Salute to former stars
Our series profiling the Sean Ghael recipients continues
Published 23/01/2016 | 00:00
Over 60 proud recipients were added to the Seana Ghael hall of fame at a function in the Ferrycarrig Hotel on Sunday. Over the next four pages we continue our profiles of these stars of the past, which were compiled by P.J. DALY on behalf of the Seana Ghael committee.
JOE FOLEY (BALLYHOGUE): In his playing days Joe Foley was to the G.A.A. what Tiger Woods was to golf and George Best R.I.P. was to soccer - a genius - in his role as a dual player, in hurling and in football.
Originally from Barmoney near Galbally and now residing in Fethard-on-Sea, he was for a number of years one of the most skilful and talented dual players to adorn the game. He had unlimited hurling skills and was an enchanter, a supreme artist, a master stick player and a lovely accurate striker, left or right.
Joe's artistry with a hurling ball was masterclass at times, and one would think the ball was an extension to his hurley, so good was his control with the sliothar. His two brothers - Willie R.I.P. and Mick - were also superb players for the 'Hogues. All three brothers were loved and admired for their brilliant deeds on the Gaelic fields and their great sportsmanship was exemplary.
Joe's silken approach to every ball was sublime. His classic first touch, his body swerve when turning and leaving his marker stranded, were highlights we saw from this superstar in his day.
He had so many games when he stood out, like the 1966 Co. Intermediate hurling final versus Our Lady's Island when he scored 3-6, and also in the 1972 Co. Intermediate hurling final win versus the Shamrocks, scoring 0-14.
In 1980 he won a Co. Junior 'B' hurling medal with Fethard. Throughout that year he was a man apart, scoring at will and helping his team to victory. Even at nearly 40 years old, he showed that class was paramount.
He played with the Wexford hurling teams from 1963 to 1969 and for the Wexford Senior footballers from 1965 to 1972. He was selected for the Co. Intermediate hurling team in 1967, but was not available.
He was born in 1941 and was educated in Galbally N.S. He played with St. Munn's in football from 1958 to 1963 and for the Camross hurlers in 1958, 1959 and 1960. He declared for Ballyhogue in 1964 to join up with his two brothers - Willie R.I.P. and Mick. In 1963 he played with Oylegate-Ballyhogue United when they won the Co. Senior hurling championship. His last game with Ballyhogue was in 1973 when they lost round one of the Senior hurling championship to Rapparees.
The two best dual players he has seen in Wexford were Paddy Kehoe and Phil Wilson. The five best hurlers he has seen playing with Ballyhogue were Phil Wilson, Nicky Doyle R.I.P., Eddie Walsh, Denis Asple, and his brother Willie R.I.P.. Nick Power was one of the best goalies he has seen in hurling.
The most difficult hurlers that he played on were Eddie Kelly (St. Aidan's), Mick Jacob (Oulart-The Ballagh) and Dan Quigley (Rathnure). The hardest defender to get away from was Peter Barron R.I.P. (Rathnure).
His medal collection was two Senior football with St. Munn's in 1958 and 1959, one Senior hurling with Oylegate-Ballyhogue in 1963, two Junior hurling with Ballyhogue in 1965 and 1971, two Intermediate hurling with Ballyhogue in 1966 and 1972, and one Junior 'B' hurling with Fethard in 1980.
His boyhood heroes were Nickey Rackard R.I.P. and Ned Wheeler. He played Railway Cup for Leinster in hurling. He also played with Fr. Murphy's in London and also played in New York.
The hurlers that impressed him the most over the years outside of Wexford were Mick Roche (Tipperary), Jimmy Doyle R.I.P. (Tipperary), Des Foley R.I.P. (Dublin), Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny), Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny) and Brian Whelahan (Offaly).
PATRICK FORTUNE (ADAMSTOWN, RAHEENDUFF MOONLIGHTERS): Patrick Fortune, who was born in 1942 and who was educated at Adamstown N.S., was in his hurling days one of the game's outstanding players.
He played his hurling first with the Raheenduff Moonlighters. and then moved across to play with the neighbouring club, St. Abban's (Adamstown). With the latter he won two Co. hurling medals - Junior in 1970 and Intermediate in 1971. He played in his normal position in midfield in both finals.
Patrick was a delightful striker of the ball and his unlimited stamina for the midfield area was second to none. One of his finest hours playing for Adamstown was in 1972 when they defeated the hot favourites, Buffers Alley, in the Senior hurling championship. At midfield he excelled at running non-stop, striking fluently and positioning himself so brilliantly that he won most of the exchanges for his team. Every member of the Adamstown team played like men inspired and the whole parish was elated with the victory.
His boyhood hero was Ned Wheeler and one of the best goalies he has seen in hurling was Damien Fitzhenry.
Two of the best dual players he has seen in Ireland were Ray Cummins (Cork) and Des Foley R.I.P. (Dublin). In Wexford, Phil Wilson and Martin Quigley were brilliant at both codes.
Of the present-day hurlers he selects Tommy Walsh, J.J. Delaney, Henry Shefflin and John Mullane as outstanding. The best club team he has seen over the years was the Rathnure side in the early '70s which won four Senior hurling titles in a row. His brother, Tony, was also a brilliant hurler with Adamstown and later with Carlow.
Patrick was also a selector and Shairman with St. Abban's. He played Juvenile and Minor hurling with the Raheenduff Moonlighters. The four best hurlers he has seen in Wexford in the past 40 years were Dan Quigley, Martin Quigley, Liam Dunne and Tony Doran. The three hurlers who were his favourites in the great 1950s team were Bobby Rackard R.I.P., Ned Wheeler and Tim Flood R.I.P.
The four best hurlers he has seen while playing with Adamstown were Philip Doyle, Jimmy Furlong, Jimmy Galway and Frank O'Gorman. The three best while playing with the Raheenduff Moonlighters were Nick Walsh, John Whelan and Richie Furlong.
The four most difficult hurlers that he played on while with Adamstown were Pat Sinnott (Shamrocks), Mick Kinsella (Buffers Alley), Wally O'Brien (Rathgarogue-Cushinstown) and Martin Byrne (Rathnure). The two best hurlers he has seen in Ireland were Bobby Rackard R.I.P. and Christy Ring R.I.P. (Cork).
The best game of hurling he has seen in Wexford was Buffers Alley versus the Faythe Harriers in the 1968 Co. final. The best overhead striker of a ball he has seen was Ned Wheeler. From the old great St. Abban's (Adamstown) teams, as a youngster he idolised Tom Butler, Mick Whelan, Kevin Whelan, John Foley, Mick Foley, Jim Redmond and John McDonald - all now sadly deceased.
TOM HARPUR R.I.P. (CLONGEEN) - posthumous award: When playing with Clongeen in the '60s, Tom Harpur was quite a handful for a number of defenders in the New Ross District. He had bundles of energy, excellence pace, good balance and was great at scoring regularly with either foot.
He normally played his football at left half-forward, a position he usually played his hurling in too. He was also outstanding in both codes and he loved playing both. He rarely if ever missed an opportunity to score and was always alert for the breaking ball off defenders. His effortless style, his composure and his will to win was admired by all his followers.
