1983 And 2011 – Two Championship Final Days Worlds Apart


On this day in 1983 and again in 2011, Dublin celebrated two of their greatest Championship Final memories

Championship Final - 1983 and 2011
credit: discoverbundoran.com

As we come down from the hysteria that was the weekend’s All Ireland Football Final Achievement, it’s crazy to think of the journey Dublin supporters have been on this decade. Seven Championship titles in nine short years. A fete that no one would ever have dreamed of when Bryan Cullen lifted the Sam Maguire in 2011.

And what fans have become accustomed to, was merely a pipe dream for many a year. In fact before 2011, supporters had been waiting since 1995 for an All Ireland win. To some a Final appearance would have been enough, but in that sixteen year period Dublin never made it past the last four.

Rewind again from 1995 it was the early eighties, 1983 to be precise, that Dublin lifted the Sam Maguire. Another twelve years of pain. Yes, they reached finals in 1984, 1985, 1992 and 1994, but never got across the line.

In a time where success is pouring out of every facet of Dublin’s game, the eighties was a very different time. After the Dubs last Championship win in 1977, Kerry took hold for four years and dominated the Championship. Offaly stopped their run famously in 1982 before Dublin regained control a year later.

Championship Final - 1983
credit: boards.ie
Dublin 1-10 Galway 1-08
September 18th 1983

Dublin successfully beat Galway in the 1983 All Ireland Football Final. The match was memorable for a number of reasons. But the standards of football and sportsmanship were not those desired for one of the GAA’s showcase days.

Four players were sent off, three from the Dublin team and one from Galway. The game was played in a gale with showers of driving rain.

Although the official attendance was recorded at 71,988. this was well before All Ireland Finals became all ticket occasions. There was overcrowding on both terraces with many supporters failing to get into the ground.

Dublin played much of the second half into the gale-force wind with 12 men against Galway’s 14 and held on to win the game 1-10 to 1-8.

Barney Rock was Dublin’s top scorer with 1-6. Dublin became the first team to win an All Ireland Final with 12 men.

The 1983 final is often referred to as ‘the game of shame’ but for Dublin supporters it was won by ‘the 12 apostles’.

Dublin Scorers:

Barney Rock 1-06
PJ Buckley 0-01
Jim Ronayne 0-01
Ciaran Duff 0-01
Joe McNally 0-01


John O’Leary
Mick Holden
Gerry Hargan
Ray Hazley
Pat Canavan
Tommy Drumm,
PJ Buckley
Jim Ronayne
Brian Mullins
Barney Rock
Tommy Conroy
Ciaran Duff
John Caffrey
Anton O’Toole
Joe McNally

Dublin Subs:

John Kearns for Conroy
Kieran Maher for Caffrey

Dublin 1-12 Kerry 1-11
September 18th 2011

The one that started this rollercoaster in the decade, Dublin had not reached an All Ireland Final since lifting Sam Maguire in 1995. In 2009 Pat Gilroy’s side were hammered out of the Semi Finals by Kerry, and it would be the last time a Dublin side would lose in such a manner. 2010 Saw Dublin reached the semis but pipped by one score by Cork.

But in 2011 the stars aligned for Gilroy and his panel. The first Dublin v Kerry All Ireland Final since 1985. Stephen Cluxton made history as the first goalkeeper ever to kick the winning point. RTE TV dubbed the game one of the most gripping deciders of the modern era.

Kerry had outscored Dublin by 0-08 to 0-03 in the second half and were cruising at a speed which looked certain to carry them safely to the finish line.

And there was every reason to suspect that Kerry would increase their advantage as Dublin had scored only one point in the previous 22 minutes.

Dublin needed a goal to revive them, but where was it to come from?

Enter sub Kevin McManamon, the man who did so much to unpick the Donegal locks in the semi-final.

This time, he made an even greater contribution, popping up to take a pass from Alan Brogan and burrowing his way in on the Kerry goal before driving the ball to the net.

Kevin Nolan brought the sides level in the 65th minute and three minutes later Bernard Brogan put them ahead.

Kieran Donaghy levelled it up in the 70th minute but just when it looked as if the first drawn final since 2000 was about to unfold, McManamon made another crucial intervention, winning a free 38 metres from the Kerry goal.

Stephen Cluxton pointed it, crowning Dublin All-Ireland champions for the 23rd time.

Dublin Scorers:

Bernard Brogan 0-06 (4f)
Kevin McManaman 1-00
Stephen Cluxton 0-02 (2f)
Alan Brogan 0-02
Kevin Nolan 0-01
Denis Bastick 0-01


Stephen Cluxton
Michael Fitzsimons
Rory O’Carroll
Cian O’Sullivan
James McCarthy
Ger Brennan
Kevin Nolan
Denis Bastick
Michael Darragh MacAuley
Paul Flynn
Barry Cahill
Bryan Cullen
Alan Brogan
Diarmuid Connolly
Bernard Brogan

Dublin Subs:

Eoghan O’Gara for Cahill
Philly McMahon for McCarthy
Kevin McManamon for Flynn
Eamonn Fennell for Bastick