Former Dublin team-mates, current manager and captain double act - Gavin hails record setter Cluxton

The Dublin goalkeeper is on the cusp of history on Saturday.

pjimage (1) Debut in 2001 and still standing tall in 2017. Source: INPHO

JIM GAVIN’S PLAYING days with Dublin were coming to an end when Stephen Cluxton set out on his inter-county senior journey.

Gavin hung up his boots in 2002, a year after Cluxton had made his bow.

15 seasons later, the pair are at the forefront of the most dominant side in Gaelic football.

Gavin as manager and Cluxton as captain.

A seventh successive Leinster title was picked up recently and a third All-Ireland on the bounce is now pursued.

Stephen Cluxton lifts the trophy Stephen Cluxton lifts the trophy after Dublin's recent win over Kildare. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Stephen Cluxton Honours

  • 4 All-Ireland senior – 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016.
  • 13 Leinster senior – 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.
  • 4 National league – 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.
  • 5 All-Stars - 2002, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2013

On Saturday, the long-serving goalkeeper is in line for his 89th senior championship outing.

Sean Cavanagh is set to feature for Tyrone against Armagh at 4pm in their All-Ireland quarter-final and briefly there will be a four-way tie at the top of the football championship appearance records – Cavanagh, Cluxton and the Ó Sé brothers, Tomás and Marc.

Marc And Tomas O'Se at the end of the game Kerry's Marc and Tomás Ó Sé. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

But when he steps between the posts against Monaghan in the All-Ireland quarter-final, Cluxton will move out on his own and carve his own historical niche.

It’s a remarkable feat and Gavin had no hesitation in lauding the Parnell’s man.

“It’s a great milestone for Stephen.

“It probably reflects his commitment to Gaelic games and the GAA throughout his adult life.

“For me he’s just a fantastic sportsman and really applies himself to the craft and his craft in goals.

“He’s a great leader for us as well, courageous, disciplined and loyal.

“He’s a great influence amongst the players.”

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Jim Gavin and Stephen Cluxton at the end of the game Jim Gavin and Stephen Cluxton after the 2015 All-Ireland football final. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Despite the consensus that Gaelic football is becoming the preserve of younger players, Gavin is not surprised by Cluxton’s longevity.

“Not really. Obviously I would have played with him at the back end of my own career and I would have seen him come on.

“Having to know him and seeing how purposeful he is and how determined he is to be the best that he can be.

“He just focuses on his game. We are fortunate to have him and long may it continue.”

– In an earlier version of this article, a photo caption incorrectly identified a picture of Jim Gavin and Stephen Cluxton as having been taken in 2011; it was taken in 2015.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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