One of Tom's finest hours playing football for Clongeen was in the 1970 Co. Junior final drawn game versus Buffers Alley. At left half-forward, his elusiveness and speed baffled his opponent, and his self-belief with his determination, his pace and strong running made him a star on this occasion.
He was born in 1942 and was educated at Cleariestown N.S. His boyhood hero was Nickey Rackard R.I.P. One of his best games playing hurling with Clongeen was versus Ballyfad in the 1971 Co. Junior semi-final. One of the most exciting games he played in hurling was the meeting of Clongeen 4-11 versus Cushinstown 5-5 played in O'Kennedy Park in 1971. It was brilliant encounter with lots of good scoring and an excellent display by Tommy McDonald with 4-2 for Clongeen.
Tom started playing Junior with Clongeen in both codes in 1963 and finished up in the mid-'70s. The highlight of his career was winning the 1970 Co. Junior football title after so many years of trying. Also pleasing was winning versus Kilanerin in their first Senior championship outing with a score of 0-7 to 0-3 in 1971.
The club winning its first-ever Senior football championship in 2007 was another memorable day for the whole parish. Everyone was so proud of their success.
The best goalie he has seen in hurling was Damien Fitzhenry and the best in football was Stephen Cluxton (Dublin). The two best hurlers he has seen playing with Clongeen were Con Donnelly and Paddy Bennett. The three best footballers he has seen with the club were Con Donnelly, Fred Casey and Paddy Bennett. Tom also played Minor football with St. Anne's.
He was originally from Edwardstown in the area of Cleariestown and later resided at Horetown, Foulksmills. The four greatest hurlers he has ever seen were D.J. Carey (Kilkenny), Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny), Joe Cooney (Galway) and Jimmy Doyle R.I.P. (Tipperary). Of the players in the last 20 years he also selects George O'Connor, Joe Canning (Galway), Tommy Walsh and J.J. Delaney as superb.
In Wexford in the last 40 years, Tony Doran, Mick Jacob, Martin Quigley and George O'Connor were outstanding. In football in modern times in Wexford, Matty Forde, Redmond Barry, Ciarán Lyng and Graeme Molloy were supreme.
The greatest hurler he has ever seen was Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny), and in football, he selects Darragh O'Sé (Kerry). Other footballers that were masterclass were Peter Canavan (Tyrone), Mick O'Connell, Jack O'Shea, Matt Connor and Pat Spillane.
Dual players that impressed him the most were Teddy McCarthy (Cork), Jimmy Barry-Murphy (Cork) and Ray Cummins (Cork). In Wexford he would select Jack Berry R.I.P., Paddy Kehoe and Phil Wilson as tops in both games. Con Donnelly was Clongeen's finest dual player.
Rathnure in the early '70s was one of the finest club sides he has seen in hurling, and in football he would select the Duffry Rovers team. In football the most difficult opponents he encountered when playing were Michael Jordan (Buffers Alley), Donal Hayden (Kilanerin) and John McCarthy (Geraldine O'Hanrahans), while in hurling he selected Johnny Doyle (St. James').
JOHN HARTLEY (HORESWOOD): John Hartley was another member of the great Wexford 1963 All-Ireland Minor hurling team which won the county's first title in this grade.
He came from a very well-known hurling family from Collerin in the Campile area. John always manned his position in the last line of defence with both authority and decisiveness. His exceptional positional play, his lengthy striking and his top-class control on the ball thwarted many onslaugths from opposing forwards.
He was a sportsman supreme and never resorted to foul play. He earned the respect and admiration of friend and foe alike. John was always fit, tactically astute and articulate. He showed resilience, judgment and durability in his hurling days with his club, Horeswood.
All of his brothers - Fr. Noel, Bill, Tom, Paddy and Martin - played with Horeswood at the top level, with Fr. Noel, Tom and Paddy already having received Seana Ghael rewards in the past.
John was born in 1945 and was educated at Aclare, and in New Ross and St. Peter's College (Wexford). His boyhood hero was Mick O'Hanlon R.I.P. The four Horeswood hurlers that impressed him the most over the years were Mick O'Hanlon R.I.P., Dominic Hearn R.I.P., Dick Shannon and Paddy Whitty.
When playing in the Wexford Senior championships the players he found the most difficult to contain were Tony Doran, Phil Wilson, Seamus 'Shanks' Whelan and Martin Lyng R.I.P. The five greatest hurlers he has seen over the years were Jimmy Doyle R.I.P., D.J. Carey, Henry Shefflin, Jimmy Barry-Murphy and Brian Whelahan. In Wexford, Liam Dunne, Martin Storey, Paul Codd and George O'Connor were brilliant.
Of the present-day players he selects Richie Hogan (Kilkenny), Paul Murphy (Kilkenny), Patrick Horgan (Cork) and Conor McGrath (Clare) as masterclass at their game. The greatest hurler he has ever seen was the gifted Jimmy Doyle R.I.P. (Tipperary). He was a class act and a genius with a hurley.
Two of the best dual players he has seen in Ireland were Des Foley R.I.P. and Jimmy Barry-Murphy. In Wexford, Paddy Kehoe, Phil Wilson and George O'Connor were supreme at both codes.
He played Juvenile hurling with Horeswood in 1960 and 1961 and Minor hurling in 1961, 1962 and 1963. His biggest disappointment was losing the 1963 Co. Senior hurling final to Oylegate, played in Bellefield. His greatest day was winning the All-Ireland Minor title in the same year with Wexford.
The best club team he has seen in hurling was Rathnure in the early '70s. John also played football with the club. His finest game for Horeswood was versus Ferns in the 1963 Senior hurling championship, playing at midfield with Victor Murphy. After playing in corner-forward in an earlier game, it was great to line out at midfield. He put in a masterly performance at 18 years old and he was very pleased with his display.
The greatest goalie he has seen in hurling was Ollie Walsh R.I.P. One of the greatest games he has seen in hurling was the Kilkenny versus Limerick All-Ireland semi-final played on August 10, 2014. It was a thriller.
The best centrefielder and also the best overhead striker he has seen was Ned Wheeler. Of the great Wexford team of the '50s, his favourites were Mick O'Hanlon R.I.P., Jim Morrissey R.I.P., Ned Wheeler and Jim English R.I.P. The greatest footballer he has seen was Mick O'Connell.
DONAL HAYDEN (KILANERIN-BALLYFAD): Donal Hayden's family originally came from Clane in Co. Kildare, but they all moved to Clonroe just a few miles from the village of Ballyfad. The move was made in 1956 when Donal was just 12 years old.
Along with his brother, John, they became excellent players with Ballyfad in hurling and with Kilanerin in football. Donal, the eldest of the two, played his hurling in the corner-forward position and his football at left corner-back or left half-back. When playing in a defensive role there was steel in his play, a defender of geniune talent with a great attitude.
He had all the atrributes that makes a star-studded back. His marking was glue-like, his judgement superb, his fielding very consistent and his clearances long and accurate.
