Thursday 22 February 2018

Where are they now?

Jim Corr (Former Antrim goalkeeper)

When Jim Corr was 14 he played junior hurling for his club Ardoyne Kickhams. His father played full-back on the same team and Corr remembers those days fondly.

"It was great to play with my father; it's not something that happens too often now," explains Corr. "I remember nobody ever touched me when I played on that team. My instructions were get the ball, run out the wing and don't look back."

The Antrim man grew up in the Falls Road area of Belfast but his club Ardoyne Kickhams is in the north of the city. His father had strong links with the club and brought him along when he was a child. Although Corr played football too, hurling was always his first love.

He worked his way up through the playing ranks to the Kickhams senior team, winning Ulster titles in every grade. In 1966, at 20 years of age, he made his debut for Antrim in goals against Down and kept that position for the next 14 years.

For half of his senior career he lived in Shannon in Co Clare and made the six-hour trip back to Belfast to line out for his county. It was a tough journey for Corr as it was in the height of the Troubles and he was regularly stopped and searched by armed forces.

But it was worth it for Corr. Playing for Antrim was a dream come true and winning a 'B' All-Ireland in 1978 and getting selected for an All Star tour to America in 1976 were two of his greatest sporting achievements. He retired from county duty in 1980 as he felt the time was right.

"Teams change and younger players come in. I was 34 when I finished playing inter-county hurling, it was my time, others needed to get their chance."

While living in Shannon the goalkeeper played with Wolfe Tones and in 1974 he was captain of the first adult team in the club to win a county championship when they took the junior 'A' title. It was a very competitive time for club hurling in Clare and a proud moment for Corr.

After Corr retired from hurling, he took up golf and he still is very involved in the ex-hurlers' society.

He lives in Shannon, has eight grandchildren and today his mother Lily turns 93.

Irish Independent

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