Sunday’s TG4 All Ireland Ladies Football Final is a special one being the 50th time to be played.
The winning captains from the 49 previous Finals will be honoured at Croke Park on the day
In the 49 Finals played to date, there have been 42 different winning captains.
The players who have lifted the Brendan Martin Cup on more than one occasion are Dublin’s Sinéad Aherne (2017-2020 inclusive), Cork’s Juliet Murphy (2005-2007 inclusive), Cork’s Ciara O’Sullivan (2015 and 2016) and Meath’s Shauna Ennis (2021 and 2022).
Prior to 2006, when Juliet Murphy captained Cork to what was a second successive title at the time, there had been a different winning captain in every year since 1974.
The first All-Ireland winning captain in 1974 was Tipperary’s Kitty Ryan-Savage.
The Premier County defeated Offaly in the first Final, played in Durrow, Co. Laois.
Looking ahead to Sunday, when the former winning captains will also enjoy lunch together at Croke Park, LGFA President, Mícheál Naughton, commented: “The captains who will join us on Sunday are true trailblazers for our Association and have experienced that magical moment when they hoisted the Brendan Martin Cup aloft.
“They have provided their counties, clubs, families and fans with memories that will echo in eternity. The ‘cup lift’ image is an image that resonates nationally and internationally. It’s an image that symbolises glory and the ultimate reward for months and perhaps even years of selfless dedication and effort.
“From Offaly v Tipperary in 1974 to Meath v Kerry in 2022, our 49 All-Ireland Finals to date have provided thrills, spills, no shortage of drama and some brilliant football.
“We’ve had breakthrough moments and periods of dominance. We’ve had some big winning margins but we’ve also had narrow victories, draws and replays.
“As things stand, Cork and Kerry are sitting together at the top of the All-Ireland Senior Championship roll of honour, with 11 titles each.
“Kerry, if they defeat Dublin on Sunday, will move one clear on the all-time list.
“It was back in 1976 when Kerry won their first title, captained by Mary Geaney, while Cork emerged from the pack in 2005, captained by Juliet Murphy.
“Throughout the years, we’ve had 13 different counties who have won the All-Ireland Senior title and the hope is that more will break through in the years to come.”
Next Sunday at Croke Park, it’ll be Dublin’s Carla Rowe or Kerry’s Síofra O’Shea who will have the honour of lifting the Brendan Martin Cup.
The lucky captain will become the 43rd different player to lift the coveted silverware, following a game that will rack up half a century of showpiece deciders.
The full list of All-Ireland Senior Championship winning captains reads as follows:
Kitty Savage (nee Ryan), Tipperary, 1974
Margaret Rossiter (nee Carroll), Tipperary, 1975
Mary Geaney, Kerry, 1976
Bridget Smith, (nee Sheridan) Cavan, 1977
Liz Gibbons, Roscommon, 1978
Doreen Daly (nee Farrell), Offaly, 1979
Josie Bourke (nee Stapleton), Tipperary, 1980
Tona McDonald, Offaly, 1981
Marian Bowler (nee Doherty), Kerry, 1982
Marina Barry-Walsh, Kerry, 1983
Bridget Leen Kerry, 1984
Siobhan Twomey (nee Leen), Kerry, 1985
Annette Flaherty (nee Walsh), Kerry, 1986
Margaret Flaherty (nee Golden), Kerry, 1987
Mary Lane (nee Scanlon), Kerry, 1988
Kathleen Curran, Kerry, 1989
Del Whyte, Kerry, 1990
Maire Crotty – Wall, Waterford, 1991
Bernie Ryan – Duggan, Waterford, 1992
Eileen Dardis (nee Lawlor), Kerry, 1993
Geraldine Long (nee O’Ryan), Waterford, 1994
Noirin Walsh, Waterford, 1995
Maggie Kearns, Monaghan, 1996
Angela Larkin, Monaghan, 1997
Siobhan O’Ryan, – Murphy, Waterford, 1998
Diane O’Hora, Mayo, 1999
Maria Staunton, Mayo, 2000
Angela Casey, Laois, 2001
Christina Heffernan, Mayo, 2002
Helena Lohan, Mayo, 2003
Annette Clarke, Galway, 2004
Juliet Murphy, Cork, 2005, 2006, 2007
Angela Walsh, Cork, 2008
Mary O’Connor, Cork, 2009
Denise Masterson, Dublin, 2010
Amy O’Shea, Cork, 2011
Rena Buckley, Cork, 2012
Ann Marie Walsh, Cork, 2013
Briege Corkery, Cork, 2014
Ciara O’Sullivan, Cork 2015, 2016
Sinéad Aherne, Dublin, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Shauna Ennis, Meath, 2021, 2022