In hurling with Ballyfad he was a prolific marksman with vision, anticipation, courage, cleverness and lots of competence. He was a ball winner at all times, and he never minded heading into a cluster of defenders if it meant he could put his name on the scoresheet. He never resorted to rough tactics to gain him an advantage, and was a gentleman off the field and a real sportsman on it.
He was born in 1944 and his boyhood hero was the great Ned Wheeler. He started his career in both codes in 1962 at Junior level. In football he won three Co. medals - Junior in 1967, Intermediate in 1973 and Senior in 1974. This team was one of the best he has seen.
In hurling he was very unlucky, losing in three Co. finals in 1973, 1977 and 1986. One of Donal's finest games was in the 1977 Co. Junior hurling final, losing to St. Anne's on a scoreline of 3-9 to 3-2. He scored all three goals for his team.
The four Ballyfad hurlers that impressed him the most over the years were Eddie O'Sullivan, Chris Murray, Aidan Kavanagh and Pat Cullen. With the Kilanerin footballers, the three that stood out were Mick Darcy Snr., Paddy Hughes (Clonsilia) and Matty Forde.
When playing with Ballyfad he came up against some outstanding corner-backs and selects Denis Kenny (St. Patrick's), Liam Carton (Clonee) and Mogue O'Rourke (Askamore) as the three that he found most difficult. When playing football with Kilanerin the ones that caused him the most problems were Vinny Staples, Jack Berry R.I.P. (St. Anne's) and Johnny Walsh (Hollow Rangers).
He played Senior football for Wexford in a couple of games. He also played Under-21 football in 1964 as a substitute versus Laois and in 1965 when they lost to Kildare.
The three greatest hurlers he has ever seen were D.J. Carey, Joe Canning and J.J. Delaney. In football, Peter Canavan, Matty Forde and Jack O'Shea were brilliant. Of the present-day hurlers, Henry Shefflin, J.J. Delaney, Joe Canning and Tommy Walsh are class acts. In Wexford, Rory Jacob and Keith Rossiter stand out.
In the last 40 years the hurlers that impressed him in Wexford the most were Tony Doran, Mick Jacob and Seánie Kinsella. The two best dual players he has seen in Wexford were Oliver Cullen and Jack Berry R.I.P. Donal was in his late-40s when he retired from the games.
TOMMY HAYES (HOLLOW RANGERS): Tommy Hayes from Tomahurra near Ballycarney was an excellent dual player with the Hollow Rangers and later with Marshalstown. As a corner-forward he was tops in both hurling and football and in this position he was very elusive, enterprising and full of running.
His speed and ball control at times caused undue problems for the opposition. Tommy had complete calmness in the tightest situations and with his astute brain he always seemed to have space to get his shot in at the goal. He was never overawed by any opponent he came in contact with and played every game as if it was a Co. final.
He missed a few years playing here as he went to work in London. However, he was back again in 1964 to assist his club, the Hollow Rangers, to greater deeds. He was born in 1941 and was educated at
Marshalstown N.S. His boyhood hero was Tim Flood R.I.P.
The best dual player he has seen in Wexford was Phil Wilson (Ballyhogue). He played Juvenile hurling and football with Marshalstown in 1956 and 1957, as well as Minor hurling with Duffry Rovers in 1959.
Tommy was also an outstanding hurler with the Hollow Rangers, getting on the scoresheet on numerous occasions. His finest hour in the Hollow Rangers jersey was versus the Duffry Rovers in the Enniscorthy District Junior football semi-final in 1964. He was outstanding in this game and had bundles of energy around the goal area. He displayed wonderful coolness, skill and conviction and was a thorn in the side of the Duffry Rovers defence.
The two greatest hurlers he has ever seen were Tommy Walsh (defender) and Tim Flood R.I.P. (forward). From Wexford he also selects Bobby Rackard R.I.P. as a supreme hurling giant who had everything. He first played hurling with the Hollow Rangers in 1958 and last lined out with them in 1970. The best individual display he has seen at club level was given by Johnny Crean in a 1964 Junior football semi-final.
The four best Hollow Rangers he has seen were Johnny Crean, Johnny Walsh, Seamus Kelly R.I.P. and Larry Crean. The most difficult hurlers that he played on with his club were Art Bennett R.I.P. (Oylegate) and Johnny Cullen R.I.P. (Ballyfad). The two most difficult footballers that he played on were Tony O'Loughlin (HWH-Bunclody) and Arthur Kavanagh (HWH-Bunclody). His uncle, Jack Nolan R.I.P. from Farmleigh, also played.
He won one Co. Junior football medal in 1964 from a walkover versus St. Anne's. The best game of hurling he has seen in Wexford was the Intermediate final in 2009 with Askamore versus Bunclody. He played Minor with the Duffry Rovers before leaving Ireland for three years.
The most exciting game of hurling that he has played in was a Co. Senior semi-final in 1963 with the Hollow Rangers versus Horeswood.
The best goalie he has seen in hurling was Brendan Cummins (Tipperary). The best club team he has seen over the years was Rathnure in the early '70s. The best club team he has seen in football was the Duffry Rovers in the '80s. The greatest club hurler he has ever seen was Johnny Walsh for the Hollow Rangers who was a superstar.
JAMES HENDRICK (RATHGAROGUE-CUSHINSTOWN): James Hendrick, who now resides at Ballyroe, just a few miles from New Ross, was for almost 25 years one of the star performers for his club, Rathgarogue-Cushinstown.
He was one of their key figures in securing a place in the 1960 Co. Junior hurling final which they lost to the Hollow Rangers. In their semi-final James was the star man, scoring 3-0 in defeating St. Martin's. He usually played at right corner-forward or right half-forward where he excelled in both positions with his speed, ball control and expert vision.
He played at No. 10 in 1962 when the two teams from the same parish met in the New Ross District Junior hurling final, with Cushinstown winning over Rathgarogue on a scoreline of 3-5 to 0-7. James played with the latter.
In 1964 Rathgarogue with Cushinstown won the District, beating Adamstown, but lost the Co. semi-final to Na Fianna. In 1967 James selects their defeat to Adamstown as the most exciting game he played in with a scoreline of 3-5 to 3-4. In 1969 they lost another Co. semi-final when Askamore came out on top. In the full-forward line his mobility, stick play and accurate shooting made him a danger to most defenders.
He was born in 1940 and was educated at Rathgarogue N.S. His boyhood heroes were Billy Rackard R.I.P. and Tim Flood R.I.P. The two best dual players he has seen in the county were Phil Wilson and George O'Connor.
In that three-goal game versus St. Martin's when he had his finest hour, he was brilliant. Although facing a strong full-back line, he played with great gusto and flair, his pace was blistering, and his finishing was first class. His uncle, John Hendrick R.I.P., played with Cloughbawn in the '30s. James was a selector and Treasurer for a number of years for his club.
The three best hurlers he has seen in Wexford over the past 40 years were Tony Doran, Mick Jacob and Dan Quigley. He first played with Rathgarogue-Cushinstown at adult level in 1960 and last played with them in 1985. The best individual display he has seen at club level was by Johnny Walsh for the Hollow Rangers in the 1960 Co. Junior hurling final.
