Spotlight on stars of past
Part three of our series on the Seana Ghael recipients
Published 30/01/2016 | 00:00
Another 60-plus former players joined the Seana Ghael hall of fame earlier this month. 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.
LIAM MURPHY (SHELMALIERS): Liam Murphy, who was originally from Screen and now resides in Kennedy Park in Wexford town, was born in 1937 and was educated at Screen N.S. His boyhood hero was Nickey Rackard R.I.P.
One of the best goalies he has seen in hurling was Noel Skehan (Kilkenny). In a distinguished hurling career that spread over 29 years from 1956 to 1985, he played with three clubs - his home base with the Shelmaliers, then when he moved into town he lined out with Na Fianna, and he finished a glorious term with Our Lady's (Clonard) in 1985.
When playing he lined out in a number of positions both in the back line and especially at midfield. It was in midfield that we saw Liam producing some outstanding displays of top-class hurling. His ability to run at full steam throughout a game and his classical overhead striking were hallmarks of his play.
One of his finest games playing for the Shelmaliers was versus Oylegate-Glenbrien in the 1957 Co. Intermediate championship. At midfield, he gave a vintage performance of marvellous judgement and anticipation, and the way he created space for himself was exemplary.
When playing he came up against some excellent players, and the four he selects as the most difficult were John Redmond R.I.P. (Oylegate-Glenbrien), John Hearn (Horeswood), Seán Dowdall R.I.P. (Faythe Harriers) and John English (Rathnure). One of the most memorable games of hurling he has seen was the 1954 Co. Junior final, with Shelmaliers winning versus Oylegate-Glenbrien. He got his first medal in this win as a substitute.
Of the great Wexford hurling team in the '50s his favourites were Nickey Rackard R.I.P., Bobby Rackard R.I.P., Tim Flood R.I.P. and the great overhead striker, Ned Wheeler. In the last 40 years the players that stood out in his opinion were Tony Doran, Mick Jacob, Willie Murphy, Ned Buggy and Martin Quigley.
The Shelmaliers hurlers that impressed him the most over the years were Seamus Hearne R.I.P., Jack Harding, Phil Redmond R.I.P., Eugene Cullen and Ollie Hearne. Of the present-day hurlers, Richie Hogan, J.J. Delaney, Jackie Tyrrell, Joe Canning and Seamus Callanan stand out the most.
One of the great All-Ireland hurling finals he has seen was Wexford versus Cork in the 1954 decider. It also produced the greatest one-man performance ever seen when Bobby Rackard R.I.P. went from centre half-back to full-back in the last 20 minutes of the game.
Liam played Minor hurling with Ardcolm in 1954 and 1955. Two of his brothers - Pat and Seán R.I.P. - were outstanding players in their day. His late father and late uncle, Will Murphy, also plalyed the game of hurling.
The best midfield combination he has seen was the Wexford pairing of Ned Wheeler and Jim Morrissey R.I.P. The three best full-forwards he has ever seen were Nickey Rackard R.I.P., Tony Doran and Cork's Ray Cummins. The 2014 All-Ireland final between Kilkenny and Tipperary, and the 2013 All-Ireland final, were great advertisements for hurling.
Liam was thrilled when the Shelmaliers won the 2014 Co. Senior final versus St. Anne's in a replay. It was the first time in 85 years that the Senior Crown came to the parish.
He would select the Ardcolm Minor hurling team, champions in 1948, as one of the best he has seen around that period. Great clubmen he witnessed over the years were Padge Kehoe R.I.P. (St. Aidan's), Ted Bolger R.I.P. (St. Aidan's), Tony Doran (Buffers Alley), Mick Jacob (Oulart-The Ballagh) and Jim English (Rathnure) R.I.P.. He also mentions Tim Flood R.I.P. (Cloughbawn) and Martin Flood (Cloughbawn).
PEADAR MURPHY (FERNS ST. AIDAN'S): PeadAr Murphy came from a family steeped in the tradition of G.A.A. affairs. Three of his older brothers - Paddy, Edmund and Dom - have already received Seana Ghael awards, while the younger brothers - Enda and Denis - were outstanding members of the Ferns teams for many years.
Peadar was born in 1941 and was educated at Ferns N.S., St. Peter's College from 1955 to 1960, and U.C.D. from 1961 to 1965. He had a distinguished under-age playing career, winning three Co. Minor medals with Ferns in 1957 and 1958 in hurling and 1958 in football, plus three Leinster Senior Colleges medals with St. Peter's.
He was selected for both Co. Minor hurling and football teams in 1959. From 1961 to 1963 he was not available to play much with Ferns. As a university student he worked abroad in the summer months and played most of his hurling with U.C.D. from September to May. He won the Dublin Intermediate championship with U.C.D. in 1963 plus two Fitzgibbon Cup medals with the College in 1964 and 1965.
He played with the Wexford Intermediate hurling team in 1964, winning an All-Ireland medal with them when they defeated London in the final. During the match he had to be taken to Wexford General Hospital with a locked knee (loose cartilage). This injury plagued his entire playing career which forced him to retire at the age of 29 in 1970. He had played with the Wexford Senior teams in the 1969-1970 league campaign.
One of his finest games for Ferns was the 1969 Co. semi-final win versus Rathnure. He was very disappointed when they lost the final to the Shamrocks. He was a selector for the team also.
The four most difficult opponents he encountered in his playing days were John Murphy R.I.P. (Blackwater), Jimmy Pender (Oulart-The Ballagh), Paddy Sinnott (Buffers Alley) and Tom Neville (Geraldine O'Hanrahans). The four Ferns hurlers that stood out in Peader's opinion were Tom Guinan (a great dual player), Tommy Hawkins, Brendan Morris and Aidan Nolan R.I.P.
The four greatest hurlers he has ever seen were Joe Cooney (Galway), D.J. Carey (Kilkenny), Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny) and Jimmy Doyle R.I.P. (Tipperary). The four best hurlers he has seen in Wexford in the last 40 years were Tony Doran, Martin Quigley, Mick Jacob and Liam Dunne.
From the '50s team his favourites were Bobby Rackard R.I.P., Tim Flood R.I.P. and the finest overhead striker he has ever seen, namely Ned Wheeler. One of the great dual players he has seen was Des Foley R.I.P. (Dublin), and in Wexford, Paddy Kehoe. The two greatest Wexford footballers he has seen were Fr. Rory Deane and Matty Forde.
In his days playing hurling in Wexford he was a most influential player or his club with oodles of skill and accuracy. The distance from goal or the angle from which he hit the ball didn't seem to be a disadvantage when it came to scoring. He was clever, crafty, skilful and full of energy in his normal wing half-forward position. His creative ability, his vision and his stickwork were all features of his general play.
He played Juvenile hurling and football with Ferns in 1956 and 1957. One of the finest individual displays he has seen was given by Aidan Plummer R.I.P. (Ferns) in their 1952 Co. Junior hurling win versus the Faythe Harriers. Peadawr was only eleven years at the time, but it left a lasting memory with him. In the last few years, Tommy Walsh, J.J. Delaney and Henry Shefflin were out on their own as masterclass performers.
