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It's late summer of 2015, while the sporting focus is on Croke Park and the last Sunday in September, ironmonger pitch in the Meadowlands. With a man who hasn't kicked a football in a long time. When was the last time you kicked about, oh, 15, 20 in the 15 year of. Roughly about here's where I was, have you ever wondered what it must be like to score the winning goal in an All Ireland final as I look in, the goal is to my right and about 28 times out of control.
That's what it was.
It's a dream moment for any athlete like the. I was like that. I was coming in. I'm with a man who did just that.
Latrelle circling around a high. So I got the ball on a turn and I called his and his wife, I left and went for the phone call to him, his job, he has got it. He's got to go. Abu Abu Hamza was a very special girl. It turned the gay world on its head to be comfortable for me. It was a gold that made champions. There are police, spectators and young children on the field on one corner.
Shamis, Darby scored the winning goal in the 1982 All Ireland final, which put an end to Kerry's attempt to win a historic five in a row over the last 33 years, Seamus has rarely given interviews, but now he's ready to tell his story, not just of his Ireland glory, but had that one kick and one goal impacted on the rest of his life. For the people of Kerry, that goal lingers long in the memory. What do you think of when you hear the name Seamus Darby Bonaparte by taking more?
Well, I think of Stanley inside the canal and in the pouring rain and losing five in a row.
The countries carry witness for the fifth time. Oh, yes, yes, yes. And we're all doctors. There were five in a row.
And I when you put it into the back of the neck, we were absolutely astounded. What do you think of when you hear the name Seamus Darby? Yes, it was our nemesis. Was he he disappointed letter fans. That's all I can say. He he cheered the fans. All right. How are you looking for the man himself these days?
Shamis lives in Timisoara in Tipperary, Maryland, Zabar, 40 years known as the Greyhound.
My own name is over the door as well, as you can see. So I didn't intend to be here as long as I am.
You know, his journey to all Ireland glory began across the county Bardens in Ofili. I was born and raised in 1951 as the eldest of eight kids, the mother of all ages, and I suppose I was always very, very interested in football. But this was the first time I played and I was under 14. And I can tell you think it was against Dannion and Dannion. And I suppose all along also my life, my my ambition was to play for them, to play for free if I was good enough.
And in time, I suppose both of them came around and I got my chance. For many people in rural Ireland, back then, life wasn't easy. I went to school and I enjoyed it and all that I'd work on and some. I suppose that time things are harder. I was the eldest of eight and with a big family and who were people who were family and my mother or father would have struggled small with no regard. And we brought her on for days and called her.
And I would have opened fire the time I was about nine or 10 every summer on the summer holidays and tin and beans and bringing in hay and seven and a half and all. That's how I always been the eldest. It was I wouldn't have I kind of needed to do a bit of work to get money coming in. I dreamed about where the all for Jersey and my father would be. I would have been a very big man and big you know, he rode bikes and my grandfather and the person where he would if they were to ride bikes to Paulista off the plane and carried on things like that.
And my mother actually had to travel to buy me a pair of football boots, which were my first pair of football. But that's what she did. The repair of black tar balls that were hanging at a hardware shop in Adrian holds hanging over the ceiling and those unable to bear on this was the only one that was near and near my feet as well. So she got them hooked on the never, never left where people lived at that time. And that was my first pair of football boots.
One man who had Schamus realize his dreams was one of those unsung heroes of the year, the local club secretary.
I would have been Damadola from a very young age, a man called Tamarrod, which is secretariat of which he ran the show. And he was brilliant. And he never took a drink around and he just lived for old football and he beat every a minute. I could still see a blue really etr one on three and he could have 10 in the you and on the violence and the role of the on the road and on the jerseys. And he'd, you know, just, he just was a great lover and he would be very good to me and very good to all of us because he would bring anywhere and he drive and he come down the connection, you know, and I was about 40 or 50 and I was playing senior role in tournaments and leagues want to be still, you know, the lads couldn't go and they'd be down for me.
And he cause grief for Daddy because we'd be always doing something. Did you know that he had a friend you worked lined up for some pharmacopoeia and then it would be, you know, get away. Mostly I nearly all get away already. Let me go on the protest. What would he say to you? I didn't. He'd be drawn to be given overcall. I'm all for when you see him. The parent with the car, you know.