The four best hurlers he has seen while playing with Rathgarogue-Cushinstown were Paddy Doyle R.I.P., Jim Doran, James Bolger and Eamonn Cleary.
His four most difficult opponents were Jim Rochford (Adamstown), Pat Walsh R.I.P. (St. James'), Larry Byrne R.I.P. (Hollow Rangers) and Jack Russell (Geraldine O'Hanrahans).
The best two hurlers he has seen in Ireland were Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny) and Jimmy Doyle R.I.P. (Tipperary). The best two hurlers has seen in Wexford were Billy Rackard R.I.P. and Tim Flood R.I.P.
During his career he won an Under-16 Leinster Junior medal in 1956 with C.B.S. New Ross as a substitute, one Junior Co. medal in 1979 as a substitute, one Junior 'B' Co. medal in 1985 and numerous District medals in New Ross.
He played Juvenile hurling with Rathgarogue in 1955 and 1956, and Minor hurling with Cushinstown in 1957 and 1958. When the two teams met, Rathgarogue was the side he played for.
The best club team he has seen playing in Wexford was Rathnure in the early '70s. Of the great Wexford team in the '50s, his favourites were Nickey Rackard R.I.P., Billy Rackard R.I.P., Tim Flood R.I.P. and Ned Wheeler.
The two best hurlers he has seen in Wexford were Billy Rackard R.I.P. and Mick Jacob. He also selects St. Aidan's (Enniscorthy) as a good club team too in hurling.
JOHN HENDRICK (BALLINAVARY EMMETS): John Hendrick was born in 1934 and was educated at Courtnacuddy N.S. His boyhood hero was Nickey Rackard R.I.P. Two of the best goalies he has seen in hurling were Ollie Walsh R.I.P. and Ger Cunningham (Cork).
John started playing with the Ballinavary Emmets in the early '50s and finished playing with them in 1957. He also played hurling with the Galbally Farmers and St. Bennan's. He played Minor hurling with Cloughbawn in 1952.
He usually played at right corner-back, and sometimes at full-back. The four forwards that he found the most difficult to curtail were Mick Dunne R.I.P. (Caim-Kiltealy), Mikie Murphy R.I.P. (Oulart), Jim Kinsella (Hollow Rangers) and Mick Bennett R.I.P. (Oylegate-Glenbrien).
One of his best games playing hurling was in a District semi-final versus Oulart-The Ballagh in the late '50s. He had an excellent game in this encounter even though he was playing on the elusive Mikie Murphy.
When playing with Ballinavary Emmets the hurlers from the club who impressed him the most were Fr. William Cosgrave, Seamus Dunne, Paddy Doyle and Denny Doyle R.I.P. At under-age level, Liam Kehoe, Noel Ronan, Joe Kavanagh and Bill Hassey R.I.P. were very good.
With Galbally Farmers, Willie Hogan and Billy Donohoe were impressive, and with St. Bennan's, Liam Kehoe, Jimmy Nolan and Andy Carty were brilliant.
The four greatest hurlers he has ever seen were Christy Ring R.I.P., Jimmy Langton R.I.P., Pat Stakelum R.I.P. and Henry Shefflin. In Wexford, Bobby Rackard R.I.P., Nick O'Donnell R.I.P., Tim Flood R.I.P. and Ned Wheeler were masterclass. The greatest Wexford hurler he has ever seen was Bobby Rackard R.I.P., and the greatest footballer was Paddy Kehoe.
The two best dual players he has seen in Ireland were Teddy McCarthy (Cork) and Des Foley R.I.P. (Dublin). In Wexford, Paddy Kehoe, Phil Wilson and George O'Connor were tops. The best hurling full-back he has seen was Nick O'Donnell R.I.P., while the best midfielder was Ned Wheeler. The best full-forward he has seen was Tony Doran.
In the last 40 years the players in Wexford that stood out were Tony Doran, Mick Jacob, Martin Quigley, Dan Quigley, Willie Murphy and goalie Damien Fitzhenry. The Kilkenny team in the last number of years was the greatest he has ever seen. The greatest game of hurling he has seen was the 1949 Co. Senior final - Cloughbawn 4-2 versus Rathnure 2-6.
The best club team he has seen in hurling was St. Aidan's in the '50s, and the best football team was the Duffry Rovers who won all before them in the '80s and '90s. One of the best saves he has seen was made by Art Foley for Wexford versus Cork in the 1956 final.
Tommy Walsh, J.J. Delaney, Henry Shefflin and Richie Hogan for Kilkenny, plus Patrick Horgan, Joe Canning and Tony Kelly were brilliant in the last five years. The best full-back line he has seen playing together featured Jim Hogan, Pat 'Diamond' Hayden and Mark Marnell for Kilkenny, and the best half-back line was Jimmy Finn, Pat Stakelum and Tommy Doyle for Tipperary.
The best midfield pairing would be Jim Morrissey and Ned Wheeler. The best half-forwards were Willie John Daly, Josie Hartnett and Christy Ring R.I.P. (Cork), while the best full-forward line was Paddy Kenny, Sonny Maher and Seamus Bannon for Tipperary.
WILLIE KELLY (CLOUGHBAWN): Willie Kelly who resides in Knoxtown, a few miles from Clonroche village, was in his playing days an outstanding and close-marking defender for his club, Cloughbawn. He was very efficient and absolute in his defensive duties.
With his tenacious close marking, his speed of thought and his superb ball control, he made life very uncomfortable for his many opponents who played against him. He never allowed any freedom of movement for any opponent to exercise their skill to register their name on the scoreboard.
His play at times was close to perfection and was most dependable, sending all of his clearances to the best advantage for his team-mates. He was very clever and mobile which won him most of the balls that came in his direction. He dealt efficiently with moves by his opposing forwards and time and time again he repulsed most of their goalbound efforts.
He was born in 1945 and was educated at Donard N.S. His boyhood hero was Tim Flood R.I.P., a player who brought so much joy and happiness to his parish because of his great hurling grandeur.
He played hurling and adult level with Cloughbawn from 1964 to 1982, a grand total of 18 years.
One of the great goalies he has seen in hurling was Pat Nolan (Oylegate-Glenbrien), a player who saved Wexford on so many occasions with his brilliance. The two best dual players he has seen in Ireland were Des Foley R.I.P. (Dublin) and Jimmy Barry-Murphy (Cork). In Wexford the Ballyhogue pairing of Phil Wilson and Joe Foley were as good as the best in both codes.
In the last 40 years or so, the hurlers that stood out in Willie's opinion were Mick Jacob, Tony Doran, Martin Quigley and Liam Bennett R.I.P. The four greatest hurlers he has seen outside of Wexford were Brian Whelahan (Offaly), D.J. Carey (Kilkenny), Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny) and J.J. Delaney (Kilkenny).
The four best Cloughbawn hurlers he has seen were Tim Flood R.I.P., Liam Kehoe, Jim Kehoe (Clonleigh) and Larry Murphy. Ger and Seán Flood were also tops.
When playing in his defensive role he encountered some excellent forwards, but the four that caused him the most problems were Pat Leacy (Buffers Alley), Willie Kelly (Marshalstown), John Quigley (Rathnure) and Timmy McCormack (Oulart-The Ballagh).
