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'He sat in front of me and said, 'Since when did you start worrying about your wife?" - Darby

The Offaly legend will feature on Laochra Gael next Wednesday.

Seamus Darby's personal life suffered hugely after winning the 1982 All-Ireland final.
Seamus Darby's personal life suffered hugely after winning the 1982 All-Ireland final.
Image: Laochra Gael/TG4

SEAMUS DARBY’S PERSONAL life spiraled out of control in the aftermath of his heroics in the 1982 All-Ireland SFC final.

The super-sub famously scored a late goal in that decider to clinch the Sam Maguire for Offaly and end Kerry’s hopes of achieving a historic five-in-a-row.

That goal transformed Darby into an instant Offaly icon, but it also brought him a great deal of hardship.

In his upcoming Laochra Gael episode, Darby recalls buying a pub during a time of economic crisis in Ireland, a decision which he quickly regretted.

“I knew after two weeks I was in serious trouble,” he begins. “I wasn’t able to pay the bills and keep stock in.

“I was there for about a year and a receiver was appointed. I offered him the rents of the shops and I said to take it until the pub was paid for and sell the pub in the mean time and get rid of it.

“I drove up to his office in Clontarf and he wouldn’t have any of it. He made a laugh of me really.”

Darby explained to the receiver that his ex-wife had also suffered a brain haemorrhage during that time and pleaded for help.

He sat in front of me and said, ‘Since when did you start worrying about your wife?’”

He continued:

“At the time, jobs weren’t plentiful, you couldn’t get one in Ireland. So I had to go to England and the marriage then drifted apart. I slept with my clothes on under a radiator in a pub that was closed up.

I’d lost everything at that stage. I came from a big high to a very low place.” 

The episode covers other aspects of Darby’s life, including the euphoria that followed Offaly’s unexpected All-Ireland triumph.

Of course, the result brought heartbreak for others as Darby discovered.

This fella came over to me and he said, ‘You fuckin’ cost me a fortune,’” the Offaly legend recalls.

“I’d every caravan in Ballybunion stuffed with Kerry five-in-a-row jerseys. And you come on and scored a goal.’”

Darby inquired as to what the man did with the jerseys to which he replied:

“I put RIP at the bottom of them and I headed for Tullamore and sold most of them.”

Seamus Darby – The Man Who Got the Goal will be shown on TG4 next Wednesday night at 9.30.

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