1982 wasn't the first time Schamus Darby had been to Croke Park. He was part of the all Ireland winning off teams of the 1970s. Seamus is showing me his collection of medals, 82, laying them out one by one and two, he's proud of his achievements.
We instrumental. On the twenty one instrument and forward and see. No small tally for a player who didn't come from one of the big teams, which one makes you feel proud and proud of an already 71, 79, 72, as well as really the first lady to actually put us through all of memories, you know, all of the all of the players there. And we heard, you know, her name. Whatever about his own memories in the minds of most people, it's the dream goal that Seamus is best remembered for.
It wasn't a real surprise that a small county like Ophélie made it to the 82 final, they had tested success in both hurling and football over the previous 10 years.
You've got to remember that in the 70s, two teams stood apparently to carry a dog. And really, in a way, they were miles ahead of most countries.
Richie Conner, captain roughly in the final of 82, does not have given out. No, wait a minute about that. The other series is down to just a handful of teams, but it's even worse that time. Like I remember going to semi-finals, I don't know if I was in the mid 70s and. There was no hope. Nearly four wanted him. You know, Carrie was just going to win or just going to win and everybody knew it.
And there were even small crowds of some of those semifinals for that reason.
And so when we were one against her, if we could beat Dublin, well, that just opened up the floodgates and our own mindset in the build up to that final while we were the underdogs, they didn't underestimate themselves.
We had to feel that we could take them. Obviously, it wouldn't have happened. You know, their daughter was a strong belief in the team, but there was huge respect for Carrie. But there was a nice confidence.
And after that, we felt we would see what most people don't realize after we were in the final year before Carrie beat me before and even before that. Again, Carrie. But you don't see anyone for 15. For 10.
Seamus wasn't sure if he'd have any part to play on the pitch that day. He would start the game on the subs bench. So all eyes were on other players with the focus firmly on Carrie, who are attempting to make history by winning five all Irelands in a row, a feat that to this day has not been achieved.
I was extremely confident because every high level and I played in Obsidian, I had won, so I hadn't experienced a defeat yet.
I thought I was going to go on forever on the bummer list and play it in the forward line for the kingdom. There was a good confidence in the team we had in 1981. We had gone on a whirlwind trip to Hawaii, San Francisco, all around the world and really united the team. And there was a great bond going into that island. And finally there was a lot of pressure, a lot of people talking about the five zero five zero five Nahrawan make.
While never mentioned it. Would I have tried to just treat it as just another game and but it was in the back of our heads, I have no doubt about it. And that extra pressure detail, I think a bit under the outside of our body, like nobody gave us a chance because this was the greatest team of all time. Records have shown that.
I don't think anybody is quick to note that Ziggy Miggy, the Offaly team manager.
I would say that it is only a matter of, you know, how much would Kerry win by? You know, there was no he didn't come into the public. Rigney At all the hardly ever community got very little publicity in the papers are into that, and they just they were the ones that were going to be there to create history. That was that was the outsiders perception of awfully. Schamus remembers the excitement that swept over Offaly in September of 82 people who generally just on a serious high, you know, Boynton's and music and.
And and everybody, of course, was going to croppa, you know, it was just a fantastic time in the company, you know? The Kerry team was full of big names from John Egan to Podio, share the plans and of course, owned the bomber, Leston.
But Seamus and his teammates were not fazed by the occasion at all.
We were very confident, genuinely very confident, not saying that, not because it's all over and done with. But we were very confident. I mean, we had a meeting the night before and Tullamore and I'll tell you, if there was if it was a football introduced in the dressing room, maybe someone whose lives were up to rewound the last. And it was just it was very tense. Eugene McGee went down to the team and we're down to our team.
And he he was absolutely spot on and everything he said. But he really finished up in and seriously, I know it was only a question that night.
We were instilling confidence for the last time in the players, you know, that go home happy that they wouldn't go home, turning into the bed, wondering, oh, jeez, we just want to go with it. No vote.
You know, that would actually have the self belief that slides walked over and including myself on on air, you know, high as a kite.
You know, for all the players the night before, a big game can be particularly unnerving. I wasn't really nervous. I was banged up and I was living in Derry, as I told you where to shop at the time. And he know my wife was pregnant and I came home from the meeting and I would be a guy that would be used to having a couple of points. I always kind of try to keep it, you know, as near to, you know, normal life as you can, because if you start going to bed at seven o'clock and even realize that that's, you know, if you're not used to doing it, it's you have to keep your life as near to.