One of Willie's finest games for his team was in the 1972 Co. Junior hurling final. As captain he excelled at right corner-back, clearing ball after ball and frustrating the Crossabeg-Ballymurn team on numerous occasions throughout the game. He played Juvenile and Minor hurling with Cloughbawn and Adamstown United, and Under-21 also. Willie was also a top-class footballer with Cloughbawn.
He was a Senior hurling selector with the Cloughbawn in 1986, 1987 and 1990, Junior football manager in 1993, 1994 and 1995, Chairman in 1981 and Treasurer from 1995 to 2003. He won one Junior hurling medal in 1972 and one Co. Intermediate medal in 1973. He also won inter-firms Leinster and All-Ireland medals with Mahon McPhillips (Kilkenny) in 1977.
The best game of hurling he has seen was Kilkenny versus Tipperary in the 2014 All-Ireland drawn game. The best goalie he has seen in hurling was Pat Nolan (Oylegate-Glenbrien).
MICK KINSELLA (GOREY YOUNG EMMETS, BUFFERS ALLEY): Michael Kinsella or Mick as he is known to his many friends originally came from Gorey town, but now lives in Wexford town. During his playing career he was one of the game's most original hurlers.
From 1960 when he first played Juvenile with the Gorey Young Emmets until his last appearance with Passage in the Waterford championship, he was a model of consistency and hurling splendour. Centre half-back was his position that we were all accustomed to seeing him playing in.
He always used his foresight to his advantage, frequently gaining crucial and opportunistic possession. Mick was a great strategist and exploited his skills, ball control and clearances to perfection. His aerial striking, his ground hurling and his vision were a joy to watch.
He was a master in all his hurling skills - the pick-up, the body swerve, the impeccable control with the ball and his long deliveries.
He was born in 1945 & was educated at Gorey C.B.S. and St. Peter's College, Wexford. One of the great goalies he has seen in hurling was Damien Fitzhenry. In the last 40 years the hurlers that impressed him the most in Wexford were Tony Doran, Dan Quigley, Mick Jacob and Larry O'Gorman.
In Ireland the four players that stood out in his mind were Eddie Keher, Justin McCarthy, Seánie McMahon (Clare) and Henry Shefflin. The two best dual players he has seen in Ireland were Teddy McCarthy and Leighton Glynn (Wicklow). In Wexford, Martin Quigley and Oliver Cullen were outstanding.
The best club team he has seen in hurling was the Buffers Alley side from 1968 to 1987. The greatest game of hurling he has witnessed was Kilkenny versus Tipperary in the 2014 All-Ireland drawn final.
One of Mick's finest games was with Buffers Alley versus Faughs (Dublin) in the 1971 Leinster Club quarter-final played in Parnell Park. The three players that he found most difficult to subdue were Con Dowdall, Paul Lynch R.I.P. and Martin Byrne (Rathnure). While playing in Waterford, Tom Cheasty R.I.P. was also great.
Mick played Juvenile hurling with Gorey Young Emmets in 1960 and 1961, and Minor hurling with Gorey Young Emmets in 1961, 1962 and 1963. He played Co. Minor hurling with Wexford in 1962 and 1963, winning Leinster and All-Ireland medals in Minor hurling in 1963.
His medal collection includes: Co. Juvenile football in 1961 with Gorey Young Emmets, colleges with St. Peter's, including Leinster and All-Ireland in 1962, Intermediate Leinster and All-Ireland in 1964, Leinster Under-21 hurling in 1964, Leinster and All-Ireland Under-21 hurling in 1965, Intermediate Leinster hurling in 1965, National hurling league with Wexford in 1967, and Leinster and All-Ireland in 1968 as a substitute on the winning teams. With the Wexford Senior teams he played five championship games between 1966 and 1972.
With Buffers Alley he won four Co. Senior hurling medals. He also won Junior and Intemediate football medals. He was a full-time coach with Wexford G.A.A. from 1990 to 1993, and then first full-time Co. Secretary with the county from 1993 to 2008.
Another Leinster Under-21 hurling medal was won in 1966, his third in a row. He also won a Co. Under-21 hurling medal with Buffers Alley-Oulart United. His three brothers - Rory, Seánie and Pat - were also brilliant hurlers too.
His biggest disappointment was losing the 1966 All-Ireland Under-21 hurling final to Cork in a second replay. His boyhood hero was Nickey Rackard R.I.P. On the 1996 All-Ireland winning team, Adrian Fenlon was outstanding in all their games up to and including the final.
TOMMY KIRWAN (BALLYHOGUE, GLYNN-BARNTOWN): Originally from Waterford, but now residing in the parish of Glynn, Tommy Kirwan has had a chequered career in Gaelic games.
In his native county he played his football with both Kilrossanty and the John Mitchells, winning two Waterford Co. Senior football medals with the former in 1962 and 1963, and also three Phelan Cups in 1964, 1965 and 1966.
In 1966 he moved to live in Wexford at Crandaniel, Barntown. Even after his arrival in Glynn he continued to play with the John Mitchells in Waterford. In 1970 he played his first game for Ballyhogue at Senior level in football versus Gusserane in the Co. semi-final. He continued to play with them in 1971, 1972 and 1973, winning two Senior medals with them in 1971 and 1972. They contested the Senior final with Castletown in 1970, but lost out to the former champions.
He also won the Co. Junior hurling title with Ballyhogue the year after. His last game with the 'Hogues was the loss of their title to Castletown in 1973. Tommy played most of his games at left corner-forward, but he also played full-forward on a couple of occasions with Ballyhogue.
After Ballyhogue he played both hurling and football with Glynn-Barntown until his retirement. Tommy played Senior football for Waterford for a number of years along with his brothers, Billy, Tony, Vinny and Noel R.I.P. He was born in 1937.
His boyhood hero was the great Tipperary corner-forward, Paddy Kenny R.I.P. One of the best goalies he has seen in football is Stephen Cluxton (Dublin). The players from the Glynn-Barntown footballers that impressed him the most were Dermot Whelan, Paul Brazzill, Shane Carley and Tommy Kehoe. He was very proud of his two sons, Barry and Kieran, when they were playing.
On the Ballyhogue team, Patrick Leacy, Denis Asple, Nick Fortune and Seán Moriarty were brilliant. The two best dual players he has seen were Teddy McCarthy and Ray Cummins. In Wexford, George O'Connor and Jack Berry R.I.P. were great.
The five greatest footballers he has ever seen were Mick O'Connell, James McCartan Snr. (Down), Gerry O'Malley, Brian Mullins and Tim 'Tiger' Lyons R.I.P. (Kerry). Tommy also played Minor football with Waterford in 1954 and 1955.
His finest hour playing football was with Ballyhogue versus Castletown in the 1971 Co. Senior final. He worked throughout like a beaver and caused endless headaches for the opposition. It was a dream-like display, very slick and sharp. He was a brilliant free-taker for most of his career.
One of the great games of football he has seen was the 1977 All-Ireland semi-final between Dublin and Kerry. The best club team he has seen in football in Wexford was the Castletown outfit from 1965 to 1981. The greatest footballer he has seen was Mick O'Connell, and the greatest hurler he has seen was Christy Ring R.I.P.
