Once you start your career for Mayo you instantly become a celebrity within the county.
When people see you in public some cant believe they see an actual Mayo player and some are so star struck they struggle to even say one word, I have been each type many of times !
In todays post I will be talking about a former Mayo player who even though he is now one of Mayo’s leading TD’s, he’ll always be known as one of Mayo football’s greatest servants Alan Dillon.
Making his senior championship debut against Sligo in 2003 the Ballintuber native went on to make 134 appearances in the Mayo jersey, a scoreline of 3- 225, former Mayo captain, 2x Minor Connaught Championships, 2x U-21 Connaught Championships 5x club titles, 8x Connaught Titles and 2x All Star winner.
One of the main qualities of Mayo players is the ability to inspire the future footballers in not only Mayo but the entire country, everyone has that one player who they hope they will be like one day, that someone who makes their love for GAA even more special.
When you analyse sports teams throughout the years in each sports there is always the story of how stars looked up to heroes who have the chance to play alongside their heroes.
Throughout Dillon’s 18 year career a lot of stars have come in and out of the panel and a lot of these people have given recognition to Dillon for being an inspiration or a big influence throughout their careers such as Aidan O’Shea.
When you have been a fan of the game for so long you witness players grow from being a newbie to becoming a stronger player as the seasons go by.
During every GAA season over the years there will always have been mentions of the great players who have come before and there’s no doubt the name Alan Dillon will always be mentioned as on one of the greats to have worn the Mayo jersey.
His legacy will be known as being one of James Horan’s leading players in 2011, a leader in the Ballintuber dressing room and being known as one of the most passionate and dedicated players both on and off the pitch.
From leading Mayo minor’s and u-21 glory to representing Mayo for 18 years when Dillon hung up his boots in 2017 even though sadness was the feeling amongst most supporters there was also the feeling of pride knowing an incredible player like Alan Dillon was representing the best county in the country.
There is a saying Leave it better than found it and you will know if you made a positive impact.
Throughout his 18 year career Alan Dillon did just that, he entered the senior team with accomplishments under his belt but he left being known as one of Mayo footballs greatest servants, forever going to be known as Mayo Legend.