An All-Star, a Connacht Senior Championship medal winner and an all-time Leitrim great, Seamus Quinn finally filled in the one gaping hole in his career when he won his first Leitrim Club Championship medal last Sunday in Ballinamore.
As incredible as it sounds given the many legendary displays that Quinn delivered down through the years, the Gortletteragh man was the only member of the starting 1994 never to have won a club championship medal but that statistic was put to bed last Saturday as Seamus came on as a late sub to finally get his hands on that elusive medal.
And the obvious sense of relief, of delight and pride was etched all over Seamus’s face as he talked to the Observer in the stands underneath the stand in Pairc Sheain Ui Eslin – “It is great to finally win a Championship medal.
“I’ve been playing since I was 16 and I never won one, I’m 39 now and to win a medal now is amazing. You start off when you are ten or 12 years of age and you play with your club, you grow up with your friends and that is where your friends are and to finally win a championship medal with your club, that is what it is all about.
“We were in a couple of Senior Finals and an Intermediate Final and losing them and it is very hard to keep coming back but there is a good bunch of lads there and I suppose you don’t want to stop playing football until you win something with your club and to finally win a club championship is a great feeling.”
Getting on the field was a thrill for a man who thrilled Croke Park as Seamus joked “They brought me on alright, they wouldn’t want to have been depending on a goal? Ah no, it was great to get on and there are lots of young fellows there , I didn’t want to be going on there taking some other fellows place.
“But the management team had a bit of a plan that if it was a tight game in the last couple of minutes, they’d throw me on. It nearly worked, I nearly got a goal but it is not about me, it is about the whole panel of players and mainly the club.”
Seamus admitted that he kept playing because he felt that a young Gortletteragh club were capable of achieving something this year – “I always knew this team was capable of doing something and I suppose I was still playing when they came on the scene and that’s why I stuck at it and thank God it paid off in the end.”
The relief at winning was palpable in the Gortletteragh dressing room and Seamus believes it could be the start of something great for the club – “The Club needed that because if we were beat here again today, the heads would be down and it would very, very hard to come back. It is great for the Club.
“For the last few years, we have been struggling. We’ve been getting to finals and losing finals and doubt gets into fellows heads. It is very hard to keep coming back and going home empty again. This year, we ended up in three finals which is very good and hopefully, this is the start.
“We won one today and hopefully, we can win the Minors and then there is the Juniors, Leitrim Gaels will be very strong but you don’t know, a final is a final and it is all on the day.”
As for his own future, Seamus was non-committal as he said “I will celebrate tonight and we’ll think about it, you have to call it time some day and I think my time is coming to an end.”