The four best footballers he has seen in Wexford were Patrick Leacy, Seamus Keevans R.I.P., Larry O'Shaughnessy and John Harrington (Sarsfields). The four best hurlers he has seen in Wexford were Bobby Rackard R.I.P., Padge Kehoe R.I.P., Phil Wilson and Mick Jacob. Johnny Murphy (Crossabeg-Ballymurn) was also a brilliant player. The four most difficult opponents he encountered were Larry O'Shaughnessy, Davy Rowe, Fran Molloy and Tim 'Tiger' Lyons R.I.P. (Kerry).
MICK LEACY (BALLYHOGUE): In his educational years at Bree N.S., Mick Leacy was highly-rated as an outstanding prospect as a future football star with the Ballyhogue's teams.
In the late '50s he was the school's leading light in the Rackard League, assisting Bree to three finals in a row, losing out to a brilliant Kilmore team on each occasion. However, a serious leg injury in the mid-'60s put a halt to a brilliant future. He was demoralised for a while after the injury as he loved his football and also putting on the blue and white jersey for the 'Hogues.
He was born in 1944 and his boyhood hero was Mickey Byrne R.I.P. of Ballyhogue fame. Mick played Juvenile football with the 'Hogues and Minor also. His first year playing with the club at adult level was in 1961, and he was a member of the team which won the Co. Junior title that year. In 1962 and 1963 he won two more medals, this time at Senior level.
His finest hour in the blue and white jersey was versus the Shamrocks in the 1964 Under-21 football District final. Although his injured leg was still a big problem with him, he turned in a brilliant performance and scored 3-6. He did not play again.
One of the best goalies he has seen in football was Dublin's John O'Leary. Mick's father, Peter, also played with Ballyhogue and his younger brother, Joe, won a number of medals with the 'Hogues in football and hurling. The four Ballyhogue footballers that impressed him the most over the years were Mickey Byrne R.I.P., Johnny Martin, Eddie Walsh and Nick Fortune.
The four greatest footballers he has ever seen were Peter Canavan, Matt Connor, John O'Keeffe and Jack O'Shea. The four best footballers he has seen in Wexford were Matty Forde, Andy Merrigan R.I.P., Jack Berry R.I.P. (St. Anne's) and Martin Quigley.
The greatest hurler he has seen was our own Tony Doran, especially on the club scene. When playing with Ballyhogue the footballers that he found most difficult to elude were Tommy Gethings R.I.P. (Ferns), Rory Kelly (Sarsfields), Tom Lawlor (Castletown) and Tommy McVeigh R.I.P. (Starlights).
The two best dual players he has seen in Ireland were Des Foley R.I.P. (Dublin) and Teddy McCarthy (Cork). In Wexford, Phil Wilson, Joe Foley and Martin Quigley were brilliant at both games.
One of the greatest games of football he has seen was the All-Ireland Senior final with Tyrone winning versus Kerry in 2005. One of the greatest full-backs he has seen playing football was John O'Keeffe (Kerry). The best midfielder was Jack O'Shea and the best full-forward was Eoin 'Bomber' Liston.
Mick was also a selector with his club for a few years. Of the present-day footballers he is impressed with Colm Cooper (Kerry), James O'Donoghue (Kerry), David Moran (Kerry), Bernard Brogan (Dublin), Conor McManus (Monaghan), Michael Murphy (Donegal) and Aidan O'Shea (Mayo). On the great Wexford hurling team in the '50s his favourites were Ned Wheeler, Tim Flood R.I.P., Nickey Rackard R.I.P. and Padge Kehoe R.I.P.
TONY MAHER (ST. AIDAN'S): Tony Maher was one of the most gifted hurlers to emerge on the under-age scene in the '60s. A tall, well-built individual with pace and skill, he was performing excellent hurling when he was 17 years old.
He first played hurling with St. Aidan's at Senior level in 1961 versus the Faythe Harriers in the Co. championship round one at left corner-forward. In the final that year versus Rathnure, he came on as a substitute for Harry Goff. He continued to play with St. Aidan's until well into the '60s. He then moved to Dublin, and his loss to the club was immense at that stage as he was in his prime. He was also an excellent footballer playing with the Starlights.
He was born in 1944 and resided in St. John's Villas, Enniscorthy. He was educated at Enniscorthy C.B.S. His boyhood hero was Nickey Rackard R.I.P.
He played Juvenile hurling with St. Pat's Boys' Club in 1959 and 1960, and Juvenile football with the Starlights in the same two years. He repeated that feat with the same teams in both codes in Minor. He played Under-21 hurling with St. Aidan's in 1964 and 1965, and football with the Starlights in the same period.
He had some great games in the Under-21 hurling that year, with three versus the Duffry Rovers and one versus Rathnure. In the latter he came up against Dan Quigley for the first time. In football the 'Stars' lost in the Co. semi-final to Castletown.
With the Wexford Co. teams, he played with the Senior hurlers on a number of occasions. He also played Minor hurling at centre-forward versus Kilkenny in 1962, and Minor football versus Kildare in the same year at midfield. In 1964 and 1965 he played Under-21 hurling with the purple and gold, winning two Leinster medals and one All-Ireland with them.
The greatest goalie he has seen in hurling was Ollie Walsh R.I.P. Two of the best dual players he as seen in Wexford were Paddy Kehoe and Phil Wilson. The three greatest hurlers he has ever seen were D.J.Carey, Eddie Keher and Jimmy Doyle R.I.P.
Of the Wexford's great team in the '50s, his favourites were Ned Wheeler, Nick O'Donnell R.I.P. and Tim Flood R.I.P. One of the finest individual displays he has seen was given by Danny Kennedy R.I.P. for St. Aidan's in the 1959 Co. Senior hurling final.
One of Tony's finest games was with St. Aidan's versus Oylegate-Glenbrien in the 1962 Senior hurling championship played in Bellefield, lining out at right half-forward. He was in brilliant form and, for a youngster at just 18 years old, he played brilliantly against much more experienced players. He was quick and clever and was a byword for reliability. He played with flair and style and put great zest and seal into his display.
The four St. Aidan's hurlers that impressed him the most were Nick O'Donnell R.I.P., Padge Kehoe R.I.P., Danny Kennedy R.I.P. and Ted Morrissey. Two of Tony's brothers, Tom and Michael R.I.P., were also excellent players at club level, with Tom playing in goal for the Co. Minor football team.
One of the great games of hurling he has seen was Buffers Alley versus the Shamrocks in the 1970 Co. Senior final. The former were really brilliant on that occasion. When playing in the Wexford Senior hurling championships, the players he found most difficult to elude were Ned Colfer (Geraldine O'Hanrahans), Dominic Murphy (Ferns), Matt Browne (Shamrocks), Willie Murphy (Father Harriers) and Brendan Morris (Ferns).
JOE McCARTHY (BLUE AND WHITES): Joe McCarthy arrived in Wexford in 1966 as a member of An Garda Siochána. Originally from Beaufort in Kerry, it was only natural coming from a county steeped in the tradition of Gaelic football that he would continue where he left off in his native place and join up with a club in Wexford.
