Former Dublin and Kilmacud Crokes star Johnny Magee talks about the ups and downs of playing for his county, captaining his club to an All-Ireland, and a charity boxing match against a snooker player.
BY SHANE STAPLETON
Johnny Magee wears his heart on his sleeve.
It’s rarely the Kilmacud Crokes man evades a question but, when it does, you can’t blame him. “I was asked to throw the fight,” he begins.
The dealings around his sensational charity boxing match with snooker star Quinten Hann in 2004 were quite something, amounting to “the maddest 20 minutes of my life”.
At this stage, Magee was part of the Dublin football panel, which at that point was an out-of-control hype train.
He explains what this period of his life was like, and if taking on such a high-profile occasion — which one could not imagine a current Dub player doing now — helped accelerate his decline with the county.
He spoke of his departure from the scene “being like a death”, of being recalled by Paul ‘Pillar’ Caffrey, before again being let go.
Magee would go on to captain his club, Kilmacud Crokes, to the All-Ireland club title, and he would later manage them to county glory.
The downside was coming up short against Mullinalaghta of Longford in a Leinster final, with the majority of the country happy to see the city kingpins down by a rural parish.
Magee talks of his journey all the way through, his relationships with his county managers, and watching his daughter Lauren bloom in a blue shirt.
“The emotion of my daughter winning it with Dublin and how they went about it,” says Magee of her first title win in 2017, after the Dubs had lost three finals in a row.
“The year previous and how upset she was too, to see her achieve that made me immensely proud.
“I’m happy to say that if me not winning an All-Ireland (with Dublin) meant her winning one, I don’t think it would top her winning it and the first embrace when they did it.
“It was massive, very emotional. I’m emotional and I call it as I see it, and sometimes my emotions get the better of me.”
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