Three ’keepers of flame in Capital’s greatest hits catalogue
START with the Dublin squad of 1974-79. Three All-Ireland titles, six successive appearances in All-Ireland finals; six successive Leinster titles.
Now focus on the Dublin squad of the last decade. Seven All-Ireland titles, five consecutively, nine successive Leinster titles and five Allianz Leagues.
Merge the two panels together and pick a top 20. Difficult? Now there’s an understatement! And that’s before the intervening 30 years (1980-2010) are fed into the equation. Okay, so those three decades may have yielded only two All-Ireland titles, but several contenders make a case, including John O’Leary, Barney Rock, Paul Curran, Keith Barr and Charlie Redmond.
And then there’s Ciarán Whelan, who didn’t even get to play in an All-Ireland final, yet was one of the best midfielders in the game for a long time.
The title haul accumulated by modern-day Dublin demands that they have a large representation in the top 20, but the 1970s team have strong claims too.
Apart from being the group that transformed football in Dublin, taking it out of deep depression to become the height of fashion at a time when there were fears for the future of the GAA in the Capital, they also had to contend with Leinster rivals who were far superior to the current lot.
After that, they were up against Kerry, arguably still the greatest team of all time. Suffice to say that there is no comparison with the modern-day Kerry and the relentless enforcers overseen by Mick O’Dwyer in the 1970s/80s.
Top spot goes to Stephen Cluxton, not only for the impact he has had as a mould-breaking goalkeeper, but also for his longevity (he made his debut in 2001). Brian Mullins tops the ‘old brigade’ representation.
Uniquely among all counties, Dublin have three goalkeepers in the top 12, with Paddy Cullen joining Cluxton and O’Leary. Other than for four seasons (Davy Byrne 1998-2001) the trio have between them been the Dubs’ first choice ’keepers since 1967.
1. Stephen Cluxton, 2. Brian Mullins, 3. James McCarthy, 4. Brian Fenton, 5. John O’Leary, 6. Jimmy Keaveney, 7. Bernard Brogan Jnr, 8. Ciarán Kilkenny, 9. Jack McCaffrey, 10. Alan Brogan, 11. Tommy Drumm, 12. Paddy Cullen, 13. Robbie Kelleher, 14. Anton O’Toole, 15. Barney Rock, 16. Diarmuid Connolly, 17. Paul Curran, 18. Dean Rock, 19. Paul Flynn, 20. Cian O’Sullivan
See Tuesday's Irish Independent and Independent.ie to find out who has made the grade for each team in Munster and have your say on each county's poll below.
You can send your own top 20 list, as well as any issues or disagreements you might have with our rankings, to email@example.com.
Click on your county below:
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