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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 October, 2003, 08:09 GMT 09:09 UK
Tyrone win predicted in 1997

The Harte family celebrate the Tyrone team's historic success
Michaela Harte celebrates with her father after Sunday's win

Mickey Harte's daughter Michaela predicted Tyrone's 2003 All-Ireland success as far back as 1997.

The amazing prediction was revealed by BBC Northern Ireland's Northern Exchange on Wednesday which was a behind-the-scenes look at Tyrone's All-Ireland triumph.

In 1997, Mickey Harte, as Tyrone minor manager, was still coming to terms with the tragic death of his player Paul McGirr who lost his life after an accidental clash at a championship game against Armagh.

That season Tyrone went on to the All-Ireland minor football but they were defeated by Laois.

"After that game, Michaela told me that we would win the All-Ireland minor title in 1998, the All-Ireland U21 title in 2000 and the Sam Maguire Cup in 2003," said Harte who was in charge of the county for all three triumphs.

"So when we got to this year's final, I couldn't imagine what I would have said to Michaela if we hadn't won the All-Ireland title.

"She's a person of great faith and she had great faith in the players as well as her faith in god.

After the Sligo game I thought that it just wasn't going to happen at All-Ireland level
Peter Canavan

'She grew up with this team and had a very strong faith in all of us. No-one believed in us more and that got through to the boys in the end.''

Team captain Peter Canavan told the programme that his initial reaction after last year's championship defeat by Sligo was that he would quit the intercounty scene.

"I thought that was it for me - that it was just wasn't going to happen at All-Ireland level," said the sipper.

'There have been ups and downs,'' says Canavan. ''But I've enjoyed it all and putting on the Tyrone jersey is still special to me.

''Sam has been worth waiting for. We said all year that we wanted to be different and now we'll go down in history as the first Tyrone team to win it. I'll settle for that.''

Sean Kavanagh, Cormac McAnallen, Owen Mulligan and Conor Gormley and Father Gerard McAleer also contributed to a highly-entertaining programme.

Meanwhile, Tyrone's heroes received a rapturous welcome at Healy Park on Wednesday evening when they took on Monaghan in the annual Goal Challenge.

The tired Red Hand boys edged out the Farney men 4-7 to 0-18 in an entertaining clash.

Stephen O'Neill, Enda McGinley, Owen Mulligan and Mark Harte notched the Tyrone goals although the scoreline was largely immaterial on a night of celebration.

McGinley said that the victory still hadn't sunk in.

"Seeing boys like Chris Lawn taking the cup home to Moortown and Peter (Canavan) taking it to Ballygawley was fantastic," said McGinley.

Armagh fans praised
29 Sep 03  |  Gaelic Games
Sam arrives in Tyrone
29 Sep 03  |  Gaelic Games
Tyrone joy is a sight to behold
29 Sep 03  |  Gaelic Games


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