Sunday 16 December 2018

Chasing the All-Ireland heroes of '92

The Donegal All-Ireland winning team of 1992. Back row: Matt Gallagher, John Joe Doherty, Noel Hegarty, Gary Walsh,
Brian Murray, Barry McGowan, Declan Bonner, Donal Reid. Front row: Martin McHugh, Joyce McMullen, Manus Boyle, Tony
Boyle, Anthony Molloy, Martin Gavigan, James McHugh
The Donegal All-Ireland winning team of 1992. Back row: Matt Gallagher, John Joe Doherty, Noel Hegarty, Gary Walsh, Brian Murray, Barry McGowan, Declan Bonner, Donal Reid. Front row: Martin McHugh, Joyce McMullen, Manus Boyle, Tony Boyle, Anthony Molloy, Martin Gavigan, James McHugh

Cliona Foley finds out what Donegal's Sam Maguire winners are doing now, 20 years after making history against Dublin

1 Gary Walsh (Ballyshannon)

Donegal's first-choice goalkeeper from 1984 to 1996. He won senior championships with his native Aodh Ruadh and Burren of Down, missing the Down county final in '92 due to the All-Ireland. He lives in Derry, where he is an accountant with Derry City Council.

2 Barry McGowan (Killybegs)

A member of the Donegal' All-Ireland-winning U-21s in 1987, who beat Kerry after a replay. Played senior for the county up to the '98 Ulster final. Co-managed his home club (with Manus Boyle) until last year and is employed by the ESB.

3 Matt Gallagher (Naomh Brid)

Captained Donegal to the All-Ireland U-21 title in 1982 when they beat Roscommon. Limited Vinny Murphy to just two points in '92 final and won an All Star. Played senior inter-county until 1997 and served as a county senior selector during Declan Bonner's management. Sales rep for Robert Roberts.

4 Noel Hegarty (Naomh Columba)

Only made his championship debut in 1991 and was one of the youngest on the team. Was player/manager with his home club in Glencolumkille until the late Noughties. A builder/developer, he also runs the Slieve League bar in Carrick.

5 Donal Reid (Red Hughs)

Started life as a midfielder where he won an U-21 All-Ireland in '82. Reid had said '92 would be his last year but played on for another season. He also played hurling with Setanta and has managed a vast array of club teams locally. A qualified physiotherapist who is part of the current back-room team, he also writes a column in the 'Donegal Democrat'.

6 Martin Gavigan (Ardara)

'Rambo', as he was always known, gave the performance of his career in the 1992 final when he was an All Star shoo-in. He is now a schoolteacher in St Columba's in Stranorlar and coaches underage with local club MacCumhaill's.

7 John Joe Doherty


Was a corner-back but stepped into the wing-back vacancy for the final after the 11th hour-loss of Martin Shovlin and won an All Star in '93. Managed Donegal for two years (2009-10), after Brian McIver and before Jim McGuinness. A sales rep for Wurth Ireland.

8 Anthony Molloy (Ardara)

Was part of Donegal's successful 1982 U-21 team and made history as the first and only Donegal man so far to lift Sam. He went on to manage the Donegal minors to an Ulster title in 1996. A businessman who has been involved in pubs, sales, property and insurance.

9 Brian Murray (Civil Service)

One of only two players living outside the county in 1992 when he was based in Dublin and playing club football locally. He won championships with his native Ballyshannon (Aodh Ruadh) but is still a garda detective in Dublin and lives in Kilcock.

10 James McHugh (Kilcar)

Often overshadowed by his younger brother Martin, he scored 0-2 in the '92 final and finished the season with an All Star. He played county senior from 1990 to 1996, and won three county titles with his club, whom he is now managing. He works for the ESB.

11 Martin McHugh (Kilcar)

Best known today as a pundit and commentator but McHugh, father of current star Mark, was a real livewire half-forward. He won All Stars in '83 and '92 and was Footballer of the Year in 1992. Managed the Cavan seniors to an Ulster title in 1997 and runs his own drinks distribution business MCM Spirits and Liqueur Ltd.

12 Joyce McMullan

(Four Masters)

Had won county titles with his home club in '82 and '84 long before Donegal's breakthrough and was also an All Star in 1990. Starred for the Donegal 'Masters' in recent years and is still involved, as a selector, with Four Masters, now managed by Karl Lacey's dad. A self-employed financial advisor.

13 Declan Bonner (Na Rossas)

His left boot kicked the last score in '92. Managed Donegal to an unlucky Ulster final defeat to Derry in '98 and applied, as part of a two-man team with Charlie Mulgrew, for the job again in late 2008 when John Joe Doherty got it. A sale rep for Grants Ireland, he writes a column for the 'Donegal News'.

14 Tony Boyle (Dungloe)

The curly-haired baby of the team only made his debut that summer but his towering presence earned an All Star. He played for Donegal until 2001, and was a senior selector during JJ Doherty's management. A sales manager with KeyPoint Ltd, he also does pitch-side analysis for BBC TV.

15 Manus Boyle (Killybegs)

Another U-21 All-Ireland winner from '87, his 0-9 (5f) in the final earned him the Man of the Match award. Still playing and starting for Killybegs and recently scored 1-1 in a Division 2 league game. He is self-employed and writes a column for the 'Donegal Democrat'.

Barry Cunningham (Killybegs)

Another of the 1987 U-21s, he was the only sub used in the '92 final, coming for the injured Brian Murray. Won five county titles with Killybegs up to 1996 and works as a quantity surveyor.

- Martin Shovlin would have started at left half-back if not injured. Donegal's 1992 panel also contained Jim McGuinness, Tommy Ryan, Charlie Mulgrew, Paul Callaghan, Paul Carr, Sylvester Maguire, John Cunningham, Michael Gallagher and Mark Crossan.

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