TODDY MURPHY (NA FIANNA, SARSFIELDS): Toddy Murphy, who now resides in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, was an exceptionally talented player at both hurling and football. He played his hurling with Na Fianna and his football with the Sarsfields.
He had different roles in hurling where he played in the forwards, and in football it was in the half-back line. When playing with Na Fianna, his lightning pace, ball control, speed of thought and deadly marksmanship contributed immensely to the club in the '60s. They contested three Co. Junior hurling finals in that period, but lost in all three.
One of Toddy's finest games for his club was versus the Shelmaliers in the 1965 Wexford District Junior hurling final in Wexford Park. Playing at centre half-forward and facing the great Ollie Hearne, he had a splendid game, scoring 1-2 and setting up scores for his team-mates.
He was born in 1943 and was educated at Mercy Primary School, Wexford C.B.S., Wexford V.S. and Teacher Training College in Dublin. The goalkeepers in hurling that impressed him were Ollie Walsh R.I.P., Brendan Cummins and Wexford's Pat Nolan (Oylegate-Glenbrien) and Damien Fitzhenry. The best dual players he has seen in Ireland were Ray Cummins (Cork) and Jimmy Barry-Murphy (Cork). In Wexford, Phil Wilson and Jack Berry R.I.P. were tops.
Over the years he has seen some magnificent hurlers and selects the following as super - Henry Shefflin, D.J. Carey, Mick Roche, Tommy Walsh, Ken McGrath (Waterford) and Brian Whelahan. In Wexford in the last 40 years he selects Tony Doran, Mick Jacob, Martin Quigley, George O'Connor and Liam Bennett R.I.P. as players of excellence at club and county level.
One of the great club teams he has seen in hurling was Buffers Alley in the '70s and '80s. Toddy first played with Na Fianna in 1962 and last lined out with them in 1970. He was a committee member with the club in the '60s. Tommy Nolan (Faythe Harriers and Sarsfields) was another outstanding dual player.
The best game of hurling he has seen at inter-county level was Tipperary versus Kilkenny in the drawn All-Ireland 2014 final. One of the great Co. finals he has seen in Wexford was the 1965 replay game when the Faythe Harriers who beat Rathnure. One of the best individual displays he has seen was given by Joe Foley (Ballyhogue) in their win versus Na Fianna in the 1965 Co. Junior hurling final.
The Na Fianna hurlers that played a big part with the team's success in the '60s were Willie Bierney R.I.P., who was a brilliant stickman, Lionel Rochford, Jimmy Roche R.I.P., Willie Carley, Rory Kelly and Pat Hynes, with Vincent Walsh a marvellous goalie. When playing in the hurling championship the players that caused him the most problems were Ollie Hearne (Shelmaliers), John Keane (St. Fintan's), Oliver Cullen (Liam Mellows) and John Nolan R.I.P. (Oylegate-Glenbrien).
His medal collection included two street league titles with Whiterock View, three Wexford District Junior hurling medals, two Senior football medals with the Sarsfields in 1961 as a substitute and in 1967 playing at right half-back, and two Loch Garman Cup medals with the Sarsfields. He played Minor football with the Blue and Whites in 1960 and with the Sarsfields in 1961.
The Sarsfields footballers that impressed him the most were Jimmy Roche R.I.P., Jas. Kirwan, Tommy Nolan, Jim Crowley R.I.P., Pete Crowley R.I.P., Rory Kelly and Tony O'Leary. The best full-forward he has seen was Eoin 'The Bomber' Liston.
WILLIE MURPHY (FAYTHE HARRIERS): For the past 70 years or more, Wexford G.A.A. followers have seen many great wing half-backs playing hurling for the Model county. I am sure that the majority of them would have no hesitation in naming Willie Murphy from the Faythe Harriers club in the top five of all-time greats.
This theory was confirmed in late 1980 when a joint venture by the Rehab Institute and People Newspapers selected Willie at left half-back on the greatest Wexford team from 1960. The fair-haired defender had few equals in the No. 7 position and outplayed, outfoxed and outmanoeuvred many a forward wearing No. 10 for club or county.
He was an inspirational figure, and his strong ground hurling and masterly aerial striking were a joy. He was gifted with great energy, determination and the will to win. There is little need to outline to any Gael the contributions that he made to the Faythe Harriers and the Wexford teams.
He played with the Wexford Senior hurling team from 1965 to 1980, and with the Faythe Harriers from 1960 to 1981. He was born in 1944 and was educated at Wexford C.B.S. One of the greatest goalies he has seen in hurling was Pat Nolan (Oylegate-Glenbrien). The two greatest dual players he has seen in Ireland were Jimmy Barry-Murphy (Cork) and Wexford's Phil Wilson.
The three greatest hurlers that he has ever seen were Dan Quigley, Eddie Keher and D.J. Carey. In Wexford in the last 50 years, Martin Quigley, Dan Quigley, Ned Buggy, Mick Jacob and Tony Doran were superb.
The greatest club team he has seen in hurling was the Faythe Harriers in the '60s. Along with Phil Wilson in Wexford, Tommy Nolan was a brilliant dual player. One of Willie's finest games was versus James Stephens from Kilkenny in 1981. He won virtually every ball that came into his area and cleared with prodigious length.
His medal-winning titles tell the real story of this brilliant hurler - one All-Ireland Senior hurling in 1968, one runners-up Senior hurling in 1965, five Leinster Senior hurling in 1965, 1968, 1970, 1976 and 1977, two Leinster Under-21 hurling in 1964 and 1965, two Railway Cups with Leinster in 1977 and 1979, three Co. Senior hurling with the Faythe Harriers in 1962, 1965 and 1981, one All Star Award in 1976 at full-back, National League hurling in 1966-'67 and 1972-'73 , four Walsh Cup in 1965, 1967, 1968 and 1969, two Oireachtas wins in 1978 and 1979, one Co. Junior football with Dan O'Connell's in 1976, B&I award in 1976, two Powers awards in 1972 and 1976, and one All-Ireland Under-21 hurling in 1965.
The four Faythe Harriers hurlers that impressed him the most were Ned Buggy, Eddie 'Heffo' Walsh, Liam Bennett R.I.P. and Tony 'Sack' Walsh.
When playing in Wexford, the players that caused him the most problems were Jimmy O'Brien (Geraldine O'Hanrahans), Tony Doran, and Johnny Hennessy (Rathnure). The inter-county opponents that impressed him most were Eddie Keher, Jimmy Doyle R.I.P. and Ray Cummins.
He played Juvenile, Minor, Under-21 and Special Junior hurling also with the Faythe Harriers. Apart from his game versus James Stephens, he had many other games when he could have got the man of the match award. His boyhood hero was Nickey Rackard R.I.P.
PATSY MURRAY (HANDBALL): Patsy Murray, who resides in Coolgreany, was born in 1943. He was educated in Newbawn N.S. in Adamstown. His boyhood hero was Ned Wheeler.
Patsy started getting interested in handball watching Jack Byrne R.I.P. and Paddy Lennon in the local alley. Both men could hold their own in any company. In the '70s the club went out of existence. In 1975 Patsy and his colleagues organised a meeting and by the end of 1976 the old alley was re-roofed. He was Secretary at the time.
