Friday 2 December 2016

Sean McGoldrick: Jimmy Doyle played a pivotal role in a golden era for Tipperary hurling

Sean McGoldrick

Published 23/06/2015 | 10:51

5 September 1965; Tipperary captain Jimmy Doyle, right, and Wexford captain Tom Neville before the game. All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final, Tipperary v Wexford, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Connolly Collection / SPORTSFILE
5 September 1965; Tipperary captain Jimmy Doyle, right, and Wexford captain Tom Neville before the game. All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final, Tipperary v Wexford, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Connolly Collection / SPORTSFILE
The Tipperary captain Jimmy Doyle leads the Tipperary and Wexford teams duirng the parade ahead of the 1965 All-Ireland against Wexford
17 February 2008; Former Tipperary hurler Jimmy Doyle. Allianz National Hurling League, Division 1B, Round 2, Tipperary v Limerick, Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Tipperary's Jimmy Doyle holds the Liam MacCarthy Cup as he is held aloft by Tipperary supporters after his side's vitory over Wexford in 1965. All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final, Tipperary v Wexford, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Connolly Collection / SPORTSFILE
Jimmy Doyle

JIMMY Doyle who died suddenly last night was of the greatest hurlers of all time.

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Born within a stone’s throw of Semple Stadium in Thurles, he was a naturally gifted player whose career at the highest level of the game spanned three decades.

A modest individual of the field, once he donned either the colours of Thurles Sarsfields, Tipperary or Munster he was quite simply a man apart.

A teenage prodigy, he played in a remarkable four All-Ireland minor finals beginning in 1954 when he was in was goalkeeper on the team beaten by Dublin in the decider. 

He then won three All-Ireland medals on the spin as a forward (1955-1957), captaining the team in the latter triumph.

It was as a forward that Jimmy made his mark in the game and he was named as right half forward on both the Century and Millennium Teams of the Year.

His senior career with Tipp began during the 1957/58 National League campaign and only ended when he retired after the 1973 championship.

The sixties were a golden era for Tipperary hurling and Doyle played a pivotal role in helping make them the top side in the country.

He won six All-Ireland senior medals, nine Munster championship medals and seven National League medals. He captained the team to their All-Ireland victories in 1962 and 1965. He also won eight Railway Cup medals and got an opportunity to hurl alongside with boyhood hero Christy Ring.

He made 39 championship appearances for Tipperary and was top scorer in the 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1964 championships. 

By the time he retired he was the county all-time top scorer with a career total of 18 goals and 176 points. This was a record which stood until 2007 when he was overtaken by Eoin Kelly.

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.

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