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Monday 12 November 2018

Final chance to select your Louth Legends

Speedy winger and free taker of the 1909-12 side, Johnny was leading scorer in many of the 34 matches he played in between 1902 and 1916. Missed the 1905 Leinster Final defeat but played in the following five as well as the three All-Irelands (one walkover) and the four subsidiar

Ring wing

Johnny Brennan

Speedy winger and free taker of the 1909-12 side, Johnny was leading scorer in many of the 34 matches he played in between 1902 and 1916. Missed the 1905 Leinster Final defeat but played in the following five as well as the three All-Irelands (one walkover) and the four subsidiary finals. With Dundalk Rangers won Junior in 1905 and Senior in 1907and 08.

Frank Byrne

‘Son’ had the honour of being Louth’s first International Gaelic footballer when at the 1924 Tailteann Games in Croke Park, after playing for Leinster he represented Ireland v England. Although he played in the 1915 Wolfe Tone Memorial Final win over Mayo, it was two years before he made the first of 25 championship appearances.

A noted free-taker, he won five Louth Senior medals – Boyne Rangers 1922 and 30, Wolfe Tones 1925-27. As Tones captain in 1927, he was the first man to lift the Cardinal O’Donnell Cup. Louth’s abysmal form in the late 20s meant he made only five appearances in his last five seasons up to his retirement in 1931.

Mick Hardy

Like Cooley team-mate Kevin Connolly, Fr Michael’s studies meant that in the five seasons he was able to assist his county, he was only available for nine matches. From Omeath and of slight build, his exceptionally long arms meant he was able to outfield much taller opponents.

Rated the finest Colleges player ever at St Patrick’s, Armagh, he helped Louth to the 1941 All-Ireland Minor Final where they lost to Roscommon, and when the Louth team was drastically overhauled in 1943 he was one of 13 debutantes during the campaign that yielded a Leinster title.

Won his second medal in 1948 when he amassed 4-7 in only three matches, including two goals in his final appearance against Cavan at the age of 25.

Centre half forwards

Tom Caffrey

The sandy-haired ‘Skinner’ was one of the most colourful characters to play for Louth and ‘lived off the sea’ at Annagassan. Availing of the ‘Overnight Rule’, he won Senior Championship medals with Newtown Blues in 1933 and 36. Scored a goal on his Championship debut in 1933 and as free-taker was their leading marksman in the 13 matches he played, scoring a creditable 4-41 (5th highest by a Louth player).

Holds the record of 0-8 on his final appearance in the drawn final tie against Dublin in 1937. Came on as a sub in two of the three occasions he was selected for Leinster and won a Railway Cup medal in 1935.

Larry Carr

From Sandpit, Fr Larry was a member of the SMA Fathers, and although he appeared under the name ‘Casey’ his Order placed less restrictions on him than his clerical team-mates. Won Division 2 Championship medal with Ramblers United in 1940. Made the first of 12 Championship appearances in 1943.

A natural ‘40 yards man’, he was one of three priests (Connolly and Hardy) who along with Peter Corr, Ollie Halpin and Jimmy Coyle formed possibly the greatest forward line in Louth football history. Won second Leinster medal in his final season of 1948. Also played with Oliver Plunkett’s.

Larry McCormack

Link man of the famous 1910-12 side. A big, strong man, he was blessed with boundless stamina and could run all day. He is fourth in the all-time appearance list with 35 Championship starts between 1904 and 1919, during which time he played in 12 consecutive finals including the three All-Ireland Finals.

Won Junior medals in 1904 (Tredaghs) and 1914 (Stars). He played on all of Tredaghs’ four Senior Championship wins. And won a fifth Senior medal with Boyne Rangers in 1921 when Eamonn Ceannts (Ardee) were unable to fulfil a refixed replay of the final due to the fact that they had players arrested by Free State troops. Great-grandfather of recent star Colin Kelly.