He then started a handball festival which attracted all the top stars to the venue. In the late '70s and early '80s, Patsy served as Chairman and spent three years as Leinster Chairman. With hard work by himself and his committee, they now have a brilliant alley 40 x 20. He travelled all over the country with children and had great success, winning a number of All-Ireland awards.
He was also Secretary of the Liam Mellows hurling club on two separate occassions. He served as an Under-14 Wexford hurling selector for a number of years. He was also a Co. Junior hurling selector in 1985 and in 1987. They won the All-Ireland in 1985 and lost in the 1987 final to Cork.
He is now celebrating his 40th year with the handball board - a great achievement. His biggest delight in handball was in 1982 when eight All-Irelands were won by the girls from Juvenile to Junior. In 2014 the men's and ladies' Junior doubles came to the club and Patsy was still filling his role as one of the top officials.
Outstanding youngsters at present are Ciáran Power, Ryan Boland, Scott Leonard, Conor Hogan, Shane Owley and many more. Other top players in the club were Mick Kinsella, the Mythen brothers, Tommy Doyle and Darren O'Toole, and the two Mythen sisters. Patsy's brother, Mick Murray, received a Seana Ghael award some years back for his involvement with the G.A.A. in the Gorey District.
The four greatest handballers he has seen were Joey Maher, Pat Kirby, Tommy O'Rourke and 'Ducksie' Walsh. The best pairing he has seen were Dick Lyng and Taghmon's Pat Murphy. The latter is one of the greatest handballers he has seen in Wexford. The greatest game of handball he has ever seen featured 'Ducksie' Walsh and Eugene Downey against Tom Sheridan and Walter O'Connor in the All-Ireland final in 1999.
In Wexford the one that stands out was Paddy Lennon and Dick Lyng in the Junior trial final in Taghmon in 1962. If he had a choice to select a handballer for the hall of fame, he would put up 'Ducksie' Walsh.
His favourite hurlers are Brian Whelahan (Offaly), Mick Roche (Tipperary), D.J. Carey (Kilkenny), Mick Jacob, Tony Doran, Ned Wheeler and Bobby Rackard R.I.P. who were all superstars. In football, he chooses Mick O'Connell, Jack O'Shea, Paddy Doherty, Seán Purcell R.I.P., Colm Cooper and Peter Canavan.
In Wexford star footballers were Andy Merrigan R.I.P., Phil Wilson, Matty Forde and Mick Carty. The greatest hurler he has ever seen was Brian Whelahan (Offaly) and the greatest footballer was Mick O'Connell. Liam Mellows also had some fine hurlers in Oliver Cullen, a great dual star, Joe Cullen, Tom Cullen and Jimmy Cullen, the goalie.
EUGENE NOLAN (VOLUNTEERS): Eugene Nolan, who now resides in Newlands, just outside of Wexford town, was born in 1945, and he was an exceptionally talented footballer.
In his playing days he was the essense of reliability and resourcefulness, and his sense of positional play was uncanny. In most of his games he always looked composed, self-assured, cool and confident when playing in his usual position at right half-back.
He played every game without any glossy or fancy ideas, but he was plain and simple in his approach with skill, courage and conviction along with his energy levels - all instruments of his excellence on the football field. His boyhood hero was Fr. Harry Sinnott R.I.P. who did so much to bring young fellows to the fore in St. Joseph's and later in Caim.
Eugene played Juvenile football with the Blue and Whites and Minor
football witih St. Joseph's. In the Under-21 football grade he played with the Volunteers in 1966. He first played Junior with the Blue and Whites in 1964 and 1965. He then moved over to play with the Volunteers until his retirement in the middle '70s. He played his hurling with Na Fianna and was also selected on the Wexford District Senior football team on a number of occasions.
The Volunteers was a great club to play for and had top-class, knowledgable mentors in Artie O'Brien R.I.P., Tommy Saunders R.I.P., Jim 'Sacker' Furlong R.I.P. and the great Seamus McGrath R.I.P. He was originally from King Street and Corish Park and was educated at Wexford C.B.S. and Wexford V.S.
The players that stood out in his spell with the Blue and Whites were Mick McMahon and Noel Ferguson. When playing with the Volunteers the ones that impressed were Jim O'Connor, Eamon O'Connor. Jim 'Sacker' Furlong R.I.P. and Tommy O'Leary. He also selects Charlie Golden too.
When playing in the Wexford District championships the players he found most difficult to subdue were Lionel Rochford (Dan O'Connell's), Con Dowdall (Dan O'Connell's), Billy Howlin (St. Joseph's) and Denny Grannell (St. Joseph's). One of his best games playing with the Volunteers was versus St. Joseph's in the 1971 Wexford District Junior football championship played in Wexford Park. Although St. Joseph's were the superior team over the hour, Eugene in his normal No. 5 jersey gave his usual display, sending back waves of attacks by the winners.
The four greatest footballers he has ever seen were Jack O'Shea, Seán O'Neill (Down), Paddy Doherty (Down) and Brian Mullins (Dublin). In Wexford, Seamus Keevans R.I.P., Pete Crowley R.I.P., Tommy Nolan (Sarsfields) and Phil Wilson were brilliant. Of the present-day footballers he selects Colm Cooper (Kerry) and James O'Donoghue (Kerry) as special.
One of the greatest hurlers he has ever seen was Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny). In the past 40 years the players that impressed him the most were Redmond Barry (St. Anne's), John O'Gorman (Taghmon-Camross), Matty Forde and Colm Morris (Castletown). The two best dual players he has seen were Liam Currams (Offaly) and Jimmy Barry-Murphy (Cork). In Wexford he selects Phil Wilson, Joe Foley and Tommy Nolan who were brilliant at both codes.
Tony Doran, Vincie Staples and Willie Murphy were the star hurlers in the last 40-plus years that impressed him the most. John Nolan R.I.P. (Oylegate-Glenbrien) and Oliver McGrath were other star players he recalls. One of the greatest goalies he has ever seen in football was Jas Kirwan (Sarsfields).
PADDY O'LEARY (SARSFIELDS): Paddy O'Leary, who was originally from Wexford, but now living in the Barntown area, was during his football career one of the most dependable and masterly defenders to play for his club, Sarsfields. He always played with passion, pride and with a never-say-die attitude.
In the air, his powerful and all-consuming ability won him a major share of the high balls that arrived around his territory. He blunted the threat to his goal with brilliant interceptions and was never overawed by any opponent.
Paddy did everything with authority, and never allowed any opponent latitude in his vicinity.
His reading of the general play was excellent and he shrugged off incoming forwards with ease to get his clearances downfield. Paddy was endowed with the requisite qualities of a top-class defender and his concentration was brilliant in close exchanges.
He at times demolished the opposition in the air with his strong upper body strength.
He was born in 1944 and was educated at Wexford C.B.S. His boyhood hero was Nick O'Donnell R.I.P. He started playing with the Sarsfields at adult level in 1961 and continued for the next 15 years to show off his talent before finishing in 1976.
He won two Co. Senior football medals with Sarsfields in 1961 and 1967, and one Co. Minor hurling medal with Na Fianna in 1962. With the latter he lost out in three Co. Junior hurling finals in 1964, 1965 and 1968.