So I was living next door to my car, was pulling in there and I Nachmanoff couldn't run there. I didn't want to really I didn't want to drink, but I just needed something to cool me down or calm me down. So I rang my brother in law, which lived at the other end of the town, and Kevin Farrell, mercenaries that are gone. And I just said to him, I've ended up there to drink. And he said, I have a bottle of brandy.
And he said, I've nothing to put in it. And I said, all right, I got something for them and we'll have on base and so wound up myself and my wife and we had a couple of brandies and I come home and sleep like a baby. Good luck the next morning after the tram and animation team spirit was strong in the tight knit group. The youngest player from Philly that day was Pakhtun. It was a good feeling around, you know, it was it was very good leaders who would have made sure that everyone was OK, you know, Dasha Laureys and the richer countries and American Furlong's and these lads probably took it on themselves to make sure that, you know, Navroz wasn't going to come into that.
You know, this was a job to be done. You know, we were doing the job from the time we got up in the morning, not just gone on to Croke Park.
And also I remember Eugene McGee said to Sean Farr, who just he was selected, who just died recently. Sean was a great man. You sent him over to me, actually, because I was the youngest on the team to see. Was irh was I nervous, you know, but it was I was necessary to Shanghais. Yes, I'm nervous. This is my first time at the train at all.
So it's a measure of how times have changed. The All Ireland finalist took a stroll around Dublin on the morning of the game, but we went to remember going for a walk around. It was green there in Fitzwilliam Square. We went all the way to the Blazers and that, you know, we were a team, you know, and I never forget. It was a Tyrone Copeland elderly couple sitting on the bench. Lovely, fine smile. This man, he hopped up anyway.
And, you know, what were we, a team? And Dick Cheney, Larry, you were off. We were playing the to in the final. So he said, look at another one. He just 31 Khamees Biagi. So I said to the business as if they didn't need reminding. There was no doubting Offaly status as the underdogs on the day of the match.
And let's play a little game. And, you know, it's hard to believe we even know today from the north, south, east and the west because they were on second we to go in through the crowd and the whole grandstand side of corporate. The music was blaring. The five year old who believe we've five more our people selling our scarves, five, nine. I just have to little face to face with this woman said it and she says, buy a scarf.
So, you know, the A she was trying to sell me a five year old scarf and not your five year old. It's hard to believe we went away.
Oh, that was a motivation. You know, I just want to mention the fact that the papers are they can carry someone's favourites was all ahead. And we would have seen it as a huge help in the late. After weeks of buildup, a huge expectation in 1982, all Ireland football failure was not a classic. The Moscona, the first to get it for. This is it done for Ifni, it rained Shamis was on the subs bench from the first half was a torrid affair.
It wasn't until the two minutes to go, but the manager, Eugene McGee, made a decision that will turn the game. It's a famous substitution, but I mean, the reason I went to the Derby is just the selectors were two to four and two for the other guy, about 10 minutes left in the game. So there wasn't much time for taking. So I said, it's Derby because I just had a big idea. I'd seen him a few times scoring those goals.
I said, he's the most 80 year old seven game. Go left in the game, there was a free given for some reason, and they had the ball and I remember just throwing the ball back under my legs, trying to delay a busy time frame for the opening about the two minutes left in the game, calculated by two points.
To bubble and roll the ball back on his legs, to waste their time and the referee brought up to the fray a little bit, Paphos Gerald took to free. He actually kicked Schadt feet to me. I was I was committers him about 20 yards away and he gave it to me. I offloaded Talim. Come back, I saw a kind of fall back to. He just swung in this bar, you know, and it just seem to be hanging in there forever.
I love being dropping by extension. I was caught behind it all and how many seats that Sri Lankan. Nothing, so I knew this, if I just might catch the ball of my and the hounds watching the garden of. My big thing was there to catch the ball, which we had to get, I couldn't have a Formula One on with bills and all he did was teach it how he was going to cut the ball. And I just want to.
I knew what I was going to do for the entire. So that was the goal that made champions. It was his only touch of the ball, but what a touch it was the most famous goal in gay history. And marking him that day was Tommy Doyle, we tried ferociously, hard to even try and get a draw, but it just wasn't to be. And you just remember when Darby got the ball, what was it like I used to go, no, no, no.
