Bobby Browne will be fondly remembered
From the Stands
Master defeating pupil has a familiar ring to it in sporting endeavour. Rarely, however, can it have had the dramatic aftermath that was witnessed in the Carrolls Matchplay Championship at Tramore in October 1976.
That was when Laytown and Bettystown professional Bobby Browne, who died on Christmas Day, had a 3&2 victory over his first golfing pupil John O’Leary. Such an outcome wasn’t supposed to happen. In fact, O’Leary, then a Ryder Cup player, had been assured of both “a late draw and a relatively easy one”.
“They honoured the first part, but I was drawn against a player I consider to be one of the best Irishmen not on the circuit,” said the then 27-year-old, who had made a hectic dash from a pro-am in the Channel Islands. This was accompanied by a threat to boycott all future Irish events which, happily, he didn’t carry through.
Browne (below), a Southern Ireland champion as well as chairman of the PGA Irish Region at the time, had many a chuckle over subsequent years about that episode. But it was no more than a vignette in a distinguished career in which he contributed significantly to Irish golf through design work on such fine courses as Bearna in Galway and Black Bush in Dunshaughlin, as an exceptional teacher and as a dedicated administrator.
Peter Townsend actually went on to win that Tramore event, but the bold Bobby probably got more mileage out of it. And when his initial anger had subsided, O’Leary, too, could smile at the memory.
An Effin anniversary
TWENTY-THREE years ago today Eddie Moroney provided the commentary for a video of the Tipperary under 21 football final, a video that has been seen by tens of thousands of people all over the world since then.
Eddie — of ‘Effin Eddie’ as he became known — had a late night the Saturday night before the final between his native Aherlow and Éire Óg Nenagh which was played in the village of Littleton. Eddie wasn’t feeling great on the Sunday morning, but went ahead with the commentary which went viral after it was uploaded on to YouTube. ‘Effin Eddie’ didn’t get any royalties from YouTube, but the good news is that he remains good friends with referee Jim O’Shea, whom he was very critical of on that January day 23 years ago.
Three of the very best
JOHN GILES, Pat Jennings and Allan Hunter were the Irish representatives in an exhibition game played at Wembley 43 years ago today.
To celebrate Ireland, the United Kingdom and Denmark joining what was then the Common Market, the ‘Three’ played the ‘Six’ who were already members at Wembley on January 3, 1973.
Alf Ramsey selected the ‘Three’ team, while Helmut Schoen was in charge of the ‘Six’ team representing: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands and West Germany. The ‘Three’ won 2-0 thanks to goals from Henning Jensen of Denmark and Scotland’s Colin Stein.
FORMER Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Paddy Roche celebrates his 65th birthday tomorrow. Roche joined Manchester United from Shelbourne in 1973, but made only 46 league appearances for the Reds. He joined Brentford in 1982 and made more first team appearances there in one season than he did in nine years at Old Trafford.
Kenny eyes history
IN the 55-year history of the Soccer Writers’ Personality of the Year award, nobody has ever managed to win it in successive years. But after leading Dundalk to back-to-back League titles and a League-Cup double in 2015, Stephen Kenny, the 2014 winner, will be fancied to make history next Friday when the Soccer Writers announce their winner.
Jim McLaughlin has won the award with three different clubs, while Pat Byrne, Johnny Fullam, Pat Fenlon, Glen Crowe, Paul Doolin and Liam Buckley have all won the award twice, but none in consecutive years.
The other nominees for the top award, which can be won by a player or manager, are: John Caulfield, Shane Keegan, Richie Towell, Daryl Horgan and Brandon Miele. Cork City’s Mark McNulty, who was named Goalkeeper of the Year last year, has made the shortlist again this year and the other two ’keepers in contention are Micheál Schlingerman and Gary Rogers.
Number of the Week
The number of consecutive defeats now suffered by Munster, three of them at home. Attendances at Thomond Park have dropped alarmingly this season.