Who really are Sam and Liam? Many may not have heard of the Sam Maguire and Liam McCarthy trophies, but in Irish traditional sport they are in the history books for becoming the most recognised accolades in the sport of GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) in both codes of gaelic football and hurling, which are Ireland’s national and traditional sports.
The Sam Maguire trophy is the All-Ireland Senior Gaelic Football trophy. It was named after the famous Cork rebel who emigrated to London after the Irish Famine in 1845. He was known for his captaining of the London Hibernians Gaelic football team to several All-Ireland finals between 1900 and 1904.
He was also chairman of the London GAA committee as well as being remembered in the political sphere for recruiting the nationalist leader Michael Collins to the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1909. He later went on to become a trustee of the GAA headquarters in Croke Park, Dublin, where the prestigious trophy was later named after him.
The Sam Maguire Cup is hoisted high and proudly by the All-Ireland Senior Gaelic Football winners, where 32 counties compete to win this prestigious prize every season. Well, for those who are lucky to achieve glory!
On the other hand, you may be wondering who is Liam? The Liam McCarthy trophy is awarded to the All-Ireland Senior Hurling champions each season. The trophy was named after another Cork native who also emigrated to London and was also chairman of London GAA, just like his fellow countryman Sam.
Liam commissioned the manufacture of a trophy, with the design based on an ancient Irish drinking cup. This cup was offered to the GAA central council in Croke Park and was gratefully accepted.
It is awarded annually and in perpetuity to the winners of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship who holds the trophy in the air with jubilation.
Sam and Liam is the pinnacle for those athletes who manage to come out on top at the end of the season and is thought by many as the greatest sporting achievement of their career and is an event they will never forget.
Both trophies are desired by many every season throughout Ireland. The question is which teams are next to write their names in the history books?
Below is a basic skills video of the sport Gaelic Football and an interview with a coach and GAA enthusiast about the sport of GAA.
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