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Even the great Fogarty protected Kerry's trade secret

By Declan Bogue

Picture the scene. A wet midweek night in Tyrone. February 2013. Cars snake their way up and down what was the old motorway through rural Tyrone. The rain is picked out by car headlights that seem to be on all day long.

They are making their way to that old GAA hangout, Quinn's Corner, several mile from the Ballygawley roundabout.

There, no less than Weeshie Fogarty will be hosting a northern launch of his autobiography, 'My Beautiful Obsession', a journey through one Kerryman's utter devotion to the science and craft of Kerry football.

For decades now, Weeshie has been the voice of Radio Kerry's unmissable 'Terrace Talk' programme, the virtual front room or snug where the goings on of football in the Kingdom are parsed and analysed. He speaks from experience, having been a Kerry goalkeeper himself.

His working life was 38 years spent in the gothic splendour of St Finan's psychiatric unit, overlooking Fitzgerald Stadium. It is the home of Kerry football and was built by patients of the hospital under the supervision of the Dr Crokes club in an incredible example of occupational therapy.

Maybe I will get round to telling more on that story soon.

In a county full of Gaelic football professors, Fogarty walks through the Halls like a University Don, retained and relied upon for points of reference on historical matters.

However, when he found himself in Tyrone that night, an audience had questions for him. Kerry had lost their first league match to Mayo, failing to land a single score in the second half. The next time out, they got a hosing from Dublin.

The people of Tyrone asked Weeshie what the problem was. They were genuinely mystified. They even felt sorry for Kerry.

That evening, Weeshie played along and painted a desolate future in the Kingdom. A wasteland of underage, trophy cupboards going mouldy for lack of use. Paul Galvin would retire, Tomás ÓSé would retire and nothing was coming behind them. Nothing.

Kerry are the 2014 All-Ireland football champions at senior and minors. Cute boys.

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