A few ‘little nifters’ were essential to getting Cork and Nemo Rangers legend Dinny Allen through a game played in a blizzard back in 1979.
The four-time Club All-Ireland Championship winner was on The Saturday Panel and recalled the came which he was certain was going to be abandoned.
“I suppose the one I was trying to think of the other day was the ‘79 one. The day we played in a snow blizzard. I mean, I was full forward and I couldn’t actually see the goal down the other side of the pitch.
“Now at half-time in the match, I think we were four or five points up and we were saying, ‘This match is going to be abandoned.’
“We came out for the second half and he didn’t abandon it, he left it on. We were five points up so [we were happy to play]. It got worse in the second half.
“Colm Murphy broke his leg. But it got to the stage where we were like, ‘Oh my god. He’s going to abandon this match. He never did,” Allen said.
In the freezing temperatures, Allen was willing to turn to unconventional methods in an attempt to warm his bones.
“Paddy Sullivan used to always bring a little bottle of 7Up and brandy and port inside of it for someone before a match. Either to give you a bit of drive in your stomach or if you felt a bit jiggy before a match.
“It didn’t have to be snowing or anything. He’d give you a little sup. I'd never tasted it and I saw it being passed around to two or three fellas.
“Anyhow, I said to myself, it was so cold that day. Paddy would always offer it to me and I never took it but this day I said, ‘I’ll have a little a nifter out of it. Seeing as it is snowing outside.’
“So I had a little nifter and that was grand. I played away in the first half. I was humming away at this stage. I wasn’t signing that loud...I was soaked to the skin and came in,” Allen said.
By the half-time was over, the 1989 All-Ireland winner with Cork was back in need of a pick me up.
“Going out in the second half I was actually shaking with the cold. So I said, ‘I’ll have another little sup out of that just to get me back on track.’
“So I had another little nifter and I ended up singing ‘the boys of fair hill’ for the second half with the full-back. We had a great laugh the two of us, but we won the match,” Allen laughed.
There's been a change to the AIB GAA Club Championship fixture schedule this year! The All Ireland semi-finals will take place on the 4th and 5th of January and the finals on the 19th of January.
Tickets will be available from usual outlets including local clubs and Supervalu and Centra stores.
When It’s Club It Lives Forever.