Kerry legend Colm Cooper holds fond memories of travelling up to Croke Park to compete in All-Ireland finals.

Speaking on the RTÉ GAA Podcast, the four-time All-Ireland winner recalls how he was first invited into the Kerry senior panel at just 19 years of age, and weighing just 10 stone.

In the company of Kerry greats such as Séamus Moynihan and Darragh Ó Sé, Coopery's initial ambition was simply to "hold my own" and prove his worth.

But he quickly developed into key member of the Kerry attack in an inter-county career that spanned 15 years before announcing his retirement in 2017.

Trips to Dublin for All-Ireland finals were almost an annual undertaking for Cooper, and the journeys were always colourful. 

"Quite often we were in Dunboyne," he tells hosts Des Cahill and Peter Sweeney.

"We used to stay away from the hustle and bustle of Dublin the night before a match.

"It was just nice and quiet out there. You could go for your walks and switch off. Certainly, I remember back in 2002. Páidí [Ó Sé] was our manager and I remember seeing the Tara Towers out in the Blackrock direction. We were staying there and Páidí had a few piseogs.

"He'd won an All-Ireland there so he was very superstitious and he wanted to go back to this hotel. The fire alarm was set off the night before our match against Armagh. God only knows who set it off but there were fellas out in the corridor looking and wondering what was going on.

"Look it didn't cost us the match but when you think back and think of now, there's probably security on floors for teams in different areas of hotels."

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He continues: "But, usually we stayed in Dunboyne and I remember one night just walking down to the shop and coming back with an ice-cream in my hand. I met this Dub in Dunboyne and he goes 'would you look at the Gooch with his choc-ice?'" he laughs.

"I think it was David Moran who was with me and he nearly fell over with laughter. I think we just wanted to be relaxed in whatever environment that gave us. Generally, I didn't do anything special the night before a match. I'd maybe lie down and watch Match of the Day on the television, or switch off. I'd be early enough to bed.

"There's always a good few stories the night before a match and it's good when lads can totally switch off, and I think that's difficult to do in the city environment."