Our games with Niall Gormley

Name: Niall Gormley.

Teams played for: Trillick and Tyrone.

Current involvement: Trillick senior footballer and underage coaching.

Which club game, that you played in, will you never forget and why?

The 2015 county final against Killyclogher. It was our first Senior Championship win of my generation, and my twin Shane was there too on the field when the final whistle went so everything worked out perfectly. He was a sub last year but wasn’t able to play after that due to heart palpatations. He’s 100 percent now but has to take it easy.

Which club game, that you watched, will you never forget and why?

I remember Trillick playing the Moy when I was only seven or eight. I happened to sitting on the bench, and Plunkett Donaghy ran into Sean Donnelly just in front of the dug-out. I remember thinking to myself, ‘who’d be wise to play Gaelic football, running into men like that?’ They were two strong men running into each other and it half-scared me at the time.

Which county game, that you played in, will you never forget and why?

There’s probably two of them – my first championship game which was against Fermanagh in 2007, I scored four points and played well that day. The other was playing Kerry down in Tralee, it was my second league game. It was a packed house and it hit home that you’re in the big time, playing against lads like Darragh O’Se. I scored a couple of points. I remember Padraig Reidy was on me in the first half and Marc O’Se marked me in the second half. It wasn’t too bad, Padraig chatted away but Marc was dead serious.

I held my own so I was fierce happy with how I played. Padraig was civil like, there was no hateful chat, just asking me how I was getting on. He got taken off and I remember going out to the bus afterwards and he called me over and shook my hand.

Which county game, that you watched, will you never forget and why?

The most memorable county game was the 2005 All-Ireland semi-final against Armagh. We were sitting in a bar in Santa Ponza watching it, and we were the only Tyrone people.

Everyone in the whole place was cheering for Armagh. Every other county just hated Tyrone. Sure we were all on holidays with Fermanagh people and they were all cheering for Armagh. It was only the three of us, our girlfriends were there and they were from Fermanagh too. They didn’t give a shite about the whole thing, but we lorded it up and enjoyed the night when it was over.

What was the funniest thing you ever saw in a game?

Niall ‘Jib’ Donnelly got the ball against Dungannon in the first round of the championship in the middle of the park, and there was nobody within about 30 yards of him. He was running with the ball and he did a 360 with the ball, like a ballerina, and nobody near him.

To this day nobody knows what he was doing. He probably didn’t know himself. Maybe he saw something in the corner of his eye but he went right round in a circle.

What was the strangest thing you ever saw in a game?

Lee Brennan scored the big cricket score against Strabane, and as soon as he kicked one of his last scores, his marker started clapping and patted Lee on the back.

I was just thinking to myself, Jesus if one of our managers ever saw one of us doing that there, you’d get clipped.

What was the most memorable performance from a player in a game that you watched?

Peter Canavan’s performance against Dublin in the All-Ireland final in 1995, he put on a show that day.

What was the most memorable performance from a player in a game that you played?

It’d probably be Lee’s performance against Strabane, everything he touched went over the bar that day – it was mad.

What did you love/hate about the games you played in?

I enjoyed the football before the whole defensive thing came in – it was more one-on-one, you against your marker.

Now it’s you against maybe eight people standing in front of you.

This last year or so it has opened up a bit more, but the four or five years before that was tedious as you were just running back and forth as there was no space for lads to kick the ball into.

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