'We had to get up early and go on a combat run' - An army cadet's morning after All-Ireland final loss

2001 All-Ireland winner Sue Ramsbottom will be the next Gaelic Games great to feature on Laochra Gael.

Sue Ramsbottom in action for Laois.
Sue Ramsbottom in action for Laois.

LAOIS LADIES LEGEND Sue Ramsbottom comes under the spotlight in next week’s edition of TG4′s Laochra Gael.

This season has already featured some fascinating characters, with Antrim great Terence ‘Sambo’ McNaughton and Dublin hero Michael Darragh MacAuley getting the series underway.

Ramsbottom’s story is another compelling watch. The star forward discusses many aspects of her sporting and personal life, including the seven senior All-Ireland final defeats she suffered before finally becoming a champion in 2001.

She also talks about her rugby career which started out with learning the game while playing for Galwegians before eventually going on to represent Ireland. She also recalls bringing her two daughters Caoimhe and Emma along while completing a six months of duty in Bosnia in 2019.

Ramsbottom had to wait a long time before finally tasting All-Ireland glory with Laois, and in 1992, she lost her fourth All-Ireland final in five years. She was in the middle of cadet training at the time, and was expected to report back for duty shortly after falling short against Waterford in Croke Park.

“The nice part was my cadet class were going to get out on the Sunday for the 1992 All-Ireland,” Ramsbottom begins. “So, it was a win-win for us all.

“And it was after an inspection I got out on the Saturday evening.

“I had to be back in for 23.59 [after the final]

“Would I have been football fit? Probably not. Would I have been military fit? Yes. Would I have been mountain fit? Yes. Was I weapons fit? Certainly. But was I football fit? Probably not.

“My biggest worry was I needed to get back to cadet school. What I do remember was the cadet class had to pay a price. We all had to get up early the next morning and go on a combat run, and I do remember a particular sergeant saying, ‘Not so good now, Ramsbottom are ya?’

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“In fairness to them all, they put me under their little wing, brought me along as best they could on that combat run, and they never left me behind. They were so kind and I don’t think we ever spoke about it. I never thought about that All-Ireland after that period of time.”

Sue Ramsbottom’s Laochra Gael episode will be shown next Thursday, 27 January at 9.30pm.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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