Left wing

Peter Corr

Acknowledged as one of the greatest-ever Minor players seen in Leinster, Peter played in the 1940 (won) and 41 (lost) All-Ireland Minor Finals. Slight of build, he more than compensated for this with a great touch, speed of thought and movement. Won a Louth Junior medal with Sean O’Mahony’s in 1941.

Scored 3-27 in only eight Championship appearances between 1943 and 46, including 1-8 in Louth’s demolition of Laois in the 43 Leinster Final. His 25 points (1-22) that year is a record for a Louth player in one season. Went on to gain further glory with Everton and the Republic of Ireland who capped him four times.

Peter Garland

‘Nobby’ had a long and illustrious career, winning four Louth SF medals with three different clubs, starting with Geraldines in 1916. In the politically charged atmosphere of the time the club split and several players including ‘Nobby’ formed the O’Rahillys who went on to win the 1918 Senior title.

Another chance of a medal with O’Rahillys evaporated in 1920 when they were due to play their old mates Geraldines in the final, but had to concede a walkover as they had several played interned.

Keeping up the even year sequence, he won a Junior medal with Clans in 1922 followed by Senior medals in 1923 and 24. Going for three-in-row in ’25, Clans eventually gave a walkover to Wolfe Tones in the Final after their offer of a replay to semi-final opponents Geraldines was denied them. Nobby, who captained Clans in all his finals, made eight Championship appearances for Louth between 1915 and 1925.

Willie Lawless

‘Buckie’ made nine championship appearances during the lean years from 1925 to 31. Won three Junior medals with three clubs, starting with O’Rahillys in 1918, Con Colberts in 1926 and Gaels in 1933. In 1928, alongside Mick McKeown, they became the first Louthmen to win Railway Cup medals with Leinster. Involved with many Louth teams as trainer after his retirement.

Right corner forward

Frank Fagan

Versatile player who won Louth Senior medals with Young Irelands both as a back – right full in 1944 – and right half and captain in 50 and as a forward – full forward in 47.

Similarly with Louth made his debut in 1946 at left half back, then seven appearances on the wing including the 1948 All-Ireland semi-final and 1949 League Final before his final three appearances as corner forward in 1951. A member of the last Senior County Selection Committee.

Ollie Halpin

Son of Tom Halpin, a noted hurler with John Mitchels, who was murdered by the Black and Tans in 1921, Ollie was a versatile, powerfully built player equally at home in any of the six forward positions. Extremely clever and accurate, he won a Junior medal with St Magdalene’s in 1942 and was their ‘champion’ player, helping them to the 1945 Senior Final where they lost to Gaels.

Made his championship debut in 1939 and contributed handsomely to the Leinster Final victory of 43 which led to selection for Leinster and a Railway Cup medal in 1944.

Paddy McKeown

Unlucky 13 – this jersey has been the hardest to tie down since 1887, with more players using this number than any other. Stefan White’s nine appearances in the No 13 is the most to date. Next in appearances comes Paddy, one of four brothers (Mick, Nicky and Tom) to play Championship football for Louth.

The only other set of brothers to achieve this feat are the Judges (Peter, ‘Blackie’, Paul and Mal). From 1931 to 34, he scored 3-7 in nine matches and with his club Wolfe Tones won Louth Senior medals in 1929, 31 and 37.

Full forwards

Jack Bannon

The blacksmith from Killineer was a vital scorer in Tredaghs’ four Louth Senior Championship wins and played 19 Championship matches for Louth between 1906 and 1912, playing in the Leinster and All-Ireland Finals of 1909, 1910 (walkover in All-Ireland) and 1912.

Jimmy Coyle

With Louth football in the doldrums in the early 30s, it badly needed inspiration and it came with the much-heralded arrival in 1932 of the raw -boned Jimmy Coyle. Essentially a midfielder, he played 13 of his 28 matches in attack where his nine goals rank him second only to Stefan White in the goalscorers list.

Retired from inter-county in 1941 after three losing Leinster Final appearances, but ‘answered the call’ in 1943 and at full forward won an elusive Provincial medal, retiring for good after the semi-final defeat to Roscommon.

