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Tom Cribbin told a local journalist on April Fool's Day that Westmeath would reach Leinster final

Cribbin texted Westmeath Examiner journalist Gerry Buckley on 1 April with a sacred vow.

John Heslin and Denis Corroon celebrate Westmeath's famous win.
John Heslin and Denis Corroon celebrate Westmeath's famous win.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

WESTMEATH MANAGER TOM Cribbin made a bold prediction to a local newspaper journalist on 1 April.

In a text message sent to Gerry Buckley of the Westmeath Examiner, Cribbin vowed that the Lake County would go all the way to a Leinster final. 

At Croke Park on Sunday, Cribbin was true to his word as Westmeath came from ten points down to score a first ever senior championship victory over Meath.

At full-time, Buckley celebrated wildly in the Hogan Stand press box, leaping and jumping for joy.

Speaking to Midlands Radio 3 this morning, Buckley revealed the contents of the text message that he received from Cribbin on April Fool’s Day.

“On 1 April I got a text from Tom, and if you have a second, I’ll just read it out.

“I kept it until now. He asked me at the time to keep it to myself but I got his permission yesterday in all the ‘lepping’ and yahooing in the dressing room, and could I print it in the Examiner.

“This was sent to me of all days on 1 April and it reads as follows:

Gerry, I promise my target is to deliver your dream and it’s our main goal to beat Louth, Wexford and then Meath in Croke Park. You probably think I’m mad but if I don’t achieve this, I feel I will have underachieved and I don’t stay where I’m not making progress and delivering on my full potential. I know how passionate you are and how much it hurts you when we underperform. Tom.

I’m getting a bit emotional here, it’s great to read that, you know?”

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Buckley admitted that, yes, he did think Cribbin was mad when he suggested that Westmeath could win three games to reach a Leinster final.

“I have to be honest. One of the lines he said ‘you probably think I’m mad’ and I did.

“I said ‘Tom’s lost the plot here’ but there’s only one mad here and that’s the man lepping up in the air. Tom did deliver and it’s just wonderful.”

Tom Cribbin at the end of the game Tom Cribbin promised Gerry Buckley in a text message that Westmeath would reach a Leinster final. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Buckley is now aware of the picture of his celebration that swept through social media last night.

“There’s a photograph gone viral, I think is the term.

“I’m two months short of my 59th birthday but I’m fitter than I thought I was. I got a good deal up in the air with joy!

“It’s something I dreamed about. I was in Croke Park 50 years ago, first of four-in-a-row defeats by Meath and have been there for the defeats right up until 2009.

“It was something I dreamed out – the way we won it in addition to anything else was just fantastic.”

You can listen to Gerry’s full radio interview here.

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