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Legendary Dublin dual star Des Ferguson passes away, aged 91

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Des “Snitchy” Ferguson

Des “Snitchy” Ferguson

Des “Snitchy” Ferguson

Renowned former Dublin footballer and hurler Des "Snitchy" Ferguson has died at the age of 91.

Ferguson was a two-time All-Ireland football winner, part of the successful 1958 and 1963 teams where he was a contemporary of Kevin Heffernan.

He came close to winning All-Ireland hurling medals for Dublin too, featuring on teams that lost to Cork and Tipperary in the 1952 and 1961 finals.

A talented half-forward known for his speed and playmaking ability, he later switched to full-forward for the 1963 final against Galway.

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Dublin team v Mayo 1955 All-Ireland semi-final: (back l-r) Ollie Freaney, Paddy Flaherty, Dean McGuinness, Mark Wilson, Jim Crowley, Mick Moylan, Jim Lavin. Front: Maurice Whelan, Nicky Maher, Denis Mahony, Cathal O'Leary, Johnny Boyle, Kevin Heffernan, Dessie Ferguson, Pádraig Haughey.

Dublin team v Mayo 1955 All-Ireland semi-final: (back l-r) Ollie Freaney, Paddy Flaherty, Dean McGuinness, Mark Wilson, Jim Crowley, Mick Moylan, Jim Lavin. Front: Maurice Whelan, Nicky Maher, Denis Mahony, Cathal O'Leary, Johnny Boyle, Kevin Heffernan, Dessie Ferguson, Pádraig Haughey.

Dublin team v Mayo 1955 All-Ireland semi-final: (back l-r) Ollie Freaney, Paddy Flaherty, Dean McGuinness, Mark Wilson, Jim Crowley, Mick Moylan, Jim Lavin. Front: Maurice Whelan, Nicky Maher, Denis Mahony, Cathal O'Leary, Johnny Boyle, Kevin Heffernan, Dessie Ferguson, Pádraig Haughey.

By then he had already moved to Meath where he had taken up a post as a woodwork teacher in Oldcastle before settling in Kells.

Ferguson had a distinguished club career with St Vincent's, the dominant force in Dublin football through the 1950s where they won all but one of the senior football titles between 1949 and 1962.

He was also part of the city's first national league winning team in 1953 that featured 14 St Vincent's players on the starting team, the exception being Tony O'Grady from Air Corps. He went on to win further league medals in 1955 and 1958.

He was always highly thought of in Dublin football circles and in 2018 then manager Jim Gavin brought the Sam Maguire Cup to his home in Kells after the completion of the four-in-a-row.

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He was one of the founding members of the Gaeil Colmcille club in Meath and won Meath championships with them in 1966 and '68.

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The Dublin team that won the 1961
Leinster Senior Hurling Championship. Back
row: Christy Hayes, Des Foley, Liam Ferguson, 
Mick Bohan, Lar Foley, Fran Whelan, Des Ferguson. Front Row: Larry Shannon, Willie Jackson, Noel Drumgoole
(captain), Bernie Boothman, Shay Lynch,
Paddy Croke, Achille Boothman, Jimmy Grey.

The Dublin team that won the 1961 Leinster Senior Hurling Championship. Back row: Christy Hayes, Des Foley, Liam Ferguson, Mick Bohan, Lar Foley, Fran Whelan, Des Ferguson. Front Row: Larry Shannon, Willie Jackson, Noel Drumgoole (captain), Bernie Boothman, Shay Lynch, Paddy Croke, Achille Boothman, Jimmy Grey.

The Dublin team that won the 1961 Leinster Senior Hurling Championship. Back row: Christy Hayes, Des Foley, Liam Ferguson, Mick Bohan, Lar Foley, Fran Whelan, Des Ferguson. Front Row: Larry Shannon, Willie Jackson, Noel Drumgoole (captain), Bernie Boothman, Shay Lynch, Paddy Croke, Achille Boothman, Jimmy Grey.

Ferguson later turned to inter-county management, taking charge of both the Meath hurling and football teams at various stages through the 1970s and 'early '80s. Sean Boylan featured on Meath hurling teams that he managed.

His son Terry mirrored his All-Ireland winning achievements with success as a defender on the 1987 and '88 Meath teams. Another son Barry was also a member of the Meath squad in those years.

He is predeceased by his son Ronan and survived by his wife Marie and children Des, Orlaith, Terry, Eimear, Conor, Pearse, Barry, Diarmuid and Rory.

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