Monday 11 December 2017



(Former Cork hurler)

It seems a fairly novel idea that a man who started out between the sticks would go on to score one of the greatest goals in the history of the sport, but John Fenton did exactly this. His 45-metre effort off the ground against Limerick in the 1987 Munster hurling semi-final replay is still considered one of the finest goals the sport has ever witnessed.

Fenton played for Cork between 1975 and 1987, racking up a vast array of honours including seven Munster titles, two All-Irelands and five All Stars. Despite his successes at inter-county level, he still considers captaining his club side Midleton to their first Cork County Senior Championship in 71 years as his greatest honour. He still remembers the exact date 22 years on. "The ninth of October, 1983".

He may have had his share of disappointments in hurling but he has no regrets. "When you play hurling there are always things you would like to have done, but when you look back and evaluate, I achieved everything I wanted to achieve.I was fully committed to playing hurling at the highest level for my club and county and that dictated everything I did on and off the pitch. I'd love to still be playing, but I had my time."

He believes Kilkenny are the team to beat this year but that Cork are leading the chasing pack. "In terms of temperament and experience, Cork have the best chance outside of Kilkenny." He may have faith in the abilities of the current Cork team but he worries about the future.

"They've been a fantastic team over the last ten years, the fear I have is that they'll all go around the same time. There's no more than two years left in some of them, they'll be considering their position anyway."

When this current generation do walk away from the sport, Fenton is not sure that the next wave of hurlers will be able to emulate the success of their predecessors. "We are not producing the talent we did in the past," he adds.

Fenton lives in Midleton and works as a sales rep for CP Omada. He is still involved with Midleton hurling club where he coached until last year. He is now involved on the administrative side.

Sunday Independent

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