WATCH: The day Offaly played in front of the biggest Croke Park crowd in history

Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly


57 years ago this week, Croke Park was literally heaving with over 90,000 people for the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship.

On one side stood the reigning Ulster champions who had accounted for Fermanagh, Derry, Armagh and Kerry on their way to the decider.

On the other, Offaly's finest seeking their first ever win in the final having beaten Carlow, Kildare, Dublin and Roscommon en route to the packed Croke Park showpiece. 

Supporters spilled from the stands onto the pitch edge - the game was fierce and fiery. The teams went to war.

Offaly actually made an incredible start and were six points up within minutes following goals from Mick Casey and Peter Daly, but would ultimately be undone by the Ulster kingpins of the time. Down scored three goals before the break and won out on a 3-6 to 2-8 scoreline.

The attendance of 90,556 remains the highest ever recorded at a match in Croke Park. Offaly had to wait another ten years before Willie Bryan became the first Offaly captain to lift Sam Maguire in 1971.