Sport Hurling

Sunday 22 October 2017

Where are they now? Ger Fitzgerald

Ger Fitzgerald
Ger Fitzgerald

Ger Fitzgerald

(Former Cork hurler)

Just after Ger Fitzgerald was born, his father Paddy played a hurling game for Cork. Legendary commentator Micheál O'Hehir was on duty and he wondered on air if some day baby Ger would hurl for Cork.

Little did he know that Fitzgerald would follow in his father's footsteps alright and star for the Rebels. Up until minor he played in goals for his club Midleton, never making the breakthrough to inter-county level. However, one fateful day in 1982 that all changed. His team were losing a championship match and they needed a game-changer. They took Fitzgerald out from between the posts and put him up into the half-forward line. The move paid off, he scored two goals and saved the day.

Although he didn't hurl for Cork in his teens, he got the nod at senior level and then under 21. He played some league games for Cork in 1984 but didn't make the championship squad. However, two years later he did, making his senior championship debut against Waterford in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, scoring 2-1.

"The full-forward line was Kevin Hennessy, Jimmy Barry-Murphy and myself," says Fitzgerald.

"I was very excited; it was a huge opportunity to stake a claim on a place in the team. And it was also a huge opportunity to play with the likes of Jimmy Barry and John Fenton, who were my boyhood heroes. The competition was fierce but that's what brings the best out of fellas."

Fitzgerald played for Cork until 1993, winning two All-Ireland and three Munster titles during his career. After he retired from inter-county duty, he continued playing with his club. In fact, some of his greatest memories stem from his days with Midleton.

"Winning the first county medal with Midleton was a highlight and so was being captain of the club in 1991 with my dad as manager as well as winning an All-Ireland club while he was manager."

He went into management after he retired from playing and did spells with the Cork minors, seniors, under 21s and also several club teams. Although he isn't currently involved with any team, he is a big supporter of both his county and his club and will be cheering on Midleton when they take on Sixmilebridge today in the Munster club semi-final.

Fitzgerald works with Pat O'Donnell in Cork and is married to Kathryn. They have three daughters, Laura, Kim and Jane.

Sunday Independent

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