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Billy Joe Padden desperate for Westerners' success

By Staff Reporter

When Billy Joe Padden left his native Mayo some years ago and threw in his lot with Armagh, he hoped to enhance his playing career with the Orchard county.

But although he made numerous appearances when Paddy O'Rourke was in charge and was still in the squad when Paul Grimley took over, Padden was destined to take on an even more important role.

It is as a selector with Under-21 boss Steven McDonnell, who departed from his post earlier this week, that the popular Padden has made his mark in the Orchard county.

Yet while his heart rests very much in Armagh now - he is involved with the Carrickcruppen club in the south of the county - tomorrow will see him strongly focused on urging his native county against Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Padden (33) is a son of legendary Mayo star Willie Joe Padden who played for the county from 1977 until 1993.

"I have heard a lot of people talk about what my father did with Mayo but the All-Ireland title has always proved elusive," reflects Billy Joe.

"Obviously Armagh won the Sam Maguire Cup in 2002 and got great credit for that. Now I would just love to see Mayo get their hands on the 'big one' for the first time since 1951.

"I can't tell you what it would mean to the county after all the heartbreak that has been endured down through the decades."

Belfast Telegraph


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