Preparing for the 1936 All Ireland Football Final

In 1996 Seamus O'Malley, captain of the 1936 Mayo football team, spoke to Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh about preparing for the final.
Seamus recalls that the team came together a total of four times for training during the championship. The team were trained by champion boxer Dick Hearns and Seamus says that as well as playing football, training involved "physical jerks" and "sudden dashes".

Prior to the All Ireland Final the team travelled to Dublin and stayed at the Spa Hotel in Lucan. They played golf at Lucan the day before the match and were entertained in the hotel that night. Prior to the match Father Eddie O'Hara addressed the team and according to Seamus, "He certainly gave us a telling and put the spirit coursing in our blood."

In 1936 having beaten Laois in the final 4-11 0-5, only the captain went up to receive the Sam Maguire cup. The rest of the team stayed on the pitch.

The accompanying image shows the Sam Maguire cup. © RTÉ Archives  2182/091

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