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'I was praying to Mammy, that she would see it through' - one of the best post-match interviews you will ever see

Touching words from Magherafelt captain Daniel Heavron after his side won a first Derry title since 1978.

ONE OF THE best and most touching post-match interviews you will ever see. 

And one that sums up GAA club life in one. 

Yesterday, O’Donovan Rossa Magherafelt were crowned Derry SFC champions for the first time since 1978, with Ballinderry and Slaughtneil dominating over the last decade.

A 41-year wait for glory ended following a one-point win over first-time finalists Watty Grahams Glen. Controversy reigned as the final whistle sounded, however, with the referee blowing it up just before Glen went to shoot — and the effort looked to go over. 

While there was plenty of talk surrounding that on social media afterwards, it soon turned to this inspirational interview with Magherafelt captain Daniel Heavron. 

Speaking to BBC’s Thomas Niblock, who hails from the club himself, Heavron’s words and the pure emotion on show would send shivers down your spine.

It’s strange to say this, it is… but in 50, 60, 70 years time when you’re burying your friends, you’ll always look back on this day,” Heavron said.

“This is a day you’ll look back on when you sit around a wakehouse and say, ‘Can you believe we won a championship in 2019?’ This is what it means to us boys.”

derry The scene on the pitch afterwards. Source: Derry GAA Twitter.

danny-heavron-and-rory-brennan Heavron on the ball for Derry in 2017. Source: Presseye/Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

“Tommy, to be totally honest with you, you could explain that as well as I could,” he continued, when asked to describe the feeling to someone who just wouldn’t understand.

We’re a family. Every community is a family. This, just is something special. You know my personal issues. Everybody has a personal issue and thankfully we have done it for them people today.

Lifting the trophy in front of a sea of red and white was seriously special, he added.

“Look, you look up to people like Gerry O’Loughlin and stuff and you think maybe, will you ever? And I thought I would never. It means absolutely everything, Thomas, and that’s all I can say. Absolutely everything.”

And perhaps the most eloquent moment of all. What about when his side were one point up in the final minutes, what was on Heavron’s mind? His late mother.

I was praying to Mammy, that she would see it through. Simple as that.

Complete and utter class. What an interview, what a captain.

If the above video does not play, you can watch it here.

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Emma Duffy

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