The four greatest footballers he has seen were Mick O'Connell, Niall Sheehy (Kerry), Pat Mangan (Kildare) and Des Ferguson R.I.P. (Dublin). In Wexford, Paco Sheehan R.I.P., Seán Turner, John Morris R.I.P. and Willie Foley R.I.P. (Ballyhogue) were superb.
The two best dual players he has seen in Ireland were Jimmy Barry-Murphy and Des Ferguson R.I.P. One of the most difficult opponents he encountered in his football career was Pat Mangan (Kildare) at Under-21 and Senior level.
Hurling with Na Fianna was a joyful experience, playing with them for 14 years, usually at full-back. One of the greatest footballers he feels so privileged to have seen was Mick O'Connell, and one of the star hurlers he has seen was Willie Bierney R.I.P. who could make a ball talk.
Two of the great dual players he has seen in Wexford were Ballyhogue stars Phil Wilson and Joe Foley.
One of Paddy's finest games playing for the Sarsfields was versus Ballyhogue in the 1967 Co. Senior football semi-final. In that game he gave a superb exhibition of classical defending, clearing the ball repeatedly with sweeping first-time deliveries. His quick movements had his followers in a happy mood.
One of the finest individual displays he has seen at club level was given by Tommy Nolan for the Sarsfields in that game versus Ballyhogue. Paddy played Minor football for four years and Juvenile football for three years. He also played Juvenile and Minor hurling with Na Fianna.
The four Sarsfields footballers that really impressed him were Tommy Nolan, Pete Crowley, Rory Kelly and Paddy's brother, Tony O'Leary. Tony received a Seana Ghael award a few years back.
Davy Rowe (St. Anne's) and Jack Berry R.I.P. (St. Anne's) were masterclass footballers, with the former a brilliant full-back and the latter a free-scoring forward. Tommy Nolan was also one of the great dual players to come out of Wexford town.
TONY O'LOUGHLIN (HWH-BUNCLODY): One of the finest-ever defenders to play football with his club was the brilliant and talented Tony O'Loughlin. Standing over 6" tall and built to proportion, he was an impossible barrier for any forward to be successful against.
With his superior advantage in height, he ruled the roost in aerial duels and, with his athleticism, his control on the low ones were equally good. Tony was an uncanny tactician, with a forensic ability to dominate his territory. No matter which position he occupied, he gained parity and smashed many, many raids by the opposition.
He was the most modest and gentlemanly of players to wear his No. 6 jersey. He was a calm thinking and unobstructive defender. In a tight situation he never flinched, with his judgement and timing enabling him to intercept many a dangerous move by the opposition.
He was born in 1946 and was educated at the primary school in Bunclody and C.B.S., Enniscorthy where he won his first medal when the school claimed the Leinster Colleges Senior hurling 'B' title in 1962. He then went to U.C.D., a club he played Senior hurling with as well as Junior and Intermediate football.
Two of the best goalies he has seen in hurling were Ollie Walsh R.I.P. and Pat Nolan (Oylegate-Glenbrien). The two best dual players he has ever seen were Teddy McCarthy (Cork) and Phil Wilson. The three greatest footballers he has seen were James McCartan Snr. (Down), Mick O'Connell and Tomás O Sé. In Wexford, Andy Merrigan R.I.P. (Castletown), Pete Crowley R.I.P. (Sarsfields) and Phil Wilson were superb.
One of the greatest teams he has seen in club football was Castletown team in 1965 until the end of the '70s. He was an Under-21 selector and trainer for HWH-Bunclody. He was also an Honorary Secretary with his club, Park Committee Secretary, Enniscorthy District rep. and a Co. Board rep.
His father, Anthony O'Loughlin R.I.P., was a lifelong associate member of the HWH-Bunclody teams and also had a term with Oylegate-Glenbrien. One of Tony's finest games was when his club won the 1968 Co. Junior football title with a 0-7 to 0-5 win versus Clongeen. At centre half-back and as captain he gave a masterclass display of text book standard. He directed and controlled his entire area with a stunning exhibition.
The HWH-Bunclody players that impressed him most over the years were George Rankin, Johnny Connors R.I.P., his brother Mickey, Nicky Kavanagh and Martin Doyle R.I.P. One of the greatest matches he has seen was HWH-Bunclody versus Gusserane in the 1982 Co. Senior football final played in Wexford Park.
His medal collection is: Leinster Colleges Senior hurling 'B' in 1963, one Co. Junior football in 1968, one Co. Intermediate football in 1976, one Intermediate football league with Robert Emmets (London) in 1965, and one Intermediate hurling with the same club in the same year.
Tony played Intermediate hurling with Wexford for three years in the '60s, as well as three years in Junior football. He was a member of the Senior football panel for four years. Tony would like to mention the magnificent contribution made by Fr. Jim Byrne and Fr. Jim Ryan for their work and great success with the Rackard League teams. It was the foundation for the Senior win in 1982 and for many of the successes in future years. His brother, Tommy, received a Seana Ghael award a few years back.
CONOR O'RAFFERTY (GOREY WOLFE TONES): One of the finest ever under-age dual players to emerge on the scene in the late '50s and early '60s was the impressive and confident Conor O'Rafferty. He was gifted at both codes from a very young age.
He had a marvellous range of skills, brilliant stick play, uncanny vision and fleetness of foot which in both codes enabled him to slip eel-like past close-marking opponents.
When playing at midfield he had no fears either on the ground or in the air with his classy football.
In most of his games, let it be hurling or football, he had complete ascendancy over his opponents. He was brilliant at fetching, carrying and creating chances for his fellow colleagues.
He moved to Dublin in the mid '60s to work for Aer Lingus and his loss to the people of Gorey and Wexford in general was huge. He was destined to be a future dual star for the purple and gold. However, great praise is due to him for making a big success in his professional life.
He was born in 1945 and attended Gorey C.B.S. and St. Peter's College, Wexford. The two goalies he admired in hurling were Ollie Walsh R.I.P., who was the best he has ever seen, and Pat Nolan (Oylegate-Glenbrien), who was his favourite.
The two best dual players he has seen were Des Foley R.I.P. (Dublin) and Phil Wilson. He played with Phil in the 1965 Intermediate hurling championship in St. Patrick's Park, winning easily versus Kilkenny. Phil's speed of thought and his vision excelled that day.
The finest hurlers he has ever seen were Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny), Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny) and J.J. Delaney (Kilkenny), Seánie McMahon (Clare) and Jamesie O'Connor (Clare). Eddie Keher and Jimmy Doyle R.I.P. were also star players. In the last 20 years in Wexford the hurlers that stood out were Liam Dunne, Larry O'Gorman, Damien Fitzhenry (goalie) and Darragh Ryan.
One of the great club teams he has seen was St. Aidan's (Enniscorthy) in the '50s.
One of the greatest teams he has had the privilege of playing with was the St. Peter's College (Wexford) selection which won the 1962 All Ireland Colleges Senior hurling final. They had a brilliant all-round team with star players in every position.
