Philly McMahon

Ballymun Kickhams Philly McMahon had quite an emotional All Ireland Final


As the Dublin Senior Football Team made their way off the Hogan Stand steps and headed for the Hill, the atmosphere came to an amazing crescendo. Despite the number of times this team has delivered Sam Maguire to the fans behind the perspex, it really never loses it’s glare. And on Sunday the decibel levels were electric!

Philly McMahon has been a constant in this Dublin team since the first of their six wins in 2011. And he’s part of an elite group featuring Stephen Cluxton, Cian O’Sullivan, James McCarthy and Kevin McManamon. But Sunday was a different ball game for the Ballymun man.

As the team turned to focus their attention to the fans in the Cusack Stand, Philly spotted a friend of his beckoning him from the Hill steps. That friend, Tomas, managed to get a T-Shirt to him, one bearing the silhouette of Breaking Bad character Walter White. And a simple inscription, “Philly, he’s here!”

That’s For You Dad

The message of course was a reference to his Dad Phil, who only passed away a few weeks ago. And anyone that knew Phil knew the striking resemblance he had with the hit TV character.

“I’m just so lucky I had a great support network around me with the lads.” he told The Herald.

“The last two years have been tough for me because of my Dad’s situation”.

“I didn’t know he (Tomas) was going to do it”.

McMahon has turned himself into an amazing role model for kids fanatical about the Dubs. Growing up in Ballymun and losing his brother was the catalyst for Philly to share his story and ultimately encourage others to share theirs. And he’s used the platform of his position in the Dublin football team to share his positive energy with everyone that comes into his line of sight.

“There’s a lot of people who have issues in their lives and adversity in their lives.”

Actions speak louder than words

Philly feels extremely fortunate to have his family, and his extended Dublin family and friends to support him. And he’s continually blown away by the people that go the extra mile when things get tough.

“To see Eoghan O’Gara going up to my Da through his illness, just to take that time, the guy has a young family and he was travelling down to Wexford.”

“That just shows you the character that we have in the squad. Other lads done it as well.”

“It drives you on to fight for each other. That brings that little bit of a closeness even tighter.”

Receiving his sixth Senior All Ireland medal, is something McMahon himself never dreamed of. He’s shared his memories in the past of passing Croke Park with his mother and telling her he’d play there one day. But never in his wildest dreams did he ever think he’d have achieved what him and 11 others did this weekend.

“I’m only a small cog in the wheel in terms of helping the lads to win an All-Ireland last year and this year.”

“Look it, at the start I loved football, it was a hobby,” he admits.

“You win your first All-Ireland and your second All-Ireland and it’s incredible.”

“But six All-Irelands? Jesus, no.”

“And it’s what it’s brought, the success of those All-Irelands, is probably more important than just saying ‘I’ve won an All-Ireland’, the way I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to develop a platform to help other people.

“And for me that’s the best bit about winning an All-Ireland, not saying four in a row, or six All-Irelands.