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Mick O'Connell has been described as the greatest footballer that the game has ever seen. Born on Valentia Island off the coast of Kerry, his displays at midfield for his county are the stuff of legend. Mick O'Connell won every honor the game has to offer, from when he first played for the Kerry minors in 1956 to his retirement nearly twenty years later.
One of the most stylish and graceful footballers the game has ever seen, Mick O'Connell's story is surely the stuff of dreams. His home island of Valentia is measured seven miles by three in dimension. It has all the ruggedness and grandeur of the west coast with many spectacular spots. The population of Valentia island once topped the one thousand mark, but has since decreased greatly. It was here that Mick practiced the art of great football and honed the skills that would see him become a master of the game.
Mick would leave his home to play for his native Kerry, thrilling thousands of spectators all over Ireland, and then return home where often, in the dead of night, he would have to row back to the island. This was all for the true love of the sport. Mick was born on January 4th 1937. His father was a fisherman and ship's pilot, who himself was born on nearby Beginish island, while his mother was born on the mainland. In a special Terrace Talk from 1999, Mick speaks candidly of his marvelous sporting life and times.
Topics discussed in this interview
Mick discusses his youth and GAA on Valencia island. Friends and colleagues ring in to chat with and congratulate Mick. Mentality on the field. Jackie Healy-Rae rings in.
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