As the Blue and Whites had a number of Gardaí in their set-up, Joe decided to throw in his lot with them too. The Blue and Whites had quite a good team in the Wexford District at Junior level around the late '60s and early '70s. Joe played regularly with them, usually in the half-forward line or at midfield.
He had all the hallmarks of a classy Kerry footballer - reliable, dashing, with great intelligence, clever and astute. He was very energetic and knew exactly what the players around him were going to do. This allowed him to ghost into open spaces to collect a well-directed pass from one of his colleagues.
He was born in 1945 and attended Cullina N.S. He was educated further in Rockwell College, in Dublin and U.C.C. His boyhood heroes were two of Kerry's greatest - Mick O'Connell and Tadghie Lyne.
One of the greatest goalies he has seen in football was Cork's Billy Morgan. He was always so self assured and with lots of confidence in his game. Joe continued to play with the Blue and Whites into the early '70s.
One of the finest games playing for his club was versus the Volunteers in the 1967 Loch Garman Cup semi-final. He had a regal game at midfield. He was very impressive in this encounter, even allowing for the fact that his side lost to the Volunteers. His clever use of the ball had to be admired. He reached high in the air, fielding superbly and getting a lot of ball down to his forwards.
From the area he came from, he played Minor football. The area of Beaufort is the home place of those brilliant Kerry brothers, Brendan and Paudie Lynch. Of the present-day players, James O'Donoghue (Kerry) stands out. He is one of the top players at the moment.
When playing in the Wexford District Junior football championship, the players he found most difficult to master were Kevin Bleheim (Volunteers) and Liam Walsh R.I.P. (Dan O'Connell's). The four greatest footballers he has ever seen were Mick O'Connell (Kerry), Jack O'Shea (Kerry), Seán O'Neill (Down) and Dan McCartan (Down).
The four footballers in Wexford that impressed him during their fine run under Jason Ryan were Redmond Barry, Matty Forde, Ciarán Lyng and David Murphy. The best full-forward he has ever seen was Tom Long (Kerry), and the best full-back was John O'Keeffe (Kerry).
The dual players that impressed him the most were Teddy McCarthy (Cork) and Jimmy Barry-Murphy (Cork). In Wexford the dual players that impressed him the most were Redmond Barry (St. Anne's) and George O'Connor (St. Martin's).
One of the best club teams he has seen was the Kilanerin outfit that won three Co. Senior football titles in the years 1997, 1999 and 2003. When playing with the Blue and Whites, the players from the club that impressed him the most were Joe Kelly (full-back), Davy Fitzgerald (centre-back), Dick Burke, Mick McMahon and the former Castletown and Gorey Blues star, Pat Flynn.
Joe was delighted with Kerry winning back the Sam Maguire Cup in 2014. It was a tribute to their new manager, Eamonn Fitzmaurice, and his selectors. With 'The Gooch' back along with Tommy Walsh, the future looks good.
One of the greatest games of football he has seen was the 2013 All-Ireland Senior semi-final between Dublin and Kerry. Colm Cooper's display, particularly in the first-half, was as good as he has seen. In the county of Kerry, Mick O'Connell, Mikey Sheehy, Jack O'Shea and Darragh O Sé were four masterclass performers in their day. One of the greatest hurlers he has ever seen was Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny).
ALBERT McDONALD (CROSSABEG-BALLYMURN): After playing under-age hurling with Ardcolm, Albert moved on to play Junior with his native parish Crossabeg in 1961. Throughout the '60s he was a regular player with Crossabeg-Ballymurn for most of the decade.
He usually manned the right corner-back position where he excelled with his close, vigilant, glue-like marking. He never allowed his opposite opponent any leeway to get an easy hit at the goals. He was always positive and composed, and showed tremendous resilience and durability.
His tackling was hard but fair, and he used craftsmanship and judgement rather than relying on physical contact to gain him possesion and lead to many clearances out of his area. His displays showed a real ability to marshal his corner-back position.
He was born in 1941 and was educated at Crossabeg N.S. His boyhood hero was Nickey Rackard R.I.P. One of the best goalies he has seen in hurling was Pat Nolan (Oylegate-Glenbrien. He was so consistent and brilliant over many years for Wexford. In football, Stephen Cluxton (Dublin) is outstanding as a goalie.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn has produced many fine hurlers down through the years like Jack 'King' Redmond, Seán Foley R.I.P. and the Ardcolm star, Pat Murphy, and many more. The players from the club that impressed Albert the most over the years were the skilful Johnny Murphy (Wexford), John McDonald, Diarmuid McDonald, Mick Ennis and Pat Donohoe.
The two best dual players he has seen in Ireland were Ray Cummins (Cork) and Teddy McCarthy (Cork). In Wexford, George O'Connor, Phil Wilson and Redmond Barry were tops.
One of Albert's best games playing for Crossabeg-Ballymurn was versus Shelmaliers in the 1962 Wexford District Junior hurling championship first round. Allowing for the fact that he was just 21 years old and playing in his second year Junior, he put in a splendid performance in curtailing the advances of a much more experienced Shelmaliers forward sector.
When playing in the Wexford championships, those that he found most difficult to subdue were Lionel Rochford (Na Fianna), Noel Ryan (Shelmaliers), Martin Nolan R.I.P. (Blackwater) and Robbie Jacob (Oulart-The Ballagh). The four greatest hurlers he has ever seen were Christy Ring, Eddie Keher, Henry Shefflin and Jimmy Doyle R.I.P.
Of the present-day players he selects Joe Canning (Galway), Richie Hogan (Kilkenny), Jackie Tyrrell (Kilkenny) and Tony Kelly (Clare) as the best. Tommy Walsh and J.J. Delaney were masterclass wing half-backs for the last number of years.
On the great Wexford team in the '50s, Nickey Rackard R.I.P., Bobby Rackard R.I.P. and Billy Rackard R.I.P. along with Ned Wheeler were his favourites. He would have to select Henry Shefflin as the greatest hurler he has ever seen.
The greatest football combination together were the Galway pair of Seán Purcell R.I.P. and Frankie Stockwell R.I.P. In the last 40 years the players from Wexford who impressed him the most were Mick Jacob, Tony Doran, Martin Quigley, Dan Quigley and Willie Murphy.
The two finest games of hurling he has seen were Clare versus Cork in the drawn All-Ireland Senior final of 2013, and the drawn game between Kilkenny and Tipperary in the 2014 All-Ireland Senior final.
The best club team he has seen in hurling in Wexford was Rathnure in the early '70s, winning four Co. Senior titles in a row. The best club team he has seen in football was the all-conquering Duffry Rovers from 1986 to 1992. There was a big disappointment in the parish in 1972 when the club lost the Co. Junior hurling final to Cloughbawn, and again in 1974 when they lost in the Intermediate hurling final to Naomh Eanna.
DECLAN McPARTLIN (CLONEE): Declan McPartlin, originally from Dublin and now residing in the Camolin area, was an outstanding hurler with his club, Clonee. When he arrived in Wexford he brought enthusiasm, flair and panache to the local team.
