. Ultimately, he paid the price but what people don't appreciate is how well Tommy looked after his players."

"Everything was sorted with regard to training. And there was no question in my mind that Tommy always had the right intention."