He played Juvenile hurling and football with the Gorey Young Emmets in 1959, 1960 and 1961, and Minor with the same club in both codes in 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1963. You can find from the statistics how great a future he would have had if he had kept on playing the game.
His medal collection was as follows in hurling: one Leinster Junior Colleges, two Leinster Senior Colleges, one All-Ireland Senior Colleges, Leinster and All-Ireland Minor with Wexford in 1963. He also won a Leinster Intermediate hurling medal with Wexford in 1965.
In football he won the following medals with Gorey Young Emmets - one Co. Juvenile in 1961 versus the Sarsfields, one Co. Minor in 1962 versus the Sarsfields. Also with St. Peter's College he won one Senior 'B' medal. With Wexford in Minor football he represented his county in 1961, 1962 and 1963, and in Minor hurling in 1962 and 1963. He also played Intermediate for Wexford in hurling in 1965.
Eamonn Doyle (Cushinstown), Phil Wilson (Ballyhogue), Oliver Cullen, George O'Connor and Jack Berry R.I.P. were all something when it came to playing both games with such authority and style. He maintains that club officials that Gorey had in Tommy Molloy R.I.P., Peter Waddick R.I.P. and Eamon Morris never really got the appreciation that they fully deserved. It was 24/7 work for those mentors.
The hurlers that impressed him the most from Gorey were Seánie Kinsella, Jimmy Mannion, Mick Kinsella and Christy Sheehan R.I.P. In football the players that impressed him the most were Bill Owley, Michael 'Foxy' Breen and Jim Sheehan R.I.P. who were in the top rung of the ladder.
PADDY O'REILLY (CAMROSS): There is no need to oultine to any Gael the contribution and commitment that Paddy O'Reilly has put into any national game with Camross, Fr. Murphy's in Dublin and in the Army. He gave his all and more.
He was Wexford's Minor hurling manager in 1970 and 1971 and a Minor selector in 1985 and 1987. He was also manager of St. Mary's (Maudlintown) Junior football team when they won the Co. title in 1983. His knowledge, his wisdom, his anticipation and his ability stood out like a beacon.
He usually played at centre half-back, a position that he was unyielding, determined and resolute in. He was an excellent sportsman who loved the clubs he played with and also liked to be on the winning side at the finish.
He played Juvenile hurling in 1956 and Minor hurling with St. Abban's (Adamstown) in 1957. In 1958 and 1959 he played Minor for the Army Apprentice School in Naas, Co. Kildare. He also played Junior hurling for Kildare in 1959.
He first played with Camross in 1962 and last lined out with them in 1974. In between these years he played with Fr. Murphy's in Dublin from 1960 to 1962 and again from 1964 to 1967. He played with Crokes in Dublin in 1963, but was suspended for one year because he had played with Camross in the same year.
One of the greatest goalies he has seen in hurling was Ollie Walsh R.I.P. The two best dual players he has seen in Ireland were Des Foley R.I.P. (Dublin) and Teddy McCarthy (Cork). In Wexford, Paddy Kehoe and Phil Wilson were super dual stars.
The four best Camross hurlers he has seen were Jim Morrissey R.I.P., Andy Doyle R.I.P., Frank Doyle R.I.P. and Jim Dyce R.I.P. When playing his hurling the four most difficult opponents he encountered were Gus Lohan (Clare), Mick Birmingham when playing in Dublin, Pat Dunny when playing in Kildare, and Greg Bolger when playing in Wexford.
The four best hurlers he has ever seen were Christy Ring R.I.P., Bobby Rackard R.I.P., Nick O'Donnell R.I.P. and Henry Shefflin, but Ring was the finest of all. In the last 30 years the four hurlers that stood out were Henry Shefflin, D.J. Carey, Brian Whelahan and Tommy Walsh.
In the last 40 years in Wexford, Tony Doran, Mick Jacob, Dan Quigley and Martin Quigley were supreme. One of the greatest club teams he has seen in hurling was St. Aidan's (Enniscorthy) in the '50s. The best midfielder he has seen in hurling was Jim Morrissey R.I.P.
His brother, Seán O'Reilly, was also a top-class hurler. When playing with Fr. Murphy's in Dublin the players who stood out were Pat Quinn, Willie Bennett R.I.P. and Mick McManus. With Crokes, Mick Birmingham was their star player.
Paddy was born in 1941 and as educated at Caroreigh N.S. He originally lived in Oldtown, Camross, but now resides in The Faythe, Wexford town. His boyhood hero was Jim Morrissey R.I.P. His finest hour was in 1964 playing with the 2nd Battalion in the all-Army hurling final. Tony Wall, who was the former Tipperary star, was very much involved during that period.
TOMMY O'ROURKE (SHAMROCKS, STARLIGHTS, OYLEGATE-GLENBRIEN): Tommy O'Rourke, who originally came from Killagoley, just outside the town of Enniscorthy, was in his hurling and football days one of the most promising young players to emerge at under-age level in the Enniscorthy area.
He started his career playing with the Enniscorthy C.B.S. and won a number of awards with the school. With Oylegate-Glenbrien he played Juvenile, Minor, Junior and Senior hurling all before his 18th birthday. He was a substitute on the Senior team which lost the 1960 Co. hurling final to the Faythe Harriers.
He normally played both codes in the full-back line, where his class and glue-like marking gave few opportunities for his opponents to be successful in scoring. He had a brilliant temperament added to his calmness and collected style, which were features of his stonewall defending.
Four of the most difficult opponents in his playing days were Johnny Walsh (Hollow Rangers), Pat Donohoe (St. Aidan's), Aidan Plummer R.I.P. (Ferns) and Conor O'Rafferty when he played against St. Peter's College (Wexford). He was born in 1943 and was educated at Enniscorthy C.B.S. His boyhood hero was Jim English R.I.P.
One of the greatest goalies he has seen was Pat Nolan (Oylegate-Glenbrien). The two best dual players he has ever seen were Paddy Kehoe and Des Foley R.I.P. Along with Paddy Kehoe in Wexford, Phil Wilson and Harry O'Connor R.I.P. were brilliant at both codes.
In the last 20 years the hurlers that stand out in Tommy's selection were D.J. Carey and, at present, Henry Shefflin, Joe Canning and Tommy Walsh. In Wexford, Martin Quigley, Dan Quigley, John Quigley, George O'Connor and Tony Doran were brilliant.
The best club team he has seen over the years was the Rathnure side in the early '70s. He played with the Shamrocks in 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1964. He then moved over to St. Aidan's and continued to play with them until 1967. He played his football with the Starlights and was captain of the team which lost the 1961 Co. Minor final to Kilmore-Rathangan.
The best individual display he has seen at club level in Wexford was given by Ted Morrissey for St. Aidan's in the Co. Senior final versus Rathnure in 1957. One of Tommy's finest games was in 1963 playing with the Shamrocks versus Rathnure in the Co. Special Junior hurling final. He excelled in this encounter with a classy performance. He hurled with great drive and purpose and was brilliant throughout.