Look, I remember when James took the ball, if there was ever a ruler, I will never forget. Was that one you talking about? Roars of the crowd when you go on the park? That was something that we did rattlers or shocked us. And I think we were all in a state of shock, myself included. Although fierce adversaries on the pitch, like many Geia rivals, Seamus and Tommy, would go on to become good friends.
At the end of the game, as Croke Park erupted in celebration, schamus his thoughts were elsewhere when the final whistle, once the people are tired of us, people like Tom Ward and I told you about earlier on the mother of five extended family and friends, people that I was lucky enough to represent people of artfully and generally mission accomplished and very proud. Absolutely. It's great for me. I just wish was what happened this year and a half after he got into the three and that's pulling out the dragon aliens and touching everybody mean and very well.
I want to just be part of a very important day and we have one another. And since we're not maybe looking very good around, you know, for a lot of these people, it's probably the only one that's. Can that be part of this historic day which was installed there because Kerry, the winner, got five year old? No one has ever done since well before, and rumors that he was stopped before he started. Kerry fans were shocked.
I started to cry, I started crying because all my friends had left Croke Park before the game was over, thinking that we had five Narau for Philly fans.
It was a dream come true in front of the whole grandstand with Mrs. Matthews mother and the other son, Tom, from the South America at Match and Spillane ran goal, went in to go after short rolls, dropping the ball through the stand and we didn't realize what it was.
Fifty dollars in the pocket and he never really sought after.
In the aftermath of the game, Schamus found himself suddenly thrust into the limelight with the great mcdonnel, underscoring that most crucial goal of 1982 is right here to show us what a magnificent year it's been. And so it has been the best year ever given to. And what about the goal? And when the ball was coming in from the encounter, did you anticipate you were going to get it, first of all? Well, I kind of thought I might be a bit bit out of our own world.
You know, I moved in behind looking after me. You just let slip over his hand and I caught him at that stage. I have a moment. Open up. I got the ball. I was having to go through it all looking look and go for a goal. You did? I did look no more today when I hit the nail on the head. Well, you're very anxious sitting on the sideline there. I was I really desperate to get out of sitting on the line, you know, and I mean anything with ten minutes to go and then four points down, I had my mind fully bent.
And if I got a chance, I was going for going. Thanks, but it just turned over. And I just that has been the best year I've ever had. And I was just leaving at the story Seamus would tell many times in the years ahead. Not only did the goal affect the people of carrying athletes, but the scoring of that goal has had a lasting influence on Seamus. One of the features of an all Ireland win is the celebrations, and the athlete in 32 was no different.
Look at the celebrations on the little the churches were not really. You know, it was cold out, he was going mad because, as I said, it was a fantastic era in football and football and. You know as well as that time, people were fairly there was money wasn't as big a problem as it is today, and generally people just really just let themselves go and enjoyed it.
And the team were joining supporters for the celebrations on the night of the match, the Ambassador Hotel, which was outside this, that's where the Post match function was. And when we got down there, the place was absolutely they've got an agenda after his supporters were after there, you know, and. There was some sort of the that was up. We were all sober, as you know a lot, about not no drink taken or not, and we're going in as a team to an absolute catamount of people that were drunk and Warford Farmand were being hoisted and thrown around the place.
And then when we did get a chance to settle down, there was no draft beer at all to be drunk. So there was a large bottles of the less common types of drink, like large bottles, a half an exit. Instead, the large parts of Guinness regarded it as crazy. Absolutely crazy. Oh, no, I really enjoyed it.
I drank plenty and friends and went here and there and everywhere. And I drank plenty of brandy and me handsome and. Well, you know, you can you can understand in my situation, I'd been out six years never thinking this is ever going to happen again. When it happened in the 70s, I was only a young lad and people wouldn't have recognized me, no one. And I wasn't part of the big you know, people wanted to see Tony McTeague and Paddy McCallum or Willie Brian and all the household names.
I know. Certainly this is still different for me. I'm I'm one of the ones that's, you know. Been hanging around and so I enjoyed it and I celebrated it on the December celebrations, gone from the fridge, if the wrong leads me to this day, it can still go on the team.
