Eanna Ryan of Galway and John Henderson of Kilkenny during the 1987 All-Ireland final.
memory lane
'We couldn't afford to lose a third All-Ireland' - Galway legend reflects on famous win in stirring video
Pete Finnerty looks back at a huge day in sport for the county.

THIRTY YEARS ON, Galway’s famous 1987 All-Ireland hurling triumph is still very special for the Tribesmen.

Having fallen at the final hurdle so often in recent memory — nine times in the last 36 years — the rare successful days still stand out prominently for Galway fans.

The Tribesmen went on to win a second successive Liam MacCarthy in 1988, the county’s last success, but the 1987 victory against Kilkenny, coming on the back of All-Ireland defeats in ’85 and ’86, firmly stands out in the eyes of Galway legend Pete Finnerty.

“In 1987 most of us approached it with a hatred to lose. We couldn’t afford to lose a third All-Ireland in a row,” the five-time All-Star recalls in a powerful Supermac’s Sports video.

“We were probably more fearful of that than we were looking forward to winning the All-Ireland. I think that motivation drove us on.

“I remember when the final whistle went it was a feeling of ‘thank God we haven’t lost another one’.

“The ’87 victory probably united us more with the Galway fans than the loss because in victory everything is lifted, everything is better, every day is brighter.”

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