BE PART OF THE TEAM

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 10°C Wednesday 23 September 2020
Advertisement

'It was painkillers at half-time to get through it and then trying to mark Trevor Giles in the same breath'

Dublin’s Johnny Magee is this week’s guest on the Warriors podcast.

Trevor Giles tackles Johnny Magee during the 2002 Leinster semi-final.
Trevor Giles tackles Johnny Magee during the 2002 Leinster semi-final.
Image: INPHO

IN THE 2002 Leinster SFC semi-final, Dublin centre-back Johnny Magee was tasked with marking Royals star Trevor Giles. 

The game was only minutes old when Magee went down under a heavy challenge near the sideline that resulted in him tearing his ACL and LCL.

But unbelievably, Magee soldiered on and finished the game only to discover the extent of the damage afterwards. 

The Dublin and Kilmacud Crokes stalwart reflected on the three biggest days of his career as our guest this week on the Warriors GAA podcast for The42 members.

Naturally, that day against Meath 18 years ago was still fresh in the memory.

“Personally, it was a big one,” he recalled. “It was bittersweet in terms of the day itself because eight minutes into the match I went to kick a ball down the line underneath the Hogan Stand and Donal Curtis was late, slightly,” he laughs.

“As I kicked the ball he came in and came down on my knee as my foot extended to kick the ball. So my knee shot backwards as I fully extended so I jolted backwards. The physio came on and did the test. He said, ‘Johnny I think your cruciate is gone.’

“I said, ‘Jaysus, I’m not going off’ and played on for the rest of the 70 minutes. Then it transpired that I tore my cruciate and lateral ligament. There were times when I kicked the ball during the game where there was nothing to hold my knee together, just the muscles around the knee so there was no cruciate, no lateral ligament on the outside. 

“I went into Ray Moran the knee specialist (afterwards) and he said ‘You’re a very lucky man, you could have ended your career because there was nothing holding the knee.’ It was painkillers at half-time to get through it and then trying to mark Trevor Giles in the same breath.

“Huge elation afterwards but then the reality of being out for six to eight weeks and the prospect of missing the season.”

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

Magee avoided having surgery and instead focused on building up the muscles around the knee. He made it back into the team for the All-Ireland quarter-final against Donegal, returning to the starting team after Paul Curran missed out with a knee injury of his own.

“The chink of light was that Ray Moran said the fact that I played on the rest of the game the muscles around the knee were very strong. So he said, ‘There’s two things you can do, (have the operation or) you can build the knee up and put the operation back.’

“So that’s what did. I went to the swimming pool, had no impact running just did running in the pool with a float, a heart monitor with James Allen the physio and built the knee up.

“Missed the Leinster final and got back for the All-Ireland quarter-final six or seven weeks later. So that was a huge achievement in terms of getting back for that.” 

To listen to the full interview and listen to an 18-episode back catalogue featuring the likes of Ronan Curran, Liam McHale, Ken McGrath, Johnny Doyle and Seanie McMahon, subscribe at members.the42.ie.

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

Read next:

COMMENTS (1)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel