The 2011 All-Ireland Football Final was the 124th event of its kind. It was the culmination of Gaelic football's premier competition, the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, and was played between Kerry and Dublin on 18 September 2011 at Croke Park, Dublin.
Dublin were victorious by a single point, achieving their first All-Ireland Senior Football Championship title since 1995. This was the first Kerry–Dublin final since 1985. History was made as the winning point was scored by a goalkeeper, Stephen Cluxton of Dublin, the first time this had ever happened in the final. Cluxton's point gave the title to Dublin as, with the teams level, the match would have had to be replayed at a later date had it ended with both teams on the same score. RTÉ called it "one of the most gripping Sam Maguire Cup deciders of the modern era" and the BBC said it was a "dramatic comeback victory."
Going into the 2011 Championship Cork were the defending champions after defeating Down in the 2010 final. However, Cork were eliminated in the quarter-finals in 2011 by Mayo. On 30 August 2011, Joe McQuillan was confirmed as the referee for the senior final. This was his first time to referee an All Ireland Senior Football final. Ahead of the game, Irish politicians Leo Varadkar and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin were censured by officials for flying unauthorised flags from their car windows in public. The flags favoured the Dublin team. After the game, Dublin captain Bryan Cullen was offered the role of coaching Leinster Rugby's academy players.
The 2011 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final attracted an audience share of almost 75 per cent, with three quarters of the available audience watching the final from beginning to end. This compared with an audience share of just over 65 per cent who watched the shock Ireland victory over Australia at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand the previous day.
Did you not know ...
Gaelic games are present across the world. This sign in Sorrento, Italy, advertises that Gaelic games are "shown in the bar".
Davy Heart and Peadar Andrews 2005 All Ireland Quarter Final
The Mayo County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) (Irish: Cumann Luthchleas Gael Coiste Maigh Eo) or Mayo GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland, and is responsible for Gaelic games in County Mayo and the Mayo inter-county teams.
Mayo's senior Gaelic football team play in the Connacht Senior Football Championship. Despite having three All-Ireland Senior Football Championship wins—1936, 1950 and 1951—Mayo have in recent times become known for their propensity to reach All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Finals only to fall at the ultimate hurdle. Mayo hold the Championship record for consecutive losing All-Ireland Senior Football Final appearances—this currently stands at six.
In 1989, they reached their first All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final since their last victory in 1951 only to lose to Cork. In 1996, a freak point by Meath at the end of the final forced a replay, which saw Mayo concede another late score that would deny them victory. Kerry bridged an 11-year title gap against them in 1997 with a three-point win, before torturing them by eight points in 2004 and thirteen points in 2006.
Mayo returned to the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final in 2012 only for the "Kafkaesque black farce" to continue as usual—with Donegal allowed to bridge a 20-year gap between titles, helped in no small part by a nightmare opening quarter for Mayo as Michael Murphy—whose father is from Mayo—launched a rocket of a shot into the goal after three minutes. Then, in the eleventh minute, Colm McFadden seized the ball from the grasp of Kevin Keane and slid it into the net for a second Donegal goal. Mayo managed thirteen points to Donegal's two goals and eleven, only got on the scoresheet after sixteen minutes when already two goals behind and never led during the match.
Croke Park (Irish: Páirc an Chrócaigh, IPA: [ˈpaːɾʲc ən̪ˠ ˈxɾˠoːkˠə]) is a sports stadium located in Dublin, Ireland. Often called Croker by Dubliners, it serves both as the principal stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).
Since 1884 the site has been used primarily by the GAA to host Gaelic games, most notably the annual All-Ireland finals in football and hurling. Both the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2003 Special Olympics, as well as numerous music concerts by major international acts, have been held in the stadium. During the construction of the Aviva Stadium, Croke Park hosted games played by the Ireland national rugby union team and the Republic of Ireland national football team. In June 2012, the stadium was used to host the closing ceremony of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress during which Pope Benedict XVI gave an address to approximately eighty thousand people.
Following a redevelopment programme started in the 1990s, Croke Park has a capacity of 82,300, making it the fourth largest stadium in Europe, and the largest not primarily used for the rival sport of association football.
Things to do
- Note that some of these players may have pages already created under a different title. If this is the case, the template for that year's All Stars (Template:XXXX All Stars) needs to be altered to reflect the correct article name. See Wikipedia:WikiProject Gaelic games/bio for details on the layout of the typical GAA player biography.