The four hurlers that impressed him the most when playing with the Shamrocks were Paul Lynch R.I.P., Larry Byrne, Paddy Sullivan and Paddy Wildes. The best hurlers he has seen were 'Jobber' McGrath R.I.P. (Westmeath), Joe Salmon R.I.P. (Galway), Jimmy Doyle R.I.P. (Tipperary), Eddie Keher and J.J. Delaney. In Wexford, Tim Flood R.I.P., Padge Kehoe R.I.P., John Nolan R.I.P. and Ned Wheeler were masterclass.
One of the great games of hurling he has seen was in 1953 when Oylegate-Glenbrien played Ballygarrett in the Co. Junior semi-final. They had to play on three occasions before Oylegate-Glenbrien emerged the winners. One of the great games at inter-county level he has seen was Cork versus Dublin in the 2013 All-Ireland Senior hurling semi-final. The 1960 Oylegate-Glenbrien versus St. Aidan's Co. Senior hurling semi-final was another game which he thought was brilliant. Aidan Ryan for Oylegate-Glenbrien had an outstanding game on Nick O'Donnell R.I.P.
JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY (CASTLETOWN-LIAM MELLOWS): The O'Shaughnessy family from the area of Castletown were synonymous with Gaelic games for many years. All of them played with Castletown with pride and passion. Ted, Charlie and Larry have all previously received Seana Ghael awards in the recent past.
Joe is the youngest and has now received this accolade. This remarkable man has given tremendous service for the benefit of the association. Joe has accomplished so much in his lifetime for the G.A.A. as a player with his beloved Castletown, as an official and as an administrator for the Leinster Council, Central Council rep. for Wexford, County Board Chairman...the list is endless.
As a footballer he was one of the club's shining lights, playing with them for 27 years from 1961 to 1988. When playing he had few equals in his role at full-forward. His powerful upper body strength, his quicksilver twists and turns led to every opponent who played against him having an unhappy time.
He was superb in his role as a targetman with his immense mobility, his courage, his skill and his confidence, and he was deadly with both feet - what power he had when he hit the ball.
He was born in 1944 and was educated at Castletown N.S. and Gorey
C.B.S. His boyhood hero was Padge Kehoe R.I.P. The four greatest footballers he has ever seen were Seán O'Neill (Down), Peter Canavan (Tyrone), Seamus Moynihan (Kerry) and Colm Cooper (Kerry). In Wexford he selects Michael Carty (Castletown), John O'Gorman (Taghmon-Camross), Matty Forde and Colm Morris.
The two best dual players he has seen were Des Foley R.I.P. (Dublin) and Jimmy Barry-Murphy (Cork). In Wexford he selects Joe Foley (Ballyhogue) and Seamus Fitzhenry who were brilliant. Of the present-day footballers, the ones that stand out are James O'Donoghue (Kerry), Michael Murphy (Donegal), Diarmuid Connolly (Dublin) and Colm Cooper (Kerry).
One of the best club teams he has seen in football was the Duffry Rovers with all their wins from 1986 to 1994. Castletown and Ballyhogue were also brilliant in their day. One of the best games of football he has seen was between Castletown and Kilanerin in the 2010 Co. Senior final.
He played Under-21 football with Wexford in 1965 and Senior football with them from 1966 to 1972. The greatest footballer he has ever seen was Peter Canavan (Tyrone) and the greatest hurler he has ever seen was J.J. Delaney (Kilkenny).
He went to his first Co. Board meeting in 1960 when he was just 16 years old. He was Leinster Council rep. for Wexford Co. Board for five years and Central Council rep. for another five years. He was recently Chairman of the Castletown club.
The four players who caused him the most problems in his career were Pat Leacy (Ballyhogue), Denis Asple (Ballyhogue), Jim O'Neill R.I.P. (Kilmore) and Jim Roice (Sarsfields). The five Castletown footballers that impressed him the most over the years were Michael Carty, Andy Merrigan R.I.P., Ger Mythen, Colm Morris and Joe's brother, Larry.
He won a Co. Juvenile medal with Gorey Young Emmets in 1959, a Co. Minor football medal with Gorey Young Emmets in 1962, a Junior hurling medal with Liam Mellows in 1964, a Co. Intermediate hurling medal with Liam Mellows in 1967, and nine Co. Senior football medals with Castletown in 1965, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1976, 1978, 1979 and 1981. That is some achievement from the man originally from Ahare near the village of Castletown. He now resides in Coolroe, Arklow.
Joe's finest game was versus the Starlights in the 1979 Co. Senior football final replay in Wexford Park. Joe played a blinder and caused numerous problems for the Starlights defence with his strength.
JOHNNY PARLE (OULART-THE BALLAGH): Johnny Parle now resides in Ballymurn and was formerly from Toberlamina in the parish of Oulart. He played in goal for Oulart-The Ballagh for 21 years and then for Crossabeg-Ballymurn for eight campaigns from 1985 to 1992. This surely must be a record as when he retired from the club he was 47 years old.
During a brilliant and illustrious career, he had numerous spectacular saves, many at point-blank range. His bravery and courage could never be called into question. He was fearless and peerless in his role as a shot-stopper. His focus and judgement were always to the forefront of his mind.
He never allowed himself to be caught in possession due to his alertness and speed of thought. For many of those 29 years looking after his territory he gave an exhibition of vintage covering with his hawk-like eyes, his spring-heeled movements and his razor-sharp reflexes. He was the essence of dependability and assurance, and lit up the game of hurling with his many moments of absolute genius.
He was born in 1945 and was educated at Oulart N.S. His boyhood hero was Nickey Rackard R.I.P. The greatest goalie he has seen in hurling was Ollie Walsh R.I.P. (Kilkenny).
His first outing in a competitive game with Oulart-The Ballagh was versus the Duffry Rovers in a tournament in 1964. He was on the team which lost the 1966 Co. Junior hurling final to the Shelmaliers. However, in the following year in 1967, success came his way when Oulart-The Ballagh won their first Co. Junior hurling final after 63 years when they defeated Craanford in the final.
His luck continued in 1968 when they captured the Co. Intermediate title. This was an exciting time in the parish with the success of the hurlers.
Johnny's finest game for Oulart-The Ballagh was versus Rathnure in the 1975 Co Senior hurling semi-final, winning by 1-9 to 1-5. He gave a display in this encounter that was breathtaking and the Rathnure forwards were kept at bay by this star-studded performance.
One of the finest displays he has ever seen was given by Mick Jacob in the 1974 Co Senior hurling final when they lost to Rathnure. Not before at club or since has he seen such an exhibition of hurling as Mick gave that day.
Johnny won two Under-21 hurling titles in 1965 and 1966 playing in goal for Oulart united with Buffers Alley. Johnny's biggest disappointment in his sporting career was that he never won a Co. Senior hurling medal after playing in three Co. finals, losing all three in 1974, 1975 and 1982.
In his last year in 1984 with Oulart-The Ballagh he played a number of games for them, but was replaced in the later stages by Christy Jacob.
The four greatest hurlers he has ever seen were Eddie Keher (Kilkenny), Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny), Jimmy Doyle (Tipperary) and Brian Whelahan (Offaly). In Wexford in the last 40 years, Tony Doran, Mick Jacob, Martin Quigley, Liam Dunne and Colm Doran were really brilliant over many campaigns.
