Stars of the past

Published 07/01/2014 | 05:42

EVAN MURPHY (GOREY BLUES)

Evan Murphy from Gorey who now resides in Casement Terrace in Wexford town was for a period one of Gorey Blues' most enterprising forwards. He was clever, speedy and elusive and was capable of registering scores from any angle. One of his finest games playing football with the Gorey Blues was versus Castletown in the 1963 Gorey District Junior semi-final. Playing at centre half-forward, he had a superb game and moved the ball with precision to his fellow forwards to record a fine win by 3-5 to 1-6. However, disappointment followed in the final when Kilanerin were victorious with a 4-7 to 0-4 win.

In the game versus Castletown he was giving away inches and a couple of stone to his opponent but his speed and vision allowed him to dominate from his centre-forward position. He was also a member of the Gorey Wolfe Tones hurling club for a number of years. He played both codes in Juvenile and Minor with the Gorey Young Emmets.

One of the best hurlers he has ever seen in Gorey was Oliver Gough, and the best footballer he has ever seen was Bill Owley. When he left Gorey to work in Wicklow he played his hurling with Rathnew and his football with St. Patrick's. After Wicklow he moved to Campile and then on to Mayo where he played with the Ballina team for a while.

Although his medal collection was nil, he was quite happy to play both games whenever it was possible. Evan was born in 1940 and was educated at Ballyfad and Gorey C.B.S. His boyhood hero was Nickey Rackard R.I.P. The two best dual players he has ever seen in Wexford were Paddy Kehoe and Oliver Cullen.

He first played with the Gorey Blues in 1957 and last played with them in 1965. He had one brother - Kieran - who also played. The best individual display he has seen at club level was by Oliver Gough for the Young Emmets versus Oulart in the 1953 Co. Minor hurling semi-final. The four best Gorey Blues footballers he has seen were Bill Owley, Pa Grannell, Michael Breen and Malachy Travers. The most difficult four footballers that he played on were Jim Kavanagh R.I.P.(Castletown), Mick D'Arcy (Kilanerin), Dominic Murphy (Ferns) and Tom Lawlor (Castletown).

The two best footballers he has seen in Ireland were Mick O'Connell (Kerry) and Pat Spillane (Kerry). The two best footballers he has seen in Wexford were Matty Forde (Kilanerin) and Freddie Cudlipp(Castletown). His father, Michael Murphy R.I.P., also played football. The best game of football that he has seen in Wexford was the 1959 Co. Junior final with Sarsfields beating Gorey Blues on a score of 0-6 to 0-5.

He played Juvenile hurling and football with Young Emmets and Minor hurling and football with Young Emmets. The most exciting game of football that he played in was the 1963 Gorey District Junior football semi-final versus Castletown with a win of 3-5 to 1-6. The best goalie he has seen in Ireland in football was Paddy Cullen (Dublin). The best club football team he has seen was Castletown in the mid-'60s and '70s.

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LAR MURPHY (FAYTHE HARRIERS)

Lar Murphy who now resides at Bernadette Place in Wexford town was one of the most prolific goal-getters that played in the under-age competition in the '50s. With the Faythe Harriers his presence around the goal areas caused panic in every game he participated in. Standing over six feet and with a big physique, he bagged goals at will from all angles.

He played three years' Minor hurling with the Faythe Harriers, winning three Co. medals in 1954, 1955 and 1956. In 1957 they lost the Co. semi-final to the O'Hanrahans from New Ross. Lar in that game scored one of the best goals seen in Bellefield for a long time. His record in club Minor hurling speaks for itself with 43 goals and 19 points in 17 games over a period of four years including seven goals and four points versus Parnells in round two in the Wexford District in 1957.

He was selected on the Wexford Minor hurling team three years in succession in 1956, 1957 and 1958. With his powerful upper body strength and excellent ball control he caused problems for every full-back at under-age level in the county. Lar left for England in 1963 and came back in 1965. He played a few games when he came back, but his work kept him from doing any training and his last game was versus the Shelmaliers in an Intermeidate hurling game in 1969.

His boyhood hero was Nickey Rackard R.I.P. He played Intermediate hurling with the Faythe Harriers in 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1963, losing in the 1958 Co. final to Ferns. He was born in 1940 and was educated at C.B.S., Wexford. He also played Minor football with the Faythe Harriers in 1957 and 1958.

The best dual player he has seen in Wexford was Paddy Kehoe (Gusserane). The best game he has seen at club level was St. Aidan's (Enniscorthy) versus Faythe Harriers in the 1959 Co. Senior hurling final in New Ross. The game he selects as having his finest hour in was the Minor District final versus the Shelmaliers in Murrintown in 1956.

