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'I'm sure Colm must be cringing himself, it was like the death of Lady Diana'

Joe Brolly isn’t impressed by the media’s supposed ‘eulogising’ of Kerry legend Colm Cooper.

JOE BROLLY’S NEVER shy of expressing an opinion and he didn’t fudge it last night when asked to reflect on the career of Kerry legend Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper.

Speaking on RTÉ’s League Sunday, Brolly agreed that Cooper was “an absolutely delightful footballer” but argued that he didn’t produce consistently against Ulster opposition in big games, name-checking Tyrone and Donegal.

And former Derry star Brolly doesn’t agree with what he termed the media’s “eulogising” of Cooper’s time in the green and gold.

“I’m sure Colm must be cringing himself. It was like the death of Lady Diana. I thought he had died with all the sort of eulogising that was going on. Even today on the big screen in Croke Park we did it again.

“There’s no critical thinking and the media has this tendency to eulogise. Of course he was a delightful Gaelic Footballer and whenever I take my underage teams, we try to work on the way he passed the ball into the net. He was a perfect goal finisher.

Colm Cooper celebrates with Pat O'Shea Colm Cooper announced his retirement from inter-county football not long after claiming a coveted All-Ireland club medal with Dr. Crokes. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“My point about him was always the same. He doesn’t have that warrior personality like a Peter Cavanan or a Colm O’Rourke, boys like that, who thrived in adversity.”

Cooper’s former Kerry team-mate Tomás Ó Sé stoutly defended the Dr. Crokes man, describing him “as the best forward I’ve seen to play the game.”

Ó Sé added: “I don’t say that lightly. I didn’t see the players in the 1970s, the Mikeys (Sheehy) and (John) Egans. He (Cooper) did stuff with the ball I haven’t see any other players do. For a guy on top of his game for 15 seasons, marking the toughest defenders that were there and coming out on top.”

Brolly argued that Cooper was “anonymous” against Tyrone in crucial games in 2003 (All-Ireland semi-final), 2005 (final) and 2008 (final), and also against Donegal in the 2012 All-Ireland quarter-final.

“Tyrone three times, anonymous, come on Tomás!”

Attempting to mediate, former Dublin player Ciaran Whelan jumped in.

I know Joe done (sic) a personal assassination of him (Cooper) this morning (in a Sunday Independent column). We have to look at the context…shup for a minute, will ya?

“In 2002, when he came on, he was a genius, light of frame, a joy to watch. The game has changed, Tyrone changed the game in the noughties, he was double-teamed.”

Brolly countered: “He wasn’t double-teamed.”

On it went, Brolly arguing that Cooper didn’t have a “leader personality”, and that he “never saw him turn a game around.”

You can watch the entire exchange here:

If the video link above isn’t accessible, you can check out the footage by clicking here. 

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