Sunday is one of the big days in the calendar for GAA fanatic Patsy Tracey.

Patsy, who has been sponsoring Fermanagh GAA for 28 years now and is the longest serving sponsor in Ireland, will only be found in one place on Sunday and that is Clones for the Ulster final.

Indeed, this Sunday will see Patsy attend his 50th Ulster final having been at his first in 1967 and has only missed one since.

“For me the Ulster final is one of the biggest days of the year. It wouldn’t matter where I was on holidays, whether it is Kilarney or Donegal with my wife, I would come back for the Ulster final, it is a great occasion.

“In fact, this Sunday I was due to have a big fishing competition on but I pulled out off it because I’m going to the Ulster final. For me it is one of the highlights of the year and Clones is a great venue for it,” he stated.

And Patsy remembers well his first trip to the provincial decider.

“The first final I was at was Cavan against Down in 1967.

“I was only ten years old, it was just before I went to St. Michael’s and I went to the game with my father and there was four of us all together. I can remember we had to walk a long distance to the field and at that time you had to buy your tickets before you got into the pitch, you didn’t have them beforehand. I remember the day really well, Cavan won that day but Down went on to win the All Ireland the next year,” he said.

There was always a lift at hand to the final for the avid GAA fan back in those early years.

“I went with my father to the finals into the early 70s and then I went with Peter Carty and Ambrose Rasdale before I then started driving myself. I would never miss them,” he added.

He did though miss one, the 1993 final when Derry defeated Donegal although his commitment to the cause could not be questioned as he took a flight just to watch the game on television.

“The only one I missed was the Donegal v Derry game in 1993 when I was in America. I flew from Los Angeles up to San Francisco to watch it and it was on at 6am in Gaelic Park Community Centre and it was all the Irish who were at it. The first thing I heard on the big screen was the voice of Fermanagh’s Peter McGinnity who was doing the commentary,”he explained.

Patsy has seen Ulster’s biggest stars grace the final stage and none more so than Frank McGuigan who produced a wonderful performance in the 1984 final against Armagh.

“I’ll never forget Frank McGuigan scoring 11 points in a final, that was the best performance that I seen in an Ulster final.”

And another final sticks in his mind but for a different reason.

“In 1979 Jap Finlay scored a load of points for Monaghan in the final but there was a terrible crash at Mulligan’s corner in Donagh with a number of people killed, that was horrific.”

The biggest days for Patsy have been those involving Fermanagh but unfortunately he has yet to see a Fermanagh man lift the Anglo Celt Cup.

Fermanagh have twice contested Ulster deciders, in 1982 and 2008 but unfortunately, they have come out on the wrong side of the result on both occasions.

“The most memorable for me were the two that Fermanagh played in, they were two big days. Peter McGinnity’s goal in ‘82 was something special and I had the lorry ready nine years ago to bring it home! That was one that got away. Those are the days you dream of though, Fermanagh winning an Ulster title.”

So, what of this Sunday’s final between Tyrone and Down? “I think Tyrone will win it but you never know. I was up at the semi-final between Down and Monaghan and there was four of us went up and to be honest we just talked about how much Monaghan would win by but Down played really well. I think though Tyrone will have too much experience for them,” he said.