The two best dual players he has seen were Des Foley R.I.P. (Dublin) and Jimmy Barry-Murphy (Cork). In Wexford, Phil Wilson, Joe Foley and Willie Foley R.I.P. were superb as dual players.
From the Oulart-The Ballagh club, the players that impressed him the most were Mick Jacob, Robbie Jacob, Jimmy Pender, Tom Byrne and, in later years, Liam Dunne and Martin Storey. His son, T.J. Parle, is still a member of the Crossabeg-Ballymurn team.
Johnny's brother, Matty Parle R.I.P., played regularly with Oulart-The Ballagh as a corner-forward.
PAT POOLE (ST. BRENDAN'S, CRAANFORD): For many years in the '60s and part of the '70s, the three Poole brothers from Craan, Craanford - Willie, Pat and Jack - gave wonderful service for the cause of St. Brendan's (Craanford) hurling and football club.
Willie, a brilliant defender, got a Seana Ghael award in 2014. Pat, the next in line, was a supremely talented midfielder in hurling. He was a gifted player from a very early age. He had a marvellous range of skills, brilliant stickwork, excellent vision and the fleetness of foot which enabled him to slip away from his marker.
Many players who lined out against Pat were exhausted at the finish trying to keep up with him. He was a lovely hitter of the ball, and the pinpoint accuracy of his deliveries down to his forwards was praiseworthy. His vision of play was very effective and he seemed to know at all times where the ball was going to break.
He was born in 1944 and was educated at Craanford N.S. His boyhood hero was Ned Wheeler. Two of the greatest goalies he has seen in hurling were Ollie Walsh R.I.P. and Pat Nolan (Oylegate-Glenbrien). The two best dual players he has seen in Ireland were Jimmy Barry-Murphy (Cork) and Des Foley R.I.P. (Dublin). In Wexford, Oliver Cullen and Jack Berry R.I.P. were brilliant dual players.
The four greatest hurlers he has seen in Wexford in the last 50 years or so were Phil Wilson, Tony Doran, Mick Jacob and Dan Quigley. In Ireland, Eddie Keher, D.J. Carey, Jimmy Doyle R.I.P. and Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny) were masterclass.
Pat played centrefield for the Wexford Intermediate hurling team in 1969, losing to Wicklow. He was also on the panel in the mid '60s. He first played Junior hurling with Craanford in 1961 at right half-forward, and his last game was in the Senior hurling championship, losing to Ferns. The club went back to Intermediate in 1973.
One of the finest individual performances he has seen was given by Mylie Donohoe for Craanford versus Askamore in the Gorey District Junior hurling final. Playing at centre half-forward, he scored 2-6.
Pat's finest hour playing with St. Brendan's was in the 1970 Co. Intermediate hurling final win versus the Shamrocks at midfield. Pat was at his brilliant best with a masterclass performance, and with the forwards getting a great supply from midfield they ran up a winning score of 5-14 to 3-5 for Shamrocks.
The five Craanford players who in Pat's opinion were consistently brilliant were Davy Doyle a talented wing half-back, Mylie Donohoe, as good a centre half-forward as any club could wish for and a prolific scorer, Thomas Kavanagh, Dan Kenny R.I.P. and Willie Poole.
When playing in the championship the ones that he found most difficult to play on were Phil Wilson, John Doran (Askamore), Oliver Cullen (Liam Mellows) and Denis Howell (St. Patrick's). He was the club's captain in 1966. One of the great games of hurling he has seen at club level was Rathnure versus Buffers Alley in the 1986 Co. Senior final. At inter-county level the All-Ireland Senior final drawn game in 2014, Kilkenny versus Tipperary, was a real cracker.
Pat played Juvenile hurling with St. Brendan's in 1960 and Minor hurling in 1961 and 1962. He won five District medals, one Co. Junior hurling medal and one Co. Intermediate hurling medal. Pat also played football with the club. Jim Doyle R.I.P. from the Glen was one of the club's greatest mentors and a lifelong supporter of the club whom he admired.
LUKE POWER (GUSSERANE O'RAHILLY'S): Gusserane O'Rahilly's are renowned for outstanding achievements on the football fields, with hurling taking second place in the area. The great Paddy Kehoe was the first person from the club to emerge as one of their finest dual players.
However, another dual star to arrive on the scene in the early '60s was Luke Power who resides in Dunmain, a few miles from Campile. For the next twelve years playing both games with splendour and grandeur, Luke became a big player with the followers in the parish.
He was very versatile and consistent in play, no matter if it was in a defensive role or playing in the forward line. Luke was very determined, clever, mobile and strong running with astute vision. When playing in the backs he was flawless and dynamic and when in the forwards his surging runs and his elusive sidestep made him a headache for the opposition.
He was born in 1945 and was educated at Gusserane N.S. and New Ross C.B.S. His boyhood hero was Paddy Kehoe. The best goalies he has seen were Stephen Cluxton (Dublin) in football and Damien Fitzhenry in hurling. The two greatest dual players he has seen were Jimmy Barry-Murphy and Paddy Kehoe.
In the last 4o years the footballers that stood out were Peter Canavan, Maurice Fitzgerald, Dara O Sé and Pádraic Joyce. In hurling he selects Henry Shefflin, Brian Whelahan (Offaly), Eddie Keher and Jimmy Doyle R.I.P. In Wexford in football he would select Matty Forde who was brilliant in later years.
Luke's finest hours playing the game were in football in the 1963 Co. Minor final win versus Rathnure. As captain, he really showed his potential of being a future star. In hurling also in 1963 he lined out versus Na Fianna with Cushinstown in a Co. Minor semi-final.
The four best Gusserane footballers he has ever seen were John Joe Culleton R.I.P., Paddy Kehoe, Patsy Farrell and Mosie Morrissey, with Paddy Murphy being a brilliant goalie. The players that he found the most difficult to get the better of in football were Con Donnelly (Clongeen), Larry Cahill (Ballyhogue) and Pat Walsh R.I.P. (St. James'), and in hurling he would select Barry Ronan (Geraldine O'Hanrahans).
One of the best games of football he has seen was the 1995 Co. Senior final between Kilanerin (1-9) to Castletown (0-7) played at Wexford Park.
Luke played Juvenile football with Gusserane from 1959 to 1961 and hurling with Cushinstown in the same period. He played Minor with the same clubs from 1959 to 1963. He won a Co. Junior 'B' medal in 1979 with Gusserane versus St. Martin's (1-8 to 1-7), a Co. Minor football medal in 1963, and a Co. Junior football medal with Gusserane in the 1965 win versus HWH-Bunclody (1-7 to 1-3). He won Leinster and All-Ireland Minor hurling medals with Wexford in 1963. Winning that All-Ireland was the most memorable and exciting day in his sporting life. The homecoming through the towns was something special.
The best dual player, apart from Paddy Kehoe, that he has seen was George O'Connor (St. Martin's). He was manager with the Gusserane hurling team for a period. One of the great club football teams he has seen was the Duffry Rovers when they won several championships in a row, and in hurling Rathnure and Buffers Alley had super teams in the '70s.
Of the present-day footballers, Colm Cooper, James O'Donoghue, Aidan O'Shea (Mayo) and Seán Cavanagh (Tyrone) stand out. In hurling he selects Tommy Walsh, Henry Shefflin, J.J. Delaney, Conal Keaney (Dublin) and Tony Kelly (Clare) as brilliant.
JOHNNY PURCELL (GERALDINE O'HANRAHANS): Johnny Purcell, who resides in the Bosheen, New Ross, was one of the Geraldine O'Hanrahans' star performers in a career that lasted from 1963 until 1989, a fabulous show of 26 years.
He was a class act with his silken skills, his effortless ball control, the way he could find the open spaces and his long, accurate striking of the ball. He normally played centrefield or in the half-forward line. With his delightful sidestep, his artistry with the camán and his unlimited stamina, he tore a number of defences to shreds.
It was his search for perfection that made him such an elusive target to contain. He loved to play the game of hurling at least as much as he loved to be on the winning side at the end. He was born in 1945 and was educated at Michael Street School, New Ross. His boyhood hero was Bobby Rackard R.I.P.
The best goalie he has seen in hurling was Pat Nolan (Oylegate-Glenbrien). The greatest hurler he has ever seen was Christy Ring R.I.P. The two best dual players he has seen were Jimmy Barry-Murphy and Des Foley R.I.P. The best he has seen in Wexford were Phil Wilson and Tom Neville.
In the last 60 years the hurlers that impressed him the most were Jimmy Barry-Murphy, Eddie Keher, Jimmy Doyle R.I.P. and Michael 'Babs' Keating. In Wexford, Tony Doran, Tom Neville, Mick Jacob and Jimmy O'Brien were tops. One of the great club teams he has seen in hurling was Rathnure in the early '70s. One of the finest individual displays he has seen was given by Mick Jacob in the 1975 Co. Senior hurling final versus Buffers Alley.
The Geraldine O'Hanrahans players that stood out over the years in Johnny's opinion were Tom Neville, Joe Murphy, Mickey Gardiner, Jimmy O'Brien and Michael Dalton. The four players that he found most difficult to get around were Teddy O'Connor (Rathnure), Willie Murphy (Faythe Harriers), Colm Doran (Buffers Alley) and John Doyle (Buffers Alley).
One of the great hurling finals he has seen was the drawn game in the 1966 Co. Senior championship, Geraldine O'Hanrahans versus the Shamrocks. It was a brilliant encounter as hard knocks were taken, the hurling was excellent, and it was a fair result at the end.
He played Juvenile hurling with Geraldine O'Hanrahans in 1961 and Minor hurling with Geraldine O'Hanrahans in 1963. The medals he won include Special Junior hurling in 1967, Co. Intermediate hurling in 1975 also with Geraldine O'Hanrahans, and District medals too.
One of Johnny's best games in the Geraldine O'Hanrahans colours was in 1967 when they won the Special Junior hurling crown, defeating Davidstown-Courtnacuddy in the final with a score of 2-18 to 2-7. Playing at right half-forward, he had a brilliant hour, scoring eleven points. In the Co. semi-final they had put 10-17 past a hapless Shamrocks team and Johnny registered 2-10. In those two games he was on cloud nine with impeccable displays of masterclass hurling.
On the great Wexford teams in the '50s his favourites were Bobby Rackard R.I.P., Nickey Rackard R.I.P., Tim Flood R.I.P., Ned Wheeler and Nick O'Donnell R.I.P. Sadly all have passed to their eternal reward except the great Ned Wheeler who is still hale and hearty. Nickey Rackard R.I.P. brought Wexford to a new level in Wexford with his inspirational work on and off the field.
Of the present-day hurlers, Richie Hogan, Pádraic Maher, Michael Fennelly and Seamus Callanan are all brilliant.
DAN QUIGLEY (RATHNURE): Dan Quigley was one of the finest hurlers to play the game in Wexford, standing out at over six feet tall and being physically enriched with super upper body strength.
He first came on the scene in 1959 when he helped St. Peter's College in a Leinster Colleges Junior hurling game. The following year St. Peter's proved successful and again Dan was their star player.
He was selected on the Wexford Minor hurling teams in 1961 and 1962 and in the latter year played full-back. He first played with Wexford at Senior level versus Carlow in 1963 in a National League game. In 1964 he won a Leinster Under-21 hurling medal and in 1965 he won Leinster and All-Ireland Under-21 hurling medals with the county.
His last year playing Senior for Wexford was in 1972 in the replay of the Leinster Senior hurling final versus Kilkenny. He played left corner-forward opposite the great 'Fan' Larkin. When playing in defence he epitomised splendour and all that is constructive in his role for both club and county. When playing in his favourite left corner-forward position he was a prolific marksman.
His craft, guile, determination and courage were sublime. His tenacious covering whether playing full-back or centre half-back was superb, and his first-time clearances were with length and direction. He was blessed with the requisite qualities of a masterclass hurler and his concentration in close exchanges was brilliant.
In the forward line his power, his control on the ball and his skill endeared him to G.A.A. followers everywhere. Everyone knew him as 'Big Dan' and he was some man for one man. His career at inter-county level would have gone on much longer only for a disagreement with the Co. Board over a trip to New York.
He won an All-Ireland Senior hurling medal in 1968, an All-Ireland Under-21 hurling medal in 1965, three Leinster Senior hurling medals in 1965, 1968 and 1970, two Leinster Under-21 hurling medals in 1964 and 1965, three Railway Cup medals in 1964, 1967 and 1971, a National League medal in 1967, five Walsh Cup medals in 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1970, and hurler of the year in 1968. With Rathnure he won nine Co. Senior hurling medals in 1961 as a substitute, 1967, 1971, 1972,1973, 1974, 1977, 1979 and 1980.
One of Dan's finest hours in the black and amber of his club was versus Rapperees in the 1972 Co. Senior hurling final, finishing with a personal tally of 0-12. The four greatest hurlers he has ever seen were Jimmy Doyle R.I.P., Eddie Keher, Henry Shefflin and Joe Canning. In Wexford in the last 50 years the ones that stood out were Tony Doran, Mick Jacob, Paul Lynch R.I.P., Adrian Fenlon and Martin Quigley.
The three best dual players he has seen in Ireland were Jimmy Barry-Murphy, Ray Cummins and Des Foley R.I.P. In Wexford, Phil Wilson, Joe Foley and his brother, Martin Quigley, were brilliant at both codes. He won six Leinster Club medals with Rathnure, losing in three All-Ireland finals in the grade.
Dan played club football for Rathnure for many years, losing the 1972 Co. Senior final to Ballyhogue. In hurling he played on some great players like Tony Doran, Joe Foley, Ned Wheeler, John Kennedy and Mick Collins R.I.P. In football, Phil Wilson and Michael Carty (Castletown) were tops.
His four brothers - Martin, Pat, John and Jim - were brilliant players in both codes for club and county. He was also an excellent selector and committee member for years in the '90s.
This four-part series will conclude next week with profiles on Noel Ronan, Nicky Rossiter, Davy Rowe, Tommy Rowe, Eugene Ryan, Jim Ryan, Vinny Staples, Freddie Swords, John Tubritt, Willie Walsh, Ger Waters and Martin Whelan. All profiles compiled by P.J. DALY (right).