The PwC GAA/GPA Footballer of the Year Andy Moran has spoken about the importance of his family in helping him leave defeats in the past as Mayo’s quest for an All-Ireland continues into 2018, writes Stephen Barry.
Moran is a six-time All-Ireland runner-up in his 14 years wearing the green and red, but plans to keep going back “until the body tells me to stop”.
In line with that thinking, he says winning Footballer of the Year is a symbol to the whole team that inter-county life doesn’t end at 30.
“It represents what our team stands for and shows that the guys who are 30, 31, 32, have a bit more life left in them as well,” said Moran in a PwC video following his journey to the All-Star awards, from MacHale Park and Ballaghaderreen, to the Convention Centre ceremony.
The video features tributes from friends and family, including his wife Jennifer, who said: “He’s a great father, he’s a great husband… he’s just a really good guy and we love him a lot.”
Mayo footballer Andy Moran with his wife Jennifer Moran upon arrival at the PwC All Stars 2017 at the Convention Centre last week. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Moran outlined how family have helped him cope with defeat during his 158 outings for Mayo.
“They’ve given me a sense of perspective on what’s important,” said Moran.
“Football probably meant a tiny bit too much to me at times – overthinking defeats, overthinking victories, stuff like that – where now I literally come home and by Monday evening it’s gone. It’s not even in the head anymore.
“It’s settled me down and given me a perspective on life more so than football.”
After all these years, it still means a lot, though. As one follower said to Moran: “The only time their family meets up is for Mayo games and funerals, so ‘it allows my family to… celebrate something good on a Sunday’.”
As for next year, playing on isn’t in doubt.
“Do I have an age in mind to retire? The answer to that would be no,” confirms Moran.
“If Stephen Rochford or somebody else wants me to go back playing for Mayo and it’s the right thing for me to do with my family I think I’ll keep going until the body tells me to stop.”