Eddie Brennan, Eoin Larkin, Aidan Fogarty, and Brian Hogan are among the few who have spoken with Scoreline over the weekend, looking back on their time working under the 11-time All-Ireland winning manager, Brian Cody.
While everyone has their own very personal experiences with the man, one theme rings true. Brian Cody is, was, and forever will be, an absolute gentleman. This writer can even attest to that. No, I never played county for even for my club (James Stephens), however, I was one of the fortunate souls to fall under his teaching tree in St. Patricks De La Salle boys school. This would have been back in 2002, with Kilkenny on the cusp of unprecedented success.
His term as Kilkenny manager will never be forgotten, but neither will my time sitting in a sixth class chair down Cootes Lane. His impact is lasting, I spent just a year with him as him being such an integral part of my life, I cannot fathom the influence he may have had on some of his players. People like Eoin Larkin would of felt his presence all around the Village as a youth, up through his minor grades, onto senior All Ireland success with the county, and now very likely in the junior ranks back where it all started. Speaking to Scoreline Larkin was glowing with praise for his fellow club and county man;
“Brian would have always said to us as players that careers come and go and your job is to leave the jersey in a better place than you found it. I’m sure the same applies to the manager role and I can say for 100% certainty he left the manager’s job in a better place than he found it 24 years ago. “
“A huge thanks for what he did for me and my personal life. I know so many players that would have the same feeling, that he has helped him through so many things. What can I say, what a man.”
“It is no secret when I was going through dark times, he picked up the phone and was probably the catalyst for sending me to get help. He sees things in players and will pull them aside for a quick chat.”
“He doesn’t need or want thanks. He is happy to help anybody that he can. I would have seen various players over the years struggling to get a job. Brian would pick up the phone and give someone a call and the next thing the lad would have a job. He often spoke about creating a spirit in the camp that could not be broken. That is how he did it.”
No doubt you may notice some typos or grammatical errors within this article. Brian Cody was a great teacher, but I just was not a great student!
Listen back to the interview along with words from Eddie Brennan, Aidan Fogarty, and more on Scoreline Extra below: