FOR the first time, Seamus Darby, the man who scored one of the most famous goals in the history of the GAA, puts the record straight on issues that have followed him around almost since that celebrated moment in popular Irish history.
His new autobiography, ‘About That Goal’ traces the vicissitudes of a man thrust into national headlines, who then had to deal with the fallout of losing his business and his marriage, before returning to Ireland to run his own business and catch up on lost time.
While he won All-Ireland Senior Football Championship medals in 1971 and 1972, when he was corner forward in the replay win over Kerry, Darby catapulted to lasting national fame when his late goal helped deprive Kerry of five in a row in the 1982 final.
His Offaly career was actually a comparitively short one and he made 46 league and championship appearances between 1971 and 1982 but “that goal” ensured that he has remained one of the county's most recognisable footballers.
In his new book Darby talks frankly about:
* The feeling that it was his destiny to deliver for Offaly on a big stage
* His friendship with Tommy Doyle, his marker in the ’82 All-Ireland final
* ‘The Push’ in the lead-up to scoring the winning goal
* His relationship with Eugene McGee
* His big regret when he met Bob Geldof
* An act of kindness which saved him from sleeping rough in London
* The day a gangster came looking to shoot him in his pub in London
* How he fought and won against a different type of opponent – cancer
* His gratitude after surviving a car crash this summer.
The Rhode man came on as a second half sub in the 1982 All-Ireland final while younger brother, Stehen came on during the first half.
He has spoken occasionally over the years about the impact the 1982 goal had on his life, how he got into difficulty with businesses he owned and how drink became an issue as people wanted to celebrate with him.
The new autobiography was written in conjunction with Clara man, P.J. Cunningham, a well known journalist and author and is available in bookshops – it is stocked in Midland Books and Robbins' in Tullamore.
Two Offaly launches are planned for the book – Richie Connor, the 1982 captain will perform a Tullamore launch on Friday, October 11, while fellow Rhode man, Paddy McCormack, a team mate in 1972, will launch it in Rhode on Saturday, October 12. Dublin legend Tony Hahanoe will do the honours at a launch in Dublin on Thursday, October 10.