All-Ireland Senior Football Championship
|All-Ireland Senior Football Championship|
|Current season or competition:
2013 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship
Green and Sam
|Trophy||Sam Maguire Cup|
|No. of teams||34|
|Title holders||Donegal (2nd title)|
|TV partner(s)||RTÉ, TV3,
BBC, Setanta Sports
|Motto||"Nothing beats being there"|
The All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, the premier competition in Gaelic football, is an annual series of games usually played in Ireland during the summer and early autumn, and organised by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Contested by the top inter-county football teams in Ireland, the tournament has taken place every year since 1887—except in 1888, when the competition was not played due to a tour of the United States by would-be competitors.
The All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final is played on the third or fourth Sunday in September at Croke Park in Dublin, with the winning team receiving the Sam Maguire Cup. Kerry are the most successful football team in the history of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship.
Donegal are the reigning champions, having comprehensively defeated Mayo in the 2012 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final.
Current format 
The county is a geographical region in Ireland, and each of the thirty-two counties in Ireland organises its own GAA affairs through a County Board. The county teams play in their respective Provincial Championships in Munster, Leinster, Connacht (including London and New York), and Ulster. The Provincial Championships operate through a knock-out cup competition format without seeds. It takes place during the months of May, June and July. The winners of each of the four Provincial Championships earn one of eight places in the All-Ireland Series, which takes place in the months of August and September.
Each match is played as a single leg. If a match is drawn there is a replay. If that match ends in a draw a period of extra time is played, however, if both sides are still level at the end of extra time another replay will take place.
The twenty-eight teams that fail to win their respective Provincial Championships receive a second opportunity to reach the All-Ireland Series via the All Ireland Qualifiers (also known as the 'back door'). The qualifiers series takes place in the months of June and July and operates as follows:
- Round 1 : All teams that fail to reach the semi-finals of their respective Provincial Championships (16 in total) compete in round one. An open draw system is used to divide the teams into eight individual match-ups. The winning eight teams progress to Round 2, while the losing eight teams are eliminated from the All Ireland Championship.
- Round 2 : Each of the eight winning teams of Round 1 are drawn against the eight losing teams from the semi-finals of the four Provincial Championships. The winning eight teams progress to Round 3, while the losing eight teams are eliminated from the All Ireland Championship.
- Round 3 : The eight winning teams from Round 2 are divided into four individual match-ups. An open draw is made to determine the four pairings. The winning four teams progress to Round 4, while the losing four teams are eliminated from the All Ireland Championship.
- Round 4 : Each of the four winning teams of Round 3 are drawn against the four losing teams from the finals of the four Provincial Championships. The winning four teams proceed to the All-Ireland Series, joining the four Provincial Champions, while the losing four teams are eliminated from the All Ireland Championship.
- The All-Ireland Series – All-Ireland Quarter Finals : The four Provincial Champions are drawn against the winning four teams from Round 4 of the All-Ireland Qualifiers. The four winning teams qualify for the All-Ireland Semi-Finals.
- The All-Ireland Series – All-Ireland Semi Finals : The winning four teams from the All-Ireland Quarter Finals play-off. The two winning teams qualify for the All-Ireland Final.
- The All-Ireland Series – All-Ireland Final : The two remaining teams meet in the All-Ireland Final, usually on the third Sunday in September. The winning team is crowned All-Ireland Champions.
Historic format 
For the first All-Ireland championship in 1887, the competition was played on an open draw knockout basis. From 1888, the provincial system was introduced, whereby the counties in each of Ireland's four provinces would play each other on a knockout basis to find provincial champions. These four champions would meet in the All-Ireland semi-finals. The structure outlined above was adopted in 2001 to allow more games to be played, but still retain provincial championships and the knockout structure, resulting in every game continuing to be a meaningful fixture, with no dead-rubber league format matches being played out.
The final game of the inter-county series is the All-Ireland Final which takes place on the third Sunday of September at Croke Park.
Over the four Sundays of September, All-Ireland Finals in men's football, women's football, hurling and camogie take place in Croke Park, the national stadium of the GAA, with the men's decider regularly attracting crowds of over 80,000. Guests who attend include the President of Ireland, the Taoiseach and leading dignitaries.
Two levels of the game are played at each All-Ireland, the Senior team and the Minor team (consisting of younger players, under the age of 18, who have played their own Minor All-Ireland competition).
The winning senior county football team receives the Sam Maguire Cup. The most successful county in the history of football is Kerry, with 36 All-Ireland wins, followed by Dublin, with 23 wins. The current champions are Donegal.
List of Finals 
The following table sets out the winning team and beaten finalist of each All-Ireland Senior Football Championship final. The vast majority of finals were contested by the winning semi-finalists, although in certain cases in the early years a provincial championship had not been completed in time and the affected province nominated a team to participate in the All-Ireland semi-final. In some of these cases, the nominated team (e.g. Dublin in 1905) won its semi-final, but was then vanquished in their provincial championship, and their place in the All-Ireland final taken by another team from that province.
|Final won after Replay, rows have light-purple background|
|Final not played, rows have pink background|
|Year||Date||Venue||Attendance||Winner||Score||Runner-up||Score||Winning Margin (Points)|
|1887||29 April 1888||Clonskeagh||7,000||Limerick||1–4||Louth||0–3||4|
|1888||Championship unfinished - the GAA committee and players travelled to the USA to promote the game abroad|
|1890||26 June 1892||Clonturk||1,000||Cork||2–4||Wexford||0–1||9|
|1891||28 February 1892||Clonturk||2,000||Dublin||2–1||Cork||1–1||3|
|1892||26 March 1893||Clonturk||5,000||Dublin||1–4||Kerry||0–3||4|
|1893||24 June 1894||Phoenix Park||1,000||Wexford||1–1||Cork||0–1||3|
|1894||21 April 1894||Thurles||10,000||Dublin||0–5||Cork||1–2||0|
|1895||15 March 1896||Jones' Road||8,000||Tipperary||0–4||Meath||0–3||1|
|1896||6 February 1898||Jones' Road||3,500||Limerick||1–5||Dublin||0–7||1|
|1897||5 February 1899||Jones' Road||4,000||Dublin||2–6||Cork||0–2||10|
|1898||8 April 1900||Tipperary||1,000||Dublin||2–8||Waterford||0–4||10|
|1899||10 February 1901||Jones' Road||2,000||Dublin||1–10||Cork||0–6||7|
|1900||26 October 1902||Jones' Road||2,000||Tipperary||3–7||London||0–2||14|
|1901||2 August 1903||Jones' Road||2,000||Dublin||0–14||London||0–2||12|
|1902||11 September 1904||Cork||10,000||Dublin||2–8||London||0–4||10|
|1903||12 November 1905||Jones' Road||10,000||Kerry||0–11||London||0–3||8|
|1904||1 July 1906||Cork||10,000||Kerry||0–5||Dublin||0–2||3|
|1905||16 June 1906||Thurles||15,000||Kildare||1–7||Kerry||0–5||5|
|1906||20 October 1907||Athy||8,000||Dublin||0–5||Cork||0–4||1|
|1907||5 July 1908||Tipperary||5,000||Dublin||0–6||Cork||0–2||4|
|1908||3 October 1909||Jones' Road||10,000||Dublin||1–10||London||0–4||9|
|1909||5 December||Jones' Road||16,000||Kerry||1–9||Louth||0–6||6|
|1910||13 November 1910||Jones' Road||Louth||W/O||Kerry||Scratch[A]|
|1911||14 January 1912||Jones' Road||11,000||Cork||6–6||Antrim||1–2||19|
|1912||3 November||Jones' Road||13,000||Louth||1–7||Antrim||1–2||5|
|1913||14 December||Croke Park||17,000||Kerry||2–2||Wexford||0–3||5|
|1914||29 November||Croke Park||20,000||Kerry||2–3||Wexford||0–6||3|
|1915||7 November||Croke Park||27,000||Wexford||2–4||Kerry||2–1||3|
|1916||17 December||Croke Park||3,000||Wexford||3–4||Mayo||1–2||8|
|1917||9 December||Croke Park||6,500||Wexford||0–9||Clare||0–5||4|
|1918||16 February 1919||Croke Park||12,000||Wexford||0–5||Tipperary||0–4||1|
|1919||28 September||Croke Park||32,000||Kildare||2–5||Galway||0–1||10|
|1920||11 June 1922||Croke Park||17,000||Tipperary||1–6||Dublin||1–2||4|
|1921||17 June 1923||Croke Park||16,000||Dublin||1–9||Mayo||0–2||10|
|1922||7 October 1923||Croke Park||11,792||Dublin||0–6||Galway||0–4||2|
|1923||28 September 1924||Croke Park||18,500||Dublin||1–5||Kerry||1–3||2|
|1924||16 April 1925||Croke Park||28,844||Kerry||0–4||Dublin||0–3||1|
|1926||17 October||Croke Park||35,500||Kerry||1–4||Kildare||0–4||3|
|1927||25 September||Croke Park||36,529||Kildare||0–5||Kerry||0–3||2|
|1928||30 September||Croke Park||24,700||Kildare||2–6||Cavan||2–5||1|
|1929||22 September||Croke Park||43,839||Kerry||1–8||Kildare||1–5||3|
|1930||28 September||Croke Park||33,280||Kerry||3–11||Monaghan||0–2||18|
|1931||27 September||Croke Park||42,350||Kerry||1–11||Kildare||0–8||6|
|1932||25 September||Croke Park||25,816||Kerry||2–7||Mayo||2–4||3|
|1933||24 September||Croke Park||45,188||Cavan||2–5||Galway||1–4||4|
|1934||23 September||Croke Park||36,143||Galway||3–5||Dublin||1–9||2|
|1935||22 September||Croke Park||50,380||Cavan||3–6||Kildare||2–5||4|
|1936||27 September||Croke Park||50,168||Mayo||4–11||Laois||0–5||18|
|1937||17 October||Croke Park||51,234||Kerry||4–4||Cavan||1–7||6|
|1938||23 October||Croke Park||47,851||Galway||2–4||Kerry||0–7||3|
|1939||24 September||Croke Park||46,828||Kerry||2–5||Meath||2–3||2|
|1940||22 September||Croke Park||60,821||Kerry||0–7||Galway||1–3||1|
|1941||7 September||Croke Park||45,512||Kerry||1–8||Galway||0–7||4|
|1942||20 September||Croke Park||37,105||Dublin||1–10||Galway||1–8||2|
|1943||10 October||Croke Park||47,193||Roscommon||2–7||Cavan||2–2||5|
|1944||24 September||Croke Park||79,245||Roscommon||1–9||Kerry||2–4||2|
|1945||23 September||Croke Park||67,329||Cork||2–5||Cavan||0–7||4|
|1946||27 October||Croke Park||65,661||Kerry||2–8||Roscommon||0–10||4|
|1947||14 September||Polo Grounds, New York||34,491||Cavan||2–11||Kerry||2–7||4|
|1948||26 September||Croke Park||74,645||Cavan||4–5||Mayo||4–4||1|
|1949||25 September||Croke Park||79,460||Meath||1–10||Cavan||1–6||4|
|1950||24 September||Croke Park||76,174||Mayo||2–5||Louth||1–6||2|
|1951||23 September||Croke Park||78,201||Mayo||2–8||Meath||0–9||5|
|1952||12 October||Croke Park||62,515||Cavan||0–9||Meath||0–5||4|
|1953||27 September||Croke Park||86,155||Kerry||0–13||Armagh||1–6||4|
|1954||26 September||Croke Park||75,276||Meath||1–13||Kerry||1–7||6|
|1955||25 September||Croke Park||87,102||Kerry||0–12||Dublin||1–6||3|
|1956||7 October||Croke Park||70,772||Galway||2–13||Cork||3–7||3|
|1957||22 September||Croke Park||72,732||Louth||1–9||Cork||1–7||2|
|1958||28 September||Croke Park||73,371||Dublin||2–12||Derry||1–9||6|
|1959||27 September||Croke Park||85,897||Kerry||3–7||Galway||1–4||9|
|1960||25 September||Croke Park||87,768||Down||2–10||Kerry||0–8||8|
|1961||24 September||Croke Park||90,556||Down||3–6||Offaly||2–8||1|
|1962||23 September||Croke Park||75,771||Kerry||1–12||Roscommon||1–6||6|
|1963||22 September||Croke Park||87,106||Dublin||1–9||Galway||0–10||2|
|1964||27 September||Croke Park||76,498||Galway||0–15||Kerry||0–10||5|
|1965||26 September||Croke Park||77,735||Galway||0–12||Kerry||0–9||3|
|1966||25 September||Croke Park||71,569||Galway||1–10||Meath||0–7||6|
|1967||24 September||Croke Park||70,343||Meath||1–9||Cork||0–9||3|
|1968||22 September||Croke Park||71,294||Down||2–12||Kerry||1–13||2|
|1969||28 September||Croke Park||67,828||Kerry||0–10||Offaly||0–7||3|
|1970||27 September||Croke Park||71,775||Kerry||2–19||Meath||0–18||7|
|1971||26 September||Croke Park||70,789||Offaly||1–14||Galway||2–8||3|
|1972||15 October||Croke Park||66,136||Offaly||1–19||Kerry||0–13||9|
|1973||23 September||Croke Park||73,308||Cork||3–17||Galway||2–13||7|
|1974||22 September||Croke Park||71,898||Dublin||0–14||Galway||1–6||5|
|1975||28 September||Croke Park||66,346||Kerry||2–12||Dublin||0–11||7|
|1976||26 September||Croke Park||73,588||Dublin||3–8||Kerry||0–10||7|
|1977||25 September||Croke Park||66,542||Dublin||5–12||Armagh||3–6||12|
