In the 1988 All Ireland foorball final, Cork clashed with Meath. The game ended in a draw but unfortunately for Larry he badly tore his hamstring. Cork mannager Billy Morgan refused to substitute him & Tompkins dealt with the pain for the remainder of the game. After the game the team was deflated but none more so then Dr. Con Murphy who ruled out Larry for up to 5-6 weeks. With the replay scheduled for three weeks later, Tompkins was effectively ruled out of the final.
In step Manchester United. Cork have a massive connection with the club & former United player & 1968 European Cup winner Paddy Crerad was the initial contact with Old Trafford. Within days he was boarding a plane in Cork Airport to fly to England & get the best treatment to prepare him for the game. Before he knew it he was sharing a treatment room with Norman Whiteside.
“Norman Whiteside was getting treated, he was on the bench beside me,but Norman was a faker. I think he was putting on a bit of an act!”
Tompkins got to experience quite alot in his short stint over there, but he did get a first hand encounter with United’s drinking culture
“Big names, huge names, but they were drinking every night. I was in the pub with Mark Hughes, Brian McClair & Bryan Robson. They were out every night, its hard to believe Ferguson was over them, it took him a few years to weed them out. They had Clayton Blackmore, he was a beauty, Lee Sharpe was a beauty & Norman Whiteside was top of the table”
“Here is me, total amatuer, trying to get right trying to play an All Ireland Final, I was drinking Ballygowen but they were getting sloshed every night.”
“In fairness to Ferguson he had a good bit of work to get it right there. He got rid of the guys I mentioned and brought in guys who wanted to win. they were just off the rails.”
“I came out of it having more respect for the GAA guys. Not only doing it for his county but has to do it for his club, totally amateur and goes to work. I seen alot of guys at professional level probably not the guys they were made out on the media circuit”
Larry was overall grateful for the time spent at Old Trafford & was made fell very welcome by the club. Pyshio Jim McGregor had his work cut out for him but fortunately got him ready for the replay. Larry started that day but the Rebel county managed to lose to the Royal County 0-13 to 0-9. Cork did however enact revenge two years later by defeating Meath in the final as defending champions after beating Mayo the year previously.