Can you guess what year this sensational Cavan v Kerry All-Ireland final is from?
The teams parade before the start of the All-Ireland final
The GAA has bred countless number of heroes. Every county, club and parish carry with them tales of players held in near mythical stature, who ruled the football and hurling worlds of yesteryear.
None more so than Jim Smith from Killinkere in Co Cavan. In a playing career that spanned from 1917 to 1938, Jim captained Cavan to their first senior All-Ireland title in 1933, and was also full-back on the 1935 All-Ireland winning team. He was also an accomplished hurler.
Tonight Killinkere GFC will host the book launch of Big Jim Smith, Man of Breifne, a biography of the great player, which has been written by his son Gearoid Mc Gabhann.
There's no doubt that Gaelic football was a very different animal during his playing days. Below is the unbelievable match report from a certain All-Ireland final replay between Cavan and Kerry – in which Jim Smith was the main talking point.
Find out why, and can you guess what year it's from?
Jim Smith captaining Cavan in 1933
[Anglo Celt front page features interview with Jim Smith from a Dublin hospital where he has been detained following savage injuries received in the first 10 minutes of Sunday’s All Ireland Final against Kerry.]
His 2 eyes are purple and closed lips broken and split a huge bump on the back of his head his nose split and broken and is unable to breath except through his mouth 5 successive brutal assaults in the first 10 minutes of the game. Jim says it was more like a boxing match than football with his injuries akin to that of British boxer Tommy Farr who was recently beaten by Joe Louis over 15 rounds. Outcry from all over the country at the brutal tactics that were allowed to go unchecked by loose refereeing.
The older Kerry players with the finger pointing firmly at their captain Miko Doyle initiated the tactics which resulted in 4 of Cavan’s stars being replaced. Kerry won the replay 4-4 to Cavan’s 1-7.
Meanwhile in Cootehill Patrick McCarren (72) was listening to the game but dropped dead when Jim Smith was carried from the pitch his last words were “that finishes Cavan”! Kerry brought great shame on the GAA by their abuse of one of Ireland’s greatest players who was allegedly singled out before the game by the Kerry back room staff.
Cavan were fast daring and skilful but Kerry played the game like it was 30 years ago and were downright dangerous in their attempts to curb the fast Cavan forwards. The loss of Jim Smith did not deter Cavan with Eugene Finnegan moving to full back and Tom Reilly Mullahoran coming on at right full back. No sooner had Tom taken his place on the field than he was assaulted this time by an encroaching Kerry spectator who had to be escorted from the pitch by a large body of policemen.
Kerry were very much in the ascendancy but they missed a bagful of chances with their only score coming from John Joe Landers in the 15th minute when he shot a brilliant goal but Magee 2 from frees and a typical opportunist point by Packy Devlin left Cavan smiling after playing against the wind into the Canal goal.
Half Time: Kerry 1-0 Cavan 0-3
Jim Smith fielding a ball in the drawn game
In the early stages of the second half Cavan were all over Kerry and went ahead with points from Devlin and Magee.Then a bad pass by one of the Cavan backs went to Miko Doyle who finished it to the net and the lead again for Kerry. But worse was to follow when Big Tom the Cavan captain was injured in the melee and had to be replaced. It was the beginning of the end for a brave Cavan team with 15 minutes left.
Kerry surged forward again and breached the Cavan defence but the goal was disallowed. Tim Landers had a point from a free and young Jimmy O Leary at corner forward had a great goal for Kerry. Cavan fought back again, and a James White shot for a goal which was saved by Dan O Keefe, only to be then bundled into the net by Blessing and Boylan for a Cavan goal. James White immediately added to Cavan’s total with a point from a free.
At this stage the Cavan casualties began to mount with MJ Magee and Dan Kerrigan retiring injured. Kerry sensed victory now and John Joe Landers had another great Kerry goal followed soon afterwards by a point from brother Tim. Cavan never gave up trying and the brilliant Vincent White kicked over a great point from 40 yards, and Keohane and Myers repulsed a further Cavan attack, before the referee blew the final whistle to end one of the greatest anti-climatic finals of all time.
Full time: Kerry 4-4 Cavan 1-7
The referee in his report to Central Council stated " I am sorry to say the game was very rough and difficult to handle." Tom O Donnell Kerry was the first to retire injured and was replaced by Tom O Connor. Next came Jim Smith of Cavan bleeding from the mouth and nose. I am unable to state how he sustained these injuries. He was replaced by Tom O Reilly who was later attacked and assaulted by a spectator the pitch was cleared after a period of 5 minutes with the assistance of police who were on duty within the ground.
Courtesy of cavancyms.com
For more information on the Big Jim Smith, Man of Breifne book launch, visit here.