By Damian Dolan.
It could be a very good weekend indeed for London GAA stalwart Packie Hughes. Should London beat Mayo in the Connacht final and Monaghan overcome Donegal in Ulster, then the St Brendan’s man stands to collect a cool £100,000.
“I’ve stuck a big bet with Paddy Power, who’s given me 1000/1 on a London-Monaghan double at the weekend. So I put £100 on,” said Hughes, who will be in Castlebar cheering on the Exiles on Sunday, just as he was 38 years ago.
From Emyvale, Co Monaghan, Hughes played senior for Monaghan in the late 1950s before moving to London in 1960. Assistant secretary of the London County Board in 1975, Hughes made the journey with the county’s senior footballers to McHale Park on May 25, as Brian Devlin’s Exiles made their Connacht Championship debut against Mayo.
After a 62-year absence from the All Ireland it was a monumental occasion for London, and the Exiles even dared to lead by three points early on before Mayo awoke and went onto record a 4-12 to 1-12 victory.
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