John Lynch – unlikely Armagh fan
This week, the biggest rivalry in Ulster opens a new chapter, as Tyrone visit the Morgan Athletic Grounds to play Armagh.
In the past 20 years, this rivalry has grown to become one of the biggest clashes not only in Ulster but in all of Ireland. No wonder then that it will be the first game in Ulster Championship 2012 to be screened live on television. In the run up to the match, much has been made about the animosity that has existed and still exists between the two teams.
Yet former Red Hand defender John Lynch will be a most unusual fan on Sunday as he revealed he is in fact an Armagh fan, and has been ever since he attended the 1977 All-Ireland final which Armagh lost to Dublin.
This week he explained the roots of his admiration for the Orchard county, but also why he fears that this rivalry, which is crucially important for the future of Ulster football, may be on the wane.
RS: When you started off playing, what was your opinion of Armagh and Tyrone games?
JL: Where I lived it wasn’t a big deal to me, as opposed to those boys who lived around the Moy. I remember when I started and I gathered what the lads thought of Armagh, it was the same feeling that I would have had of Donegal. But for me it was never a big deal. It was just another game as far as I was concerned.
I was a fan of Armagh because they had been pushing away in the 70s and had been making in-roads into Championships, and got to the All-Ireland final in ‘77. It hasn’t changed, I would always have admired Armagh.
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published Thursday June 7. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent or, for only 90p, purchase the online edition by clicking here