GAA Football

Sean Cavanagh suffered on-field sledging over rumours surrounding personal life

In his autobiography, Sean Cavanagh reveals how he and his family were hounded by news reporters about rumours relating to his private life. Picture by Seamus Loughran
Neil Loughran

FORMER Tyrone star Sean Cavanagh has revealed he suffered on-field sledging as a result of rumours that swirled around about his personal life.

In his new book My Obsession, which comes out today, Cavanagh explains how he and his family were hounded by news journalists as a result of gossip doing the rounds in GAA circles.

The Moy man has never addressed the rumours publicly, but insists it never crossed his mind not to discuss them – and the impact they had - in his autobiography.

“Not at all. It’s part of my life as well, you have to accept it,” he said.

“Even though you are an amateur and you think you can split your personal life from your hobby as such, when you’re in that spotlight it’s very difficult to do that.

“At that point in time it was tough for me, tough for my wife, Eva was only a newborn, so to have stuff like that thrown at you…

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“It was thrown at me thereafter on football fields, anything for people to try and gain an advantage on you or try and run you down a bit. It was probably harder for my family and my wife but they were amazing through it all.

“Through the years I got used to people looking to take you down at any opportunity, by any means, and quite often those means were dirty and were lies. But, for me being in that situation, you become almost immune to what is said or thrown at me.”

And Cavanagh says the current trend of trial by social media makes it even easier for the rumour mill to gather pace.

He continued: “As a pundit now, I’m very conscious that everyone has their own life to live outside of the game and you hope you can try and separate them.

“It’s becoming more difficult in a world of social media where there is the ability for anyone to publish anything about you on Twitter or Facebook or wherever, and things get out of control and go viral, whether they’re right or wrong.

“That’s just the world we live in right now. It’s scary.”

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