Brendan Devenney was one of the guest speakers at Saturday nights surprise tribute night to Francie Bellew in Crossmaglen.
The former Donegal corner forward recalled numerous funny stories about his dealings with Armagh’s iconic full back.
Bellew, famous for being shy off the field but a legendary hardman on it, was a man of few words.
But he did have a way of communicating with Devenney during their playing days, which he describes as ‘morse code’.
“He didn’t say too much, there was no verbal’s from him,” said Devenney. “I missed a simple free (against Armagh) in Clones and I was waiting for the ground to swallow me up.
“And this buck, who never says nothing, came along and said “Jesus Christ, you make a fucking balls of that.”
“What was funny about it, Francie’s communication to me was nips. It was like morse code.
“A couple of nips was ‘you Donegal bollocks’. If it was four it was ‘don’t come near the square again.’ So, he had a way of communicating.”
Devenney played against the legendary Armagh team of the noughties and usually come out on the wrong side of those games.
Donegal met Armagh seven times in the championship between 2002-2007, and only won once. But Devenney has some logic behind the one-sided nature of their rivalry.
“They were very analytical about their game, they had plans, we didn’t. We were on the verge of spring break every game.
“It was going to kick off at any point, we were just keeping it under the cosh. So, whether we lost or we won, it was away.
“So, it was a bit of an issue on our side, and we just kept playing our own game. Which against a team like Armagh or Crossmaglen, it wasn’t going to work.
“Particularly Armagh because your famous record of replays, because Armagh actually figured out the opposition.
“Whereas we went on the beer for a couple of days and thought ‘ah we’ll beat them the next day.’