Republic of Ireland news

Eugene McGee, GAA manager who masterminded Offaly's dramatic last-gasp 1982 All-Ireland win, dies

Eugene McGee died on Sunday after falling ill at a family function. Picture by RTÉ
John Monaghan

EUGENE McGee, the GAA manager who masterminded Offaly's dramatic last-gasp 1982 All-Ireland win - wrecking Kerry's hopes of a historic five consecutive titles in the process - has died.

Aged in his late 70s, Mr McGee passed away in the early hours of Sunday after falling ill at a family function.

He qualified as a teacher before moving into journalism, working for a host of publications including The Sunday Tribune, as a columnist for The Irish Independent, and as editor and managing director of The Longford Leader.

In 1982, the Co Longford man was at the helm when Séamus Darby - who McGee had introduced as a substitute - scored a late goal to win the All-Ireland for Offaly by a single point in a final remembered as one of the most dramatic games in GAA history.

The goal deprived Kerry, which had won every All-Ireland Senior Football Championship since 1978, of an unprecedented five titles in a row.

He also managed UCD, Cavan and the Irish International Rules team.

Offaly GAA said his untimely death had "robbed us of one of the most celebrated GAA managers of all time".

"Rarely if ever has a sporting event in this country, or indeed beyond, stood the test of time like the 1982 All-Ireland football final," it said in a statement.

"The modest Longford man never looked for the plaudits, he just in his unassuming way referred to the fact that it was his job to have Offaly ready for that day and the players did the rest.

"However, that would be a very simplistic view of what this tactical genius had done over the previous five or six years as he moulded a group of players into a team that will be forever remembered when All-Ireland finals are spoken of."

He is survived by his wife Marian, daughter Linda, son Conor and extended family and friends.

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