The four best Faythe Harriers hurlers he has seen were Oliver McGrath, Dick Murphy, Ned Wheeler and Bobby O'Leary. The four most difficult hurlers that he played on were Willie O'Leary R.I.P. (Shelmaliers), Tom Neville (Geraldine O'Hanrahans), Paddy Meyler (Kilmore) and Noel Hayes (St. Martin's). The two best hurlers he has seen in Ireland were Christy Ring R.I.P. and Bobby Rackard R.I.P. The two best hurlers he has seen in Wexford were Oliver McGrath (Faythe Harriers) and Ned Wheeler (Faythe Harriers).

He won three Juvenile medals in 1954, 1955 and 1956, three Minor medals in 1955, 1956 and 1957, two Senior football medals in 1959 and 1960, eight hurling medals at school from 1952 to 1954, and six tournament medals. The best game of hurling he has seen in Wexford was Wexford versus Cork in the 1960 Oireachtas Cup semi-final in New Ross. The most exciting game of hurling that he played in was versus Mount Sion (Waterford) in the New Ross Dunhill tournament. His football career included playing with the C.B.S. team in 1953 and 1954, and Senior football with the Faythe Harriers from 1957 to 1960 when he won two Co. Senior medals. Paddy Cullen R.I.P. (Faythe Harriers) was a great man over teams. The best goalie he has seen in hurling was Brendan Cummins.

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OLLIE MURPHY (ST. MARTIN'S)

Ollie Murphy from Piercestown was part and parcel of an outstanding St. Martin's hurling team in the '60s. He was a very versatile player and could adjust to any position with ease that was required of him. He started his career in the Rackard League in 1956 playing with Piercestown N.S. In 1957 and 1958 he played both grades in Juvenile and in 1958, 1959 and 1960 represented his club in Minor hurling and football. Medal success in the above grades were nil as Kilmore/Rathangan were a powerful force in the Wexford District in those years.

In 1960 he played with St. Martin's Junior 'B' sides in both codes. In 1963 he played a few games at midfield with the St. Martin's Junior hurlers who went on to win the Co. title. In 1964 he played in goal for the Intermediate hurlers in the Co. semi-final. He was centre-forward on the Special Junior hurling team which contested the 1968 and 1969 Co. finals.

Ollie was born in 1942 and was educated at Kilturk N.S. in Kilmore and Piercestown N.S. His boyhood hero was Nickey Rackard R.I.P. One of the greatest goalies he has seen in hurling was Pat Nolan (Oylegate-Glenbrien). The best dual player he has seen in Wexford was George O'Connor (St. Martin's). He was a committee member with the club for many years.

In 1964 he had one of his finest games playing football in goal with St. Martin's versus Dan O'Connell's in the Wexford District semi-final. Throughout the game he was outstanding, making a number of brilliant saves and keeping the Dan O'Connell's forwards at bay throughout the hour. The two best dual players he has seen in Ireland were Ray Cummins (Cork) and Jimmy Barry Murphy (Cork). One of the best dual players he has seen with St. Martin's was Liam Butler.

He first played football with St. Martin's in the Rackard League in 1956 and Juvenile in 1957. The best individual display he has seen at club level was by Vincent Staples versus Naomh Eanna in the 1982 Co. Intermediate football final.

The four best footballers he has seen playing with St. Martin's were VincentStaples, George O'Connor, Liam Butler and Seamus 'Shanks' Whelan. The four most difficult footballers that he played on were Jim McGrath (Dan O'Connell's), Pete Crowley R.I.P. (Sarsfields), Oliver McGrath (Faythe Harriers) and Jack Berry R.I.P. (St. Anne's). The two best footballers he has seen in Ireland were Mick O'Connell (Kerry) and James McCartan (Down). The two best footballers he has seen in Wexford were Matty Forde (Kilanerin) and Michael Carty (Castletown).

His father was a founder member of St. Martin's who won the Junior hurling in 1926 with Murrintown. He had Minor hurling trials in 1959 and 1960 and Intermediate hurling trials in 1965. The best game of football he has seen in Wexford was the 1965 Senior final with Ballyhogue versus Castletown in a drawn game. The most exciting game of football that he played in was St. Martin's versus Dan O'Connell's in 1964.

His hurling career entailed the Rackard League in 1956, with Piercestown N.S. beaten in the semi-final, and he played hurling with St. Martin's from 1957 to 1972. He also played in goal in the Intermediate semi-final in 1964. The best club team he has seen in hurling was the Rathnure team in the early '70s. The greatest goalie he has seen in hurling outside of Wexford was Ollie Walsh R.I.P.

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JOHNNY MURRAY (OULART-THE BALLAGH)

Johnny Murray who now resides at Tinraheen near The Ballagh was one of the longest-serving members of Oulart-The Ballagh hurling club. For almost 38 years he donned the black and red jersey of the club. Except for a period in the '60s when he played one year with St. Aidan's (Enniscorthy) and another couple of years on the injury list with a broken arm, he was always available to play hurling with Oulart-The Ballagh.

At 53 years of age he decided to call it a day after many years of devoted service to his beloved club. He enriched his play with intelligent and brainy showings. He was always as cool as a cucumber and was never over-awed, intimidated or flustered by any opponent he came in contact with. A feature of his fine displays was his versatility. He could play in any position.

When in the forward line he was quick, sharp and elusive and was a handful for any defender. When lining out in the back line he was crafty and clever and had great judgement. His hip to hip marking curtailed a number of his opponents to an off day.

He was born in 1942 and was educated at Ballaghkeene N.S. and Enniscorthy C.B.S. His boyhood hero was Tim Flood. The best dual player he has seen in Wexford was Willie Foley R.I.P. (Ballyhogue). The three hurlers that impressed him the most over the last 40 years in Wexford were Mick Jacob, Tony Doran and Martin Quigley. The two best dual players he has seen in Ireland were Des Foley R.I.P. (Dublin) and Jimmy Barry Murphy (Cork).

One of his finest games playing with Oulart-The Ballagh was versus Caim-Kiltealy in the 1959 Enniscorthy District Minor hurling final. He was positively brilliant, hitting the ball fluently and out-pacing and out-smarting a number of opponents. He played with venemous intensity and repeatedly won possession for his team. His display inspired his team-mates with his sheer fearlessness.

His uncle, Johnny Murray R.I.P., was a fine hurler in his day. Johnny was also a top-class footballer with Oulart-TheBallagh. He was a selector and committee member for his club. He first played hurling with Oulart-The Ballagh at adult level in 1957 at only 15 years old at corner-forward versus Ballyhogue.

The best individual display he has seen at club level was by Barry Kehoe in the 2011 Co. final. The four best hurlers he has seen playing with Oulart-The Ballagh were Tom Byrne, Tony Byrne, Tommy Stamp R.I.P. and Martin Storey. The three most difficult hurlers he played on were Mick Delaney (Duffry Rovers), James Ormonde (Blackwater) and Lar Rigley (Shamrocks). The two best hurlers he has seen in Ireland were Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny) and Jimmy Barry Murphy (Cork). The two best hurlers he has seen in Wexford were Bobby Rackard R.I.P. and Jim Morrissey R.I.P.

He played Minor for Wexford. He won one Leinster Colleges C.B.S. medal in 1957, one Junior hurling medal in 1968 with Oulart-The Ballagh, one Intermediate hurling medal in 1969 with Oulart-The Ballagh, one All-Ireland Golden Masters medal, one All-Ireland Shield Golden Masters medal and several tournament medals during his career. The best game of hurling he has seen in Wexford was Oulart-The Ballagh versus Ballyhale Shamrocks in the 2009 Leinster Club championship. The greatest goalie he has seen in hurling was Ollie Walsh R.I.P.

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PAT NOLAN (GERALDINE O'HANRAHANS)

If one was to nominate the top six goalies to have worn the Wexford jersey in hurling during the past six decades, Pat Nolan from Irishtown in New Ross would I am sure have to be included in that select band. His ability as a goalie was shown many times in club and county outings.

In 1966 versus Cork in an Oireachtas semi-final his class was there for everyone to see as he made save after save from a lethal forward line. His agility, his alertness, his bravery and his spring-heeled movements around his goal thwarted many a forward from scoring goals. Pat had great confidence in his own ability to deal with any shot let it be high or low. His younger brother John, who played in goal later for club and county, was also a brilliant netminder.

Pat was born in 1941 and was educated at New Ross C.B.S. His two boyhood heroes were Nickey Rackard R.I.P. and Tim Flood. One of the great goalies he has seen was Ollie Walsh R.I.P. (Kilkenny). The two best dual players he has seen were Des Foley R.I.P. (Dublin) and our own star Phil Wilson. The four greatest hurlers he has ever seen outside of Wexford were Jimmy Doyle, Eddie Keher, Gerald McCarthy (Cork) and Joe Salmon R.I.P. (Galway). In Wexford apart from the great team of the '50s he selects Tony Doran, Phil Wilson, Christy Keogh R.I.P., goalie Damien Fitzhenry and in later years Larry O'Gorman who were all master class.

The finest hurling club team he has seen over the years was Rathnure in the early '70s. With the Geraldine O'Hanrahans Pat was manager, selector, committee member and P.R.O. for Senior and Junior. He started off his adult career with the Geraldine O'Hanrahans in 1960 and finished up in 1994. One of his finest hours playing for his beloved club was in the replay versus the Shamrocks in the 1966 Co. Senior hurling final. Some of his saves that day were incredible and steered his side to success.

CONTINED OVERLEAF

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