Won a Louth Junior medal with Glyde in 1929 and a Senior medal in the company of Kelly and Callan in 1934. Following year moved to Sean McDermott’s in Dublin and won the respect of Louth followers by not turning out for his club on the mornings of Leinster Championship matches.

Selected for Leinster on seven occasions (two non -playing, both in winning Finals) and his four Railway Cup medals rank him second best after Eddie Boyle.

Sean Cullen

Although he played only one season, Fr Shane is remembered by many of those who saw him as one of the greatest players ever to wear the red jersey. From Omeath, he had everything – strength, power, pace and an astute footballing brain.

Scored three goals on his debut against Wexford in 1934, he scored a further 1-4 in the three-game saga against Dublin. In the second of these games his equalising point from the corner flag in Drogheda has entered Louth footballing folklore.

Left corner forward

Tom Burke

Tom did it all – player, referee, administrator and freedom fighter. Selected to replace the injured Carvin for the 1912 All-Ireland Final, Tredaghs objected and he was left out. Captained the Louth Junior team defeated in the 1912 All-Ireland Final, he was also on losing 1914 Croke Cup team defeated by Cork.

However, he won 1913 Croke Cup and 1915 Wolfe Tone medals. With Drogheda Stars he won two Louth Junior and two Louth Senior medals, before helping to form Wolfe Tones in 1923. Won third Louth Senior medal with them in 1925. He declined the invitation to represent Leinster in the 1924 Tailteann Games because of his political views.

In 1916 answered the ‘call to arms’ and was interned in Frongoch Prison (North Wales) where he met Michael Collins. In 1920 at the behest of Collins was nominated and elected Secretary of the Co Board, a position he held until 1925. He later served four years as Co Board Chairman from 1928-31. Refereed the 1928 All-Ireland Final and Tailteann Games and Railway Cup Finals as well as countless Louth Finals.

Jack Carvin

A fascinating character who was described in 1946 by legendary GAA writer Paddy Mehigan as ‘Louth’s greatest footballer’. ‘Sandman’ played for Meath, Dublin and Louth as well as winning nine Senior medals with five different clubs. Born in John Street, Drogheda, in the Dioceses of Meath, his club Owen Roes (from Duleek Street, Drogheda) won the Meath SF title in 1897 and in 1898 played Louth, represented by Boyne Rangers (also from Drogheda) in the Leinster Championship at Balbriggan. In 1897 he had been on the losing Meath teams in the Croke Cup Final and also the Leinster Final. In 1898 his father ‘went down with his ship’ and he was sent to work in his uncle’s quarry in Bohernabreena – hence the nickname.

There, with his exceptionally long arms and great strength, he astounded the GAA people of Dublin and joined Kickhams. It was back to Drogheda and two bloodless Louth titles in 1900 and 01 when his club Drogheda Independents were the only club affiliated. Independents won again in 1902, then further medals with Boyne Rovers (1904), Dundalk Young Irelands (05) and finally Tredaghs in 1906, 09 and 10.

In 1905 the Great Southern & Western Railway presented a Shield for an inter-provincial competition and Jack played for Leinster in 1906 and 07, the only two years in which it was run. Played 35 Championship matches between 1900 and 1916 but missed the 1912 All-Ireland Final through injury.

An all-round sportsman, he was a noted handballer and was also one of four players who missed the 1902 championship when they were suspended for playing soccer. Finished his days working on Drogheda Docks.

Andy Tipping

Mickey Reynolds’ record of 17 championship appearances in the No 15 jersey is ten more than his nearest rivals. One of these is Andy Tipping, who in the last season of 17-a-side football in 1912 made his debut in the No 17 jersey.

Although he played in the Leinster quarter and semi finals, he failed to make the All-Ireland winning panel. Scored three points in Louth’s 1915 win over Mayo in the Wolfe Tone Memorial Final. Won Louth Senior medals with Young Irelands in 1911 and as captain of O’Rahilly’s (Dundalk) in 1918.

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