Martin Shovlin in action against Derry in the 1992 Ulster final
Donegal warrier, Martin Shovlin, has slammed rumours he has heard in the last year that he was 'afraid' to play in the All-Ireland final of 1992.
The Naomh Ultan man had to cry off the Donegal team on the Sunday morning of the All-Ireland final against Dublin after a freak accident at the final training session on the Thursday night before the final.
Now in an exclusive interview with Michael Daly which is carried in a special commemorative 180-page book published by the Donegal Democrat to mark the 25th annivesary of the win, Shovlin wants to clear his good name and says people who made the comments don't know very much about his character.
“Years later now, last year in fact, it was thrown to me that I was afraid to play. It wasn’t said to me directly, but to other people. It was said to one of my family, my sister. A few weeks ago I said it to one of the other players from 1992 and he said he had heard that claim too.
“People either don’t know much about football or don’t know me that well, but I found that very hard to accept that people would even think that - to be afraid to play in an All-Ireland final?
“It was thrown up to me once too by a club. I wouldn’t mind that from people who never won anything and never will, but the suggestion I was afraid really annoys me still.
“For all I know that suggestion could have been made in 1992, someone may have been thinking that for years and I hear about it in the last 12 months.
“I’m telling you this now, because I want people to know that it was untrue, if I had any chance of playing I would have been out there and anyone who knows me, knows that is the truth of the matter.”
The interview allows the Naomh Ultan player, who is still turning out for his club at the age of 56, the chance to put the record straight. It also charts the career of a Donegal player who always gave his all for the jersey and was named Ulster Player of the Year in 1990.
The story is one of a number of personal journeys which are included in the 180-page special publication, which is available in selected newagents around the county.
Among the other stories are interviews with team manager, Brian McEniff; the joys and the sorrows of being the first Donegal winning All-Ireland captain with Anthony Molloy; the personal story of Joyce McMullin dealing with the rumours of his brother, Gerry's 'death', on the day plus much, much more as well as extensive photographic coverage of the campaign and the homecoming.
The official launch of the special book (History Makers) will take place in the Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town tonight (Thursday, 10th) at 8 p.m. with special guests - Peter Quinn, President of the GAA in 1992 and who presented the Sam Maguire; captain Anthony Molloy and team manager, Brian McEniff as well as members of the 1992 winning team.
Admission is free and light refreshments will be served, so why not come along and honour the heroes of 1992 on the 25th anniversary of the victory.