Celebrations carried on as Offaly goalkeeper Martin Furlong remembers.
It was fairly hectic everywhere you went, you know, you go around to different jobs. It's always there had lads on the team like you were here. You were in Tullamore on the Monday night. You were in for mine and the Jordanians were in jail on the Wednesday night and tell you off, for God's sakes, you nearly died after many days with they took away what was going on for Christmas. So that's going on through Christmas. But it was only really a Christmas.
Then it started to sink in that I'd actually won it.
You know, when you started to sober up, another team met Jerry Carroll remembers the celebration culture of the time we were on cloud nine back then.
It was like being in heaven. It was just amazing because I don't think we can down off it for about six months, some of us even longer. It was great. It was like everywhere you went, it was just felt of a hero. Thought it was a lot of, again, a strike.
So many gay players until relatively recently were unprepared for the fame that accompanied all Ireland success. Life becomes more difficult. And when everyone wants to be your friend, you never have to put your hand in your pocket for a drink. And Seamus admits it took its toll.
I probably stayed out at night drinking and celebrating then when I should have been probably at home with my wife and kids and stuff like that, you know, and but having said that, that was it.
And that was what I did. And there's nothing I can do about that. I, I just I'm just glad that I don't really know. Don't get me wrong. I do. I like a few points. No one likes viewpoints more to me. And I guess you'll find some level of income. But I'm and I enjoy them. And as long as I am enjoying them and I can afford them, I don't have them.
But it's not it's not my priority I can live without and. You know, do something have to do with that you to know more about? Team manager Eugene McGee feels the pressure of being the score of that famous goal meant Seamus had extra attention on him yesterday. His job became, you know, trades commodity like he was for a year or two here, there and everywhere, you know, all over the country.
When the dust finally settled and players got back to normal, things took an unfortunate turn for Seamus and his business and personal life. I opened the shop on my own by doing. I stole from my wife and.
Trae Young Kids and Will Cards and medical Google buttons were going very well and then suddenly and things fell asunder, eat their yogurt costs wiped out, really does a lot of employment group textiles, which was about 400 people. They closed up and all that good money and combined engineering had about 60 or 70 day run. Good money did closed and shoe factory. Ledbury had that stage about 150 a day. They went. So it all kind of fell asunder.
And I was fairly heavily borrowed and I thought I went so I to go back on the road then as a rep and. And I did that for six or seven year. But the in is Can Tipperary, which was. Very big disaster, a very serious mistake, and I lost everything. It was a lovely little pop and it came on the market and bought the place and I put my place to sleep during which I paid for what collateral and which would have been worth a lot of money.
And I had it paid for and I lost it. And I lost power as a kid and I noticed anything I had. You didn't just couldn't do this. In the end, Shamis admits he lost everything, his shop, his business and his marriage. So I wound up in that I had to go to it was an awful feeling. And I remember walking off the field in 1982 and I don't know who the man was. Put his arm around me, said, as you'll never see a and here I am seven years later, having for board with us with 50 quid in my pocket to get a of mine, you know.
So that's that's the way it goes. The pub trade came to Shamis Rescue in England, you know, when you take over alcohol and it's a carnival and what they call a holding company and the fellas get pulled over for nothin and put in managers into them, and you're supposed to clean it all up and get it up and running and make money for it. And, you know, I mean, in an era of liberal, really, you know, I would hope that you wouldn't you wouldn't put a dog like that sleeping, would you have to, you know?
And it was nice. And I often I often get out of bed and cried myself, you know, taking photos were taken from him, you know, and he I would not image until I got through it and got back on my feet kind of and fairly well. And come back here. Your man Seamus would spend 12 years in London, the lonely streets of East, an elephant and castle, a poor substitute for the green fields of Road and Eden Derry.
Oh, that's said it's August 2015, I've been invited to a golfing outing, it's an opportunity for the 1982 team to get together more than 30 years after that famous goal, the glory days of Africa have faded. The big sports name from these parts. Now it's the golfer Shane Lowry, whose Uncle Sean played in 82.
So honored to be given the game here today.
And the golf is being played at Shen's home course of Asgar Hills near Tullamore Julatten from distance Jerry Carolyn Martin.