|1978||24 September||Croke Park||71,503||Kerry||5–11||Dublin||0–9||17|
|1979||16 September||Croke Park||72,185||Kerry||3–13||Dublin||1–8||11|
|1980||21 September||Croke Park||63,854||Kerry||1–9||Roscommon||1–6||3|
|1981||20 September||Croke Park||61,489||Kerry||1–12||Offaly||0–8||7|
|1982||16 September||Croke Park||62,309||Offaly||1–15||Kerry||0–17||1|
|1983||18 September||Croke Park||71,988||Dublin||1–10||Galway||1–8||2|
|1984||23 September||Croke Park||68,365||Kerry||0–14||Dublin||1–6||5|
|1985||22 September||Croke Park||69,389||Kerry||2–12||Dublin||2–8||4|
|1986||21 September||Croke Park||68,628||Kerry||2–15||Tyrone||1–10||8|
|1987||20 September||Croke Park||68,431||Meath||1–14||Cork||0–11||6|
|1988||9 October||Croke Park||64,069||Meath||0–13||Cork||0–9||4|
|1989||17 September||Croke Park||65,519||Cork||0–17||Mayo||1–11||9|
|1990||16 September||Croke Park||65,723||Cork||0–11||Meath||0–9||2|
|1991||15 September||Croke Park||64,500||Down||1–16||Meath||1–14||2|
|1992||20 September||Croke Park||64,547||Donegal||0–18||Dublin||0–14||4|
|1993||19 September||Croke Park||64,500||Derry||1–14||Cork||2–8||3|
|1994||18 September||Croke Park||58,684||Down||1–12||Dublin||0–13||2|
|1995||17 September||Croke Park||65,000||Dublin||1–10||Tyrone||0–12||1|
|1996||29 September||Croke Park||65,802||Meath||2–9||Mayo||1–11||1|
|1997||28 September||Croke Park||65,601||Kerry||0–13||Mayo||1–7||3|
|1998||27 September||Croke Park||65,886||Galway||1–14||Kildare||1–10||4|
|1999||26 September||Croke Park||63,276||Meath||1–11||Cork||1–8||3|
|2000||7 October||Croke Park||64,094||Kerry||0–17||Galway||1–10||4|
|2001||23 September||Croke Park||70,842||Galway||0–17||Meath||0–8||9|
|2002||22 September||Croke Park||79,500||Armagh||1–12||Kerry||0–14||1|
|2003||28 September||Croke Park||79,394||Tyrone||0–12||Armagh||0–9||3|
|2004||26 September||Croke Park||79,749||Kerry||1–20||Mayo||2–9||8|
|2005||25 September||Croke Park||82,112||Tyrone||1–16||Kerry||2–10||3|
|2006||17 September||Croke Park||82,289||Kerry||4–15||Mayo||3–5||13|
|2007||16 September||Croke Park||82,126||Kerry||3–13||Cork||1–9||10|
|2008||21 September||Croke Park||82,204||Tyrone||1–15||Kerry||0–14||4|
|2009||20 September||Croke Park||82,246||Kerry||0–16||Cork||1–9||4|
|2010||19 September||Croke Park||81,604||Cork||0–16||Down||0–15||1|
|2011||18 September||Croke Park||82,300||Dublin||1–12||Kerry||1–11||1|
|2012||23 September||Croke Park||82,300||Donegal||2–11||Mayo||0–13||4|
- A The final was scratched and Louth were awarded the championship after Kerry refused to travel to Dublin as the Great Southern and Western Railway would not sell tickets to their fans at reduced rates.
- B Some confusion surrounds 1925. Kerry beat Cavan 1–7 to 2–3 in the semi-final. One source contends that, after an objection by Cavan and counter-objection by Kerry, both sides were disqualified. Another suggests that Cavan won that appeal and then lost to Galway in the final.
Records and statistics 
See also 
- "From Sam Maguire to Dr Maguire – St Eunan's and Naomh Conaill do battle in County Final". Donegal Daily. 4 November 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2012. "A huge crowd is expected at MacCumhaill Park at a time when gaelic games in the county have never had a higher profile. Nothing beats being there, as the GAA slogan goes, but for the neutrals who can't be in Ballybofey, the game is live on TG4 from throw-in at 4pm."
- Corry, E., 2005. The GAA Book of Lists. Dublin. Hodder Headline Ireland. pp.371–412