He arrived in 1975 and straight away joined up with the Clonee hurling team. In Dublin he played his hurling with Kevin's and Good Counsel. He played Juvenile and Minor also in the city and was a member of the Dublin Minor hurling team in 1958.
From his first year playing with Clonee until his last outing in 1986, he was always a top performer, playing his heart out to assist his club to success. In 1979 they lost the Co. Junior hurling final to Rathgarogue-Cushinstown by 1-4 to 1-1. Again in 1981 they contested another final, losing on this occasion to Rathnure by 2-12 to 3-4.
However, the wholehearted endeavour of the club succeeded in capturing the elusive title in 1984 with a victory versus Duffry Rovers in a replay by 3-12 to 3-10. This encounter was one of the greatest games ever seen in a Co. Junior hurling final. It had everything anyone could wish for.
Declan was always superbly fit and in good shape. This enabled him to play well until he has in his mid-40s. His astute vision, his intelligence, his mobility, crisp striking and excellent ball control marked him out as something special in his role with the Clonee club. His contribution to the club was immense and he was an inspirational figure when things were not going well.
He was born in 1940 and was educated at Synge Street C.B.S. in Dublin. His boyhood heroes were Nickey Rackard R.I.P. in hurling and Kevin Heffernan R.I.P. (Dublin) in football. The best goalie he has seen in hurling was Ollie Walsh R.I.P. One of the great dual players he has seen was Des Foley R.I.P. (Dublin) along with Jimmy Barry-Murphy (Cork) and Ray Cummins (Cork). Micheál Furlong (St. Pat's) and Phil Wilson were also brilliant dual players.
The greatest hurler he has ever seen was Christy Ring R.I.P., and the greatest footballer was Kevin Heffernan R.I.P. The four Wexford hurlers that stand out as being special to Declan were Tony Doran, George O'Connor, Mick Jacob and Martin Storey who were very skilful.
Of the present-day players, Henry Shefflin along with Tommy Walsh, Joe Canning and Michael 'Brick' Walsh (Waterford) are class. The four Clonee hurlers that impressed him the most were Mick Redmond R.I.P., Eddie O'Leary, Pat Byrne and the gifted Tom Byrne R.I.P.
One of Declan's finest games was versus Duffry Rovers in the 1984 Co. Junior hurling final replay. He was determined on this occasion that Clonee would not lose out again in a final. He used his guile, speed and skill to unlock the losers' defence. He was sharp, elusive and slick in his every movement, and when the final whistle sounded the expression on the faces and on their supporters told its own story. Joyous was the word.
The best club team he has seen in hurling was Oulart-The Ballagh in winning five Co. Senior finals in a row in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. His brother, Tom McPartlin, was also a top-class hurler with Good Counsel in Dublin. Declan's son, Alister, is looking like a hurler of the future playing with Ferns. When playing with Clonee the two players who caused him the most problems were Pat Cullen (Ballyfad) and Tom Rath R.I.P. (Askamore).
MARTY MORAN (BANNOW-BALLYMITTY): Marty Moran, who resides in Moortown in the parish of Ballymitty, was for many years involved with the club in hurling and football. He played his hurling in the half-back line and his football in the forwards. He played both games with a great commitment for 14 years from 1961 to 1975.
In hurling he played every game with gusto and wholehearted endeavour. His marking was terrier-like and his approach to every game was one of grim determination. When in the forward line his positional play, his movements and his intelligient use of the ball were features of an excellent performer. All through his career, he displayed remarkably high levels of dedication, resolve and stamina.
He was born in 1943 and was educated at Tullycanna N.S. His boyhood heroes were Nickey Rackard R.I.P. in hurling, and Bill 'Spider' Kelly in football. One of the best goalies he has seen in football was Bannow-Ballymitty's Finny Campbell.
The two best dual players he has seen in Ireland were Des Foley R.I.P. (Dublin) and Jimmy Barry-Murphy (Cork). In Wexford, Phil Wilson and Redmond Barry (St. Anne's) were tops. The four greatest footballers he has ever seen were Jack O'Shea, Kevin Heffernan R.I.P., Páidí O'Sé R.I.P. and Peter Canavan. In Wexford he selects Matty Forde, Peter Tobin R.I.P. (Corah Ramblers), Davy Rowe and Andy Merrigan R.I.P. as footballers of excellence.
One of the great club football teams he has seen over the years was the Duffry Rovers combination which won a number of Co. titles in the '80s and early '90s. Of the present hurlers he selects Richie Hogan (Kilkenny), T.J. Reid (Kilkenny), Paul Murphy (Kilkenny), Cathal Barrett and Seamus Callanan (Tipperary) as outstanding.
In the past 40 years he has seen many great players who wore the purple and gold of Wexford, but his selection as the best he has seen features Mick Jacob, Tony Doran, Ned Buggy, Martin Quigley and Colm Doran as tops. Prior to that, Phil Wilson, Tom Neville and Jimmy O'Brien were super.
Marty played Juvenile with Ballymitty in 1959 and Minor with the same club in 1961. His medal collection was almost nil, but the joy and entertainment he got out of playing and the many friends he made was a big bonus for missing out. His three brothers - Tom R.I.P., Paddy R.I.P. and John R.I.P. - were magnificent footballers in the late '40s, all of the '50s and early '60s playing with St. Anne's and Ballymitty.
Marty's finest games with the club were in hurling versus Cushinstown in the 1971 Junior championship in the New Ross District, and in football versus St. Mary's (Rosslare) in the 1974 game played in Wexford Park. In both games he was at his brilliant best and was more than pleased with his performance.
The greatest footballer he has seen in Ireland was Jack O'Shea and the greatest hurler was Christy Ring R.I.P. It was sad when the Railway Cup games took a back seat. They were so popular with every G.A.A. follower as it was great to see so many brilliant players playing together in one match. He is hoping it can be revived somet ime in the future.
Finny Campbell was one of the best dual players to line out for his club. The hurlers that he would select as the finest he has seen were Eddie Keher, Brian Whelahan, D.J. Carey and Jimmy Doyle along with Henry Shefflin as another star elite. When playing football the two opponents who were difficult to play on were Jim Berry and Con Donnellly (Clongeen).
Part three of this four-part series will be featured in next week's edition, with the following award recipients still to be profiled:
Patsy Murray, Liam Murphy, Peadar Murphy, Toddy Murphy, Willie Murphy, Eugene Nolan, Paddy O'Leary, Tony O'Loughlin, Conor O'Rafferty, Paddy O'Reilly, Tommy O'Rourke, Joe O'Shaughnessy, Johnny Parle, Pat Poole, Luke Power, Johnny Purcell, Dan Quigley, Noel Ronan, Nicky Rossiter, Davy Rowe, Tommy Rowe, Eugene Ryan, Jim Ryan, Vinny Staples, Freddie Swords, John Tubritt, Willie Walsh, Ger Waters, Martin Whelan.
Thanks to P.J. Daly for supplying the profiles which he compiled for the award winners who were honoured at Sunday's function before a big crowd in the Ferrycarrig Hotel.