Ulster final: Big Anthony looking forward to leading Donegal out once more

Donegal to be honoured at Ulster final day in Clones on Sunday

Ulster final: Big Anthony looking forward to leading Donegal out once more

Anthony Molloy, who famously declared to the world that ‘Sam was for the Hills’ after leading Donegal an historic first All-Ireland in 1992, will lead Donegal out once again this weekend.

The 1992 All-Ireland winning captain will lead the ‘92 All-Ireland winning team out on St Tiernach’s hallowed sod on Sunday.

Donegal also won the Ulster championship in 1992 and the ‘92 team are being honoured by the Ulster Council as the 25th anniversary team at Sunday’s Ulster final meeting of Tyrone and Down in Clones.

“Ulster final day is a great day. It is one of two big days in the GAA calendar and is right up there with the All-Ireland final and it is great to be part of it again,” said big Anthony.

“We played in a good few of them and enjoyed good and bad days in Ulster finals. The atmosphere on Ulster final day in Clones is unbelievable and is hard to find words to describe it. But it is very special.

“I suppose of all the finals we played in and won the ‘92 final is one of the most memorable. We always say that our best performance over the whole campaign was in the final in Dublin.

“But our second half performance in the ‘92 Ulster final against Derry was as good a 35 minutes as that team ever put in.

“We were down a man, John Cunningham got sent off in the first half and we also lost Tony Boyle in the first half. Tony had to go off injured and it was backs to the wall in the second half. But the boys played out of their skin and we beat Derry by a couple of points.”

“‘92 was a great year, it is hard to believe it is 25 years ago. It has gone in a blink, we will be in trouble if the next 25 years go as quickly.

“I’m looking forward to Sunday and being part of the big day in Ulster football. It is nice to be remembered. I’m looking forward to meeting up with the boys again, we don’t meet often enough. The last time we were all together was in 2015.

“With the exception of Seamus Boar, who was a mentor and passed away a few years ago, everybody else involved, players and mentors, are all alive and kicking.

“The most of them, with the exception of Brian Murray, who lives in Kilcock and Tommy Ryan, who is living in England, are living in the county.

“Gary Walsh is living in Derry but that is as close as you can get to living in Donegal.

Sunday’s Ulster final is one of a number of big events that have been organised to honour the team of ‘92.

They will also be honoured in Croke Park on All-Ireland final day and like on Sunday next in Clones will be presented to the crowd.

They have already held a very successful golf classic in Ballybofey and Stranorlar Golf Club and the Donegal county board are also planning a special banquet to honour their historic achievement later in the year.

But this week the concentration of Big Anthony and the rest of the squad is on Sunday and the Ulster final and being presented to the crowd.

“Naturally, I’m looking forward to it and I am excited about leading the boys out again and being part of the whole occasion of Ulster final day.”

Anthony and the ‘92 squad have an early start on Sunday morning.

“We are meeting up at Magees in Donegal Town at 8 am. Magees are kitting us out for the day and we are very grateful to the company for that.

“It is fitting that Magees should be associated with the day because they were the team’s sponsors in ‘92 and will be forever associated with the team.

“We then travel to Clones for the games and we will be presented to the crowd at half-time in the senior game.

“After the game it will be on to Monaghan for a meal which is being laid on by the Ulster Council for the players and their wives and partners.

“Following the meal it will be back on the bus and back to Donegal Town on Sunday night.

“It promises to be a great day and I suppose the only disappointing thing about it is that we won’t have a team either senior or minor playing on the day.

“It’s a pity but who knows, by the time the All-Ireland comes around, the seniors may have made it. The way they have turned things around in the last couple of weeks, it is looking more of a possibility than after the Tyrone game.”