In conversation with Paul O’Donovan
This week Topic met up with Michael ‘Spike’ Fagan and spoke to him about his memorable sporting career, at the height of which he was playing for his country against Australia, alongside one of the greatest midfielders in the game in Kerry’s Jack O’Shea.
Spike looks back and gives us a fascinating insight, not just to his playing days with Mullingar Shamrocks, with Westmeath, and with the Irish International Rules team against Australia, but also his thoughts on management, the GAA of today, his views on Westmeath GAA and its future.
“Not many people know my name is actually Michael,” Spike told Topic this week. “Everyone calls me Spike,” he said with a smile.
So, where did the name Spike originate from? “I’m not really sure,” said Spike thoughtfully. “I remember there was a Spike McCormack in Mullingar. He had red hair, and so did I. Then I suppose when playing sports I always tackled very tigerishly and it just stuck from there”.
‘Spike Fagan’ is a name that is synonymous with all GAA folk up and down the country that followed Gaelic Games since the early 1980s. It is a household name ever since the Mullingar man represented Ireland in the International Rules series of the 1980s.
“That was the peak of my career,” said Spike, who today, at 60 years of age, is still as fresh and fit looking as the day he proudly pulled on the Irish jersey.