Former Dublin captain Paddy Christie talks about his involvement with the Tipperary footballers, previews their clash with Mayo, speaks about star man Colin O’Riordan, and gives his insight into Ballymun Kickhams clubmates John and Paddy Small.
BY PAUL CARROLL
Paddy Christie used to be known as the fella who kicked the football when he spent his summers down in Tipperary.
The Ballymun Kickhams clubman, who lifted the Leinster title for Dublin in 2005, was brought in as a selector under David Power with the Premier this season.
The recent victory over Cork gave Tipp their first Munster title since 1935, and this weekend they will face Mayo in an All-Ireland semi-final.
Christie has blood links to the county as his mother hails from Lorrha in north Tipperary, just beside the border with Galway.
The club is home to current Tipp hurlers Brian Hogan and Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher, and is far away from the footballing hotbeds in the south of the county.
“I would’ve spent a lot of the summers there since my earliest memories really,” Christie said.
“It’s a hurling area. There wouldn’t be too much football played up there.”
The now Tipperary selector, aiming to get the county to a first All Ireland football final since the 1920 season, reminisces about his youth spent in the Premier.
“I used to bring the football down (to the Lorrha pitch) and I’d be taking frees and kicking the ball on my own.
“The people driving by, I’d say they thought it was very strange to see a football and they used to wonder ‘what the hell is going on? There’s a football there’.
“I think I was known as ‘the fella who kicked the football’, it was such a strange occurrence.”
Christie got the call from Power in late 2019 to join the set up and his ties to the county made it an easy decision.
Christie sees the Tipperary footballers as underdogs, which appealed to him.
“With Tipperary, there’s a bit of the underdog there,” he explains.
“They achieve very well for what they have and you just wanted to see if you could help them in some way.
“They were already very well set up as it was and they have got success underage but to try take that to the next level, that’s what you want to do there.”
Former Dublin footballer and current Tipperary selector Paddy Christie helped launch AIB’s The Toughest Season photobook, a pictorial account of how hurling, football and camogie communities came together to support one another throughout one of the toughest years in history. Inspired by the strength of spirit within Gaelic Games communities, AIB partnered with Sportsfile, the GAA and the Camogie Association, to publish the book which is now available on the Sportsfile Website. All proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the AIB Together Fund supporting Age NI, Alone, FoodCloud, Soar and Pieta House.