And then we're going back in the next week or so, a chance to meet up with them again before they go back. So would you please meet up after the lights are in the stands with the rest of the Friedrichstrasse that's here and wouldn't be fair. Yeah, chance that very close, you know, and you know, they're not here. Was there a long, long and good day? It's going to be around.
Oh, when I talk to the lads on the team, it's obvious the fondness they all have for Seamus stuff and Seamus go back.
So far, you know, that's Team Sean, Larry. He was always a brilliant Coruna forward. I was pretty mad to get a score. You could depend on him all the time. I mean, for road and for outfly all his life. He was absolutely brilliant. You have all the time on your team, you know, all as he is.
He was always about who was likely to do what he'd done, you know, but people have this perception of Seamus that is, you know, this raving lunatic genocide party. You want to hear Seamus, you hear everyone laughing, which but Seamus isn't you know, he's not in your face, but he is you know, he's one of the best people to be his real honest guy, loves fun, loves, uh, a few drinks, loves meeting with the lads.
You know, that's very important to him that, you know, he'd be always chairmans would always be there just because he doesn't say no to money parties, you know. So if someone says jealous, would you come here, present medals or would you do this? It also seems to be there. Know, it's just good guy.
Yeah, he's he's he's a fella I'd love to be in his company all day. I'd like, you know, a good man to tell us that he argues and sing a song. And he has he has a great personality. Yeah. It's it's it's fun to be with. No, I tell you, you wouldn't want to leave. No, you wouldn't want to leave. And with that sort of that's all he tells it in the most simple way.
Like, you know, he's gone. We're gone. I tell them, I mean, I might go tell the story or something. So I'd make a habit of it, like, you know, it just rolls from your mind. You should diminish anything. You got to show it to be. Yeah, brilliant. Brilliant. Yeah.
It was brilliant for the to carry team. It took time for the wounds to heal. As the Bomber Listin explains, it was months old playing golf with me quite a while and he'd be overreported next thing he'd stop. He said, what what were you doing with that ball that time? How did Lee McConnell get the ball that led to the firing or the goal? She would be and I'd say make it back. And he just put and put it was still bothering him three or four months later as just you get flashbacks, but, you know, you just eventually get on with it.
If it is just as well we didn't win it, you know, it would have definitely a lot of us I'd say it would be getting treatment for alcoholism and a lot of other things if we had one, too. But look, I look back at that and see that our family team and the fantastic players that they had would look familiar to them and take our hats off to them. There's no no bad feelings whatsoever towards losing that that final or whether teammates are rivals.
There's a lasting bond between gay players who've experienced the highs and lows of sport. It seems to last long after careers have ended. Once such friendship is with Tommy Doyle, who marched Seamus on that famous Sunday, Seamus made several great friends. I mean, I don't know why I don't get where all this caper is that we wouldn't be friends. I'd be a friendship friendly with Seamus, that I would reject any of these lads shows the great character, a great GM, and we'd meet up quite a bit.
Unfortunately, we also meet at funerals and things like that. I think James and the gang of the lads who don't my nephew's funeral that about two years ago he dropped dead girl was playing a match behind at home, the only 28, and he had a brain hemorrhage and he died. But there were the first lads down every you know, all those years down the road painted on a skull that they were laying under assault and they were playing in his house.
Nothing but good guys. Good guys. These days, where the gold holds a special place in his heart, he feels it's not the most important thing in his life. Well, the most important thing to everybody is your health. Finally, I remarked, you know, I've had health problems in the last couple of months, all right. I had bad times before, but this could be the start of the worst of them, you know? I mean, could be the start of the end.
You know, that's kind of a bit negative and not not as bad as that. Norelli that was that. I don't I don't normally think like that, but. I just want to know when a doctor sits on the desk in your dealer and he tells you straight out that you have, you know, we can deal with this away that were you know, it's one word of it is frightening. I have prostate cancer and I know the operation to.
Six weeks ago and. It's going good. Slow, but it's good it's going on the runway. Do you regret scoring that goal? Absolutely not. No. No, I do not know. We're taking another go try one more song. That's right. I can't keep it up. If she was on it, it would fall off the top there. No excuse. You do miss it, you know, you don't lose losing. The repairs, who had great times and very lucky to be around.
The other factor, and I still miss the. It was a great day for football. I'll play one 115, Kerry, 17 points, but, you know, when they come to look back on this game, above all, they look at the goal that made champions.