First published in 2004, this updated edition brings the story of the north Dublin city sports venue bang up to date as it enters its new role as a multi-sports venue.
The 200+ pages are packed with facts, figures, and photos from way back in 1897 right up to last spring's rugby and soccer internationals against England, France and Slovakia.
Amongst the treasure-trove of memorabilia reproduced are the programmes covers from the Muhammad Ali v Al 'Blue' Lewis boxing match in 1972 and that for 'Dublin's Rodeo' held in 1924.
Everything else, from the Tailteann Games in the 1920s, numerous national and international track and field games, the 50th anniversary of the 1916 rising, along with American football and Neil Diamond, gets a mention. But in essence, this is a GAA book and is as good a history of that organisation as you will find anywhere.
The author is a former curator of the GAA Museum at Croke Park and has made excellent use of its extensive archive. He has reproduced the earliest known team group photos taken at the venue. That was in 1897 and the stadium was known as the 'City & Suburban Sports Grounds' at Jones' Road.
Young Ireland (Dublin) met Arravale Rovers (Tipperary) in the Dr Croke Cup Football Final. A quick look at the playing gear from back then is fascinating.
Carey outlines how the GAA developed as an organisation and eventually gained control, and sole use, of the grounds, in the process becoming the largest and most influential sporting organisation in the country.
As the story unfolds, there are more fascinating photos, including Eamon deValera throwing in the ball to start a prisoners' dependants fund match in 1919. More famous faces photographed include Michael Collins in the 1920s and Princess Grace and Prince Rainier in the 1963.
The most famous day in the history of the venue is of course Bloody Sunday and it is recalled with eye-witness accounts and a photo of the grounds the following day, which the author quite rightly describes as "eerie".
Croker memories of famous people (not just sporting) are included and gives a nice balance. All in all it's a nice package, excellently presented.