Football

"It's going to be shite today!" Pillar Caffrey's Cluxton story

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

09:24 7 Aug 2019


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Former Dublin manager Pillar Caffrey joined us to talk about the Dublin-Mayo rivalry. But he also shared a story about Dublin's long-time goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton.

The No 1 has been a bedrock of the Dubs' multiple All-Ireland wins this decade.

But in the early 2000s, he had just come through the ranks as first Tommy Lyons and then Pillar took charge.

"Cluxton in the early days was this serious guy, didn't say a lot and was a little bit narky," Pillar recalled.

"He wasn't a guy who was into loose chat or having the craic. Very, very serious.

"A little story in relation to Clucko. Tommy Lyons got ill before the Dublin-Donegal quarter-final. So Tommy was in hospital with gallstones, so he wasn't going to be at the match.

"Somebody had to step up to the plate. So Tommy designated that I would wear the Bainisteoir's bib that day. It wasn't public knowledge or anything like that. But I would've been quite proud.

"No, it's your fault"

"So I arrived and the wife dropped me down in the car and gave me the usual kiss. I'm walking with my gear bag towards the dressing room and I'm met by Clucko coming with a big long face on him.

"And I say, 'Everything OK?' He said, 'No, it's all your fault. The lads' heads aren't right. Tommy's not around and it's going to be shite today.'"


Pillar chuckled at the memory of Cluxton's forthrightness.

"My bubble was fairly burst," he said.

"So I go in [to the dressing room] and there was a bit of giddiness. I had to bring everyone in and calm them down a little bit. But that was the guy Clucko was. He was a serious guy and that was 2002. He was never in for the chuckles."

You can watch the full interview above via YouTube.

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