Monday 23 October 2017

where are they now?

Ross Carr

(Former Down footballer)

ROSS CARR'S debut for Down was a special moment. His family are steeped in GAA tradition, so when he ran out on the pitch in Tuam against Galway wearing the red county jersey almost 30 years ago, it just felt right.

His uncle Barney Carr played for Down in the 1930s and '40s and managed the county to All-Ireland glory in 1960 and '61. Both his parents were heavily involved in Gaelic games and they encouraged him throughout his career.

Carr played through the ranks, under 16, minor and then under 21, winning an Ulster title in that grade in 1983. From there he was drafted into the senior squad, making his debut in the 1983/'84 National League campaign.

The early stages of Carr's inter-county career failed to yield much glory but that all changed in 1991 when Down made the breakthough, first of all winning Ulster and then the All-Ireland title.

Carr was one of the main men for Down in that campaign. A prolific free-taker, he won an All Star award for his efforts. Three years later, Down repeated the feat and again Carr played a vital role, scoring 1-4 in the Ulster final.

Being involved with his club Clonduff fills him with great pride; although he had no success at underage level, he still relished every opportunity he had to represent his club.

However, when Carr was 16 he was part of the panel which won the county league and championship double. And although they came close on a few occasions, it took 20 years for Clonduff to win another championship, doing the double again in 2000 when Carr was 36 years old.

"That win came on the back of a very successful underage team. The group of lads who came onto the senior panel had won a lot up through the ranks and I was lucky to be around when they came onto the scene," says Carr.

When Carr retired from inter-county football, he went into management and has been at the helm of both the Down minor and senior teams. He's now involved with Clonduff's underage teams. His son Aidan plays for Down and his two daughters play camogie for the county.

Today he will be hoping for the best when Down take on Donegal in the Ulster semi-final but says he finds it hard to see past a Donegal win.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport