Mick O'Dwyer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mick O'Dwyer
Mick O'Dwyer in the Timeless Landscape.JPG
Statue of Mick O'Dwyer in Waterville
Personal information
Irish name Mícheál Ó Duibhir
Sport Gaelic football
Position Forward
Born (1936-06-09) 9 June 1936 (age 78)
Waterville, County Kerry, Ireland
Occupation Hotelier
Club(s)
Years Club
1953-1984 Waterville
Inter-county(ies)
Years County Apps (scores)
1957-1973 Kerry 48(6-129)
Inter-county titles
Munster titles 11
All-Irelands 4
NFL 7
All Stars 0
Mick O'Dwyer in 2012 with his Statue in Waterville. Sculptor: Alan Hall

Mick O'Dwyer (born 9 June 1936) is an Irish Gaelic football manager and former player. Most recently manager of the Clare senior football team, he is considered to be "the 'high priest' of Kerry football".[1]

O'Dwyer played Gaelic football with his local club Waterville and was a member of the Kerry senior team from 1956 until 1974. O'Dwyer later served as manager of Kildare, Laois and Wicklow, however, it was as manager of the Kerry senior football team from 1975 until 1989 that allowed him to gain iconic status as the most successful manager of all-time. In June 2012, a statue of Mick O'Dwyer was erected in Waterville to honour his achievements. The picture of the statue in this article was taken on the morning after its unveiling.

O'Dwyer announced his retirement from inter-county management in January 2014 after a 60-year involvement with inter-county football.[2] Speaking on his retirement he said "My days of rolling up the match programme tightly in my hand and heading out to patrol the sidelines are over. I'd be happy to give a bit of advice from time to time if anyone wants it but I won't be managing again. That's behind me now,".[3]

Biography[edit]

Mick O'Dwyer was born in Waterville, County Kerry in 1936. He was educated locally at St. Finian's national school before later attending Waterville Technical School. O'Dwyer later worked as a hotelier and as well as running an undertaker service.

Playing career[edit]

Inter-county[edit]

Minor[edit]

O'Dwyer first came to prominence on the inter-county scene as a member of the Kerry minor football team in the early 1950s. After two years without an appearance in the provincial minor decider Kerry reached the Munster final in 1954 with O'Dwyer lining out at midfield. Cork provided the opposition on that occasion; however, the Kingdom were far too strong for the young Rebels. A 4-10 to 1-3 trouncing gave O'Dwyer a Munster medal in the minor grade. Kerry subsequently qualified for the All-Ireland final against Dublin; however, O'Dwyer was not included in the starting fifteen on that occasion. Kerry lost the game by a point.

Senior[edit]

O'Dwyer's move onto the Kerry senior football team was a natural progression. He made his competitive debut in a National League game against Carlow in the 1956-57 season, before making his championship debut in a defeat by Waterford in the 1957 Munster championship.

In 1958, O'Dwyer lined out in his first senior provincial decider. Back-to-back champions Cork were the opponents; however, their three-in-a-row bid failed in spectacular fashion. A 2-7 to 0-3 victory for Kerry gave O'Dwyer his first Munster winners' medal in the senior grade. The Kingdom's run of success came to a halt in the subsequent All-Ireland semi-final when Derry defeated O'Dwyer's team by just a single point.

1959 got off to a good start when Kerry reached the final of the National League. Derry, the team that had put Kerry to the sword in the previous year’s championship, provided the opposition. A close game developed once again; however, on this occasion O'Dwyer ended the game with a National League medal following a 2-8 to 1-8 victory. Kerry later faced Cork in the Munster final for the second successive year. The game was more competitive than their encounter at the same stage the previous year; however, the result was the same. Kerry won by 2-15 to 2-8 and O'Dwyer added a second Munster medal to his collection. The Kingdom later defeated reigning champions Dublin to set up an All-Ireland final showdown with Galway. Every aspect of that game seemed to go Kerry's way. A punched Tom Long ball was forced into the net by Dan McAuliffe for Kerry’s opening goal. McAuliffe struck again when goalkeeper Jimmy Farrell dropped the ball accidentally in the goalmouth, while substitute Garry McMahon slipped as he sent the third into the net in the final few minutes. A 3-7 to 1-4 score line gave Kerry the title and gave O'Dwyer a coveted All-Ireland winners' medal.

The following year Kerry faced Waterford in yet another Munster final appearance. The sides having been level at half-time, the Kingdom dominated the second half and eventually won by 3-15 to 0-8 and O'Dwyer secured a third consecutive Munster title. A second consecutive All-Ireland final appearance quickly followed with Down providing the opposition. The game was played on an even keel for much of the first-half; however, an important incident turned the game in the Ulster men's favour eleven minutes after the interval. Kevin Mussen's line ball found Dan McCartan who sent in a high forty-yard lob which Kerry goalkeeper Johnny Culloty dropped over the goal-line. Two minutes later Paddy Doherty was pulled down in the square. He converted the subsequent penalty which put Down six points up. An historic final score of 2-10 to 0-8 resulted in a defeat for O'Dwyer's side, while the Sam Maguire Cup crossed the border into Northern Ireland for the first time.

Kerry reached the final of the 1960-61 National League and, for the second time in three years, Derry were the opponents. The northerners put up little opposition as Kerry steamrolled them to secure a 4-16 to 1-5 victory. It was O'Dwyer’s second National League medal. Kerry's subsequent Munster final date with Cork ended in a draw. The replay saw Kerry make no mistake and a 2-13 to 1-4 score line gave O'Dwyer a fourth Munster medal in-a-row. The subsequent All-Ireland semi-final was a repeat of the previous year's championship decider. The result was also the same as the Ulster men secured a 1-12 to 0-9 victory and dumped O'Dwyer's side out of the championship.

Kerry bounced back from this disappointment and proved that they were the masters of provincial football once again in another showdown with Cork. A 4-8 to 0-4 mauling gave O'Dwyer his fifth provincial winners' medal in succession. Kerry later booked a place in the All-Ireland final against Roscommon, a game which has been described as possibly the worst championship decider of them all. Garry McMahon went into the history books as he scored Kerry's first goal after just thirty-five seconds. Kerry fielded the resultant kick-out and Timmy O'Sullivan got the first of Kerry's twelve points of the day. A Don Feeley penalty failed to life the Rossies who fell to the Kingdom by 1-12 to 1-4. It was O'Dwyer's second All-Ireland winners' medal.

The home final of the 1962-63 National League saw Kerry finally defeat Down. A largely nominal victory over New York in the proper final gave O'Dwyer a third National League medal. The subsequent Munster final against Cork was a much more competitive affair in comparison to recent encounters; however, a Kerry victory was never really in doubt. A 1-18 to 3-7 victory gave O'Dwyer an impressive sixth consecutive provincial winners' medal. Kerry, however, went off the boil and were defeated by eventual championship runners-up Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final.

In 1964, O'Dwyer missed Kerry's seventh consecutive Munster final victory. He returned to the starting fifteen for the Kingdom's subsequent All-Ireland final showdown with Galway. The game turned into a battle between Mick O'Connell and Cyril Dunne. The former scored seven of Kerry's points while the latter converted nine. After Galway took a four-point lead in the opening ten minutes they never looked back. A full-time score of 0-15 to 0-10 resulted in a defeat for O'Dwyer's side. After receiving the Sam Maguire Cup Galway captain John Donnellan learned that his father had died in the stand watching the match.

The start of 1965 saw Kerry face Galway again, this time in the National League final. Defeat was O'Dwyer's lot on that occasion as well. An almost obligatory Munster medal quickly followed as Kerry defeated Limerick by 2-16 to 2-7. Kerry later reached yet another All-Ireland final and, for the third time inside twelve months, Galway faced the Kingdom in a national final. Galway raced out of the starting blocks once again; however, the game was not without incident. Kerry's Derry O'Shea and Galway's John Donnellan were sent-off. Major scoring threat Mick O'Connell was curtailed; however, Kerry launched a great comeback. In the end Galway were the champions for the second year in-a-row.

In 1966, disaster struck as O'Dwyer broke both his legs. These injuries effectively ended his football career and he retired from the game. After two years of recuperation O'Dwyer made a miraculous recovery and returned to the game and proved to be better than ever. After losing back-to-back provincial deciders, Kerry were back facing Cork in the Munster showpiece of 1968. A high-scoring game followed, however, a 1-21 to 3-8 score line resulted in a Kerry victory and an eighth Munster winner’s medal for O'Dwyer. Down, one of the fairytale stories of the sixties, provided the opposition in the subsequent All-Ireland final. Legendary player Seán O'Neill got the inside of his boot to a rebounding ball for a goal after six minutes to get the northerners on their way. A Brendan Lynch goal for Kerry in the final minute was little more than a consolation as Down won the game by 2-12 to 1-13.

At the start of 1969 Kerry signaled their intent when they reached the final of the National League once again. After taking care of Offaly O'Dwyer's side traveled to New York for a two-game final series with New York. An aggregate score of 2-33 to 2-24 gave Kerry the win and gave O'Dwyer a fourth National League winners' medal. The almost annual Munster final between Kerry and Cork provided no surprise. The Kingdom won easily by 0-16 to 1-4 and O'Dwyer added a ninth provincial winners' medal to his collection. Another All-Ireland final appearance beckoned, this time with Offaly providing the opposition. Goalkeeper Johnny Culloty proved the hero of the day. He made two great saves in the first-half and another straight after the interval. Kerry held onto a three-point lead from the interval until the final whistle and a 0-10 to 0-7 victory gave O'Dwyer a third All-Ireland winners' medal.

The following year Kerry proved that they were the masters of football once again. Cork had the misfortune of facing the Kingdom in the very first eighty-minute Munster final; however, Kerry were relentless. A massive 2-22 to 2-9 victory gave O'Dwyer an impressive tenth Munster winners' medal. Kerry later qualified for a third consecutive All-Ireland final and were hoping for their first back-to-back titles since 1941. Meath were the opponents on this occasion and an exciting game developed over the course of the eighty minutes. O'Dwyer's side took an eight-point lead, however, this was cut back to just three by Meath. Din Joe Crowley's goal four minutes from the end sealed a 2-19 to 0-18 victory and a fourth All-Ireland winners' medal for O'Dwyer. In winning this title O'Dwyer finished the season as top scorer again, as well as joining a unique group of players to win All-Ireland medals in each of three decades.

The 1970-71 National League saw Kerry reach the final again. Mayo lined out in opposition; however, the Kingdom secured a 0-10 to 0-8 win and O'Dwyer added a fifth National League medal to an already impressive collection. While Kerry embarked on the three-in-a-row championship trail, their plans came unstuck in the Munster final. After years of being put to the sword by their nearest neighbours, Cork fought back in spectacular fashion to record one of their most comprehensive victories over Kerry. A remarkable 0-25 to 0-14 score line ended O'Dwyer's championship hopes for another year.

As O'Dwyer now reached the twilight of his football career, he showed no signs of slowing down. Kerry qualified for a second consecutive National League final in 1972 and, for the second time in as many years, Mayo provided the opposition. This time the victory was even more comprehensive as Kerry secured a 2-11 to 1-9 victory and O'Dwyer picked up a sixth National League medal. For the seventh year in succession Kerry faced Cork in the subsequent Munster final; however, on this occasion the Rebels went into the game as reigning champions. Normal service was resumed as the Kingdom secured a 2-21 to 2-15 victory and O'Dwyer won his eleventh Munster title on the field of play. Offaly, a team who had won their first-ever All-Ireland title the previous year, provided the opposition in the subsequent All-Ireland final. Noel Cooney of Offaly and Brendan Lynch of Kerry exchanged goals throughout the game, while Offaly captain Tony McTague converted six points for his side. At the full-time whistle both sides were level on 1-13 apiece. The draw four weeks later was another exciting affair. Both sides exchanged tit-for-tat scorers; however, Offaly broke down Kerry's defences after forty-eight minutes when Pat Fenning's long speculative ball hopped over the line without anyone touching it. The 1-19 to 0-13 victory for Offaly turned out to be Kerry’s biggest-ever defeat in an All-Ireland final.

At the start of 1973 Kerry made it three-in-a-row of National League titles. Remarkably, at thirty-seven years of age O'Dwyer was still a member of the Kerry team and he picked up a seventh winners' medal in that competition. Kerry, however, were now going though a period of transition as the team of the 1960s were retiring while the great team of the 1970s was still coming together. Kerry were back in the Munster final against Cork; however, the day turned into a disaster. ‘The Kingdom’ suffered their biggest-ever defeat in a provincial decider as Cork won by 5-12 to 1-15. This defeat effectively brought the curtain down on O'Dwyer's inter-county career. He remained with the battle for another season in 1974; however, he retired before the start of the championship following a challenge game against Sligo in May of that year.

Management career[edit]

Mick O'Dwyer
Club management
Years Club
? - ? Waterville
Inter-county management
Years County
2013
2006 - 2011
2003 - 2006
1998 - 2002
1991 - 1994
1975 - 1989
Clare
Wicklow
Laois
Kildare
Kildare
Kerry
Inter-county titles
County League Province All-Ireland
Kerry
Kildare
Laois
3
-
-
11
2
1
8
-
-

Kerry[edit]

O'Dwyer retired as a player in 1974 and was appointed manager of the Kerry team in 1975, where he had much success. During his twelve years as manager O'Dwyer's Kerry teams played in ten All-Ireland finals, winning eight of them. During this period as manager of what many consider to be the greatest football team of all time five of his players won a magical 8 Senior All-Ireland medals. Four of his players won 8 Texaco Awards and overall his players won 71 All Stars Awards. O'Dwyer retired as Kerry manager in 1989 but moved onto other teams. His management career with Kerry spanned between 1975 – 1989, a period in which Kerry played 55 games, which they won 43, lost 7 and drew 5.

Kildare[edit]

As manager of the Kildare team in 1998, O'Dwyer led them to a Leinster title and an All-Ireland final; however, they narrowly lost out to Galway by four points. His management career with Kildare lasted two periods, the first was 1991-1994 and the second was 1997-2002. As the Kildare manager 33 games were played, with 16 wins, 11 losses and 6 draws.

Laois[edit]

He took over the Laois team in 2002 which he led to a famous Leinster title in 2003 (the county's first since 1946). Laois also reached the Leinster final under O'Dwyer in both the 2004 and 2005 seasons. At the beginning of the football championship in 2006 O'Dywer announced that 2006 would be his last season with Laois; however, he had not ruled out moving as manager to another team. It was first revealed on 6 September 2006 that O'Dwyer would not be staying on at Laois for another season having made his final appearance as Laois manager against Mayo in the All-Ireland Quarter Finals.[4] His Laois career between 2003 and 2006, included 17 games, which finished as 10 wins, 4 losses and 3 draws.

Wicklow[edit]

On 7 October 2006, it was revealed that O'Dwyer has agreed to take charge of the Wicklow senior football team.[5] He made his debut as Wicklow manager with a win against Carlow in the 2007 O'Byrne Cup.[6]

On 5 July 2009, Wicklow defeated Fermanagh 0-17 to 1-11. This marked a milestone for O'Dwyer as it meant he had beat every other county during his terms as manager of different teams.[7]

On 30 June 2010, rumours were going around about O'Dwyer resigning after the exit of the championship by Cavan it had not been resolved whether or not he will continue. In September 2010, he confirmed he would continue as manager for Wicklow for a fifth year.

On 16 July 2011, O'Dwyer announced the end of his tenure as Wicklow manager following defeat to Armagh in Round 3 of the All-Ireland Qualifiers.[8]

Clare[edit]

On 2 November 2012, it was confirmed that O'Dwyer had been ratified as manager of the Clare senior football team for the 2013 season. Clare is O'Dwyer's fifth county as manager.[9] He however stepped down in the summer of 2013 due to an unsuccessful year.[10]

Honours[edit]

As player[edit]

Kerry[edit]

As manager[edit]

Kerry[edit]

Kildare[edit]

Laois[edit]

Wicklow[edit]

Waterville[edit]

Munster[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Breheny, Martin (14 March 2013). "Championship is all that matters in Kerry – Micko". Irish Independent (Independent News & Media). Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Vincent Hogan: 'Outsider' O'Dwyer - quite simply Gaelic football's greatest manager". Irish Independent. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "End of era as Micko announces retirement after storied career". Irish Independent. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Reports say O'Dwyer has left Laois". RTÉ Sport. 6 September 2006. Retrieved 7 January 2007. 
  5. ^ "Micko to take reins in Wicklow". Hogan Stand. 7 October 2006. Retrieved 7 January 2007. 
  6. ^ "Phibbs strike gives O'Dwyer winning start". Setanta Sports. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 7 January 2007. 
  7. ^ "O'Dwyer notches up another milestone", The Irish Times, 6 July 2009.
  8. ^ "Mick O'Dwyer: What does the future hold?". RTÉ Sport. 17 July 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "Mick O'Dwyer ratified as Clare boss". RTÉ Sport. 3 November 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  10. ^ "Mick O'Dwyer steps down after Laois blow Clare away". Irish Independent. 6 July 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Seán O'Neill
(Down)
Texaco Footballer of the Year
1969
Succeeded by
Tom Prendergast
(Kerry)
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Johnny Culloty
Kerry Senior Football Manager
1974 - 1989
Succeeded by
Mickey 'Ned' O'Sullivan
Preceded by
Pat Fitzgerald
Kildare Senior Football Manager
1990 - 1994
Succeeded by
Dermot Earley
Preceded by
Dermot Earley
Kildare Senior Football Manager
1997 - 2002
Succeeded by
Pádraig Nolan
Preceded by
Colm Browne
Laois Senior Football Manager
2002 - 2006
Succeeded by
Liam Kearns
Preceded by
Hugh Kenny
Wicklow Senior Football Manager
2006 - 2011
Succeeded by
Harry Murphy
Achievements
Preceded by
Kevin Heffernan
All-Ireland Senior Football Final
winning manager

1975
Succeeded by
Kevin Heffernan
Preceded by
Tony Hanahoe
All-Ireland Senior Football Final
winning manager

1978 - 1981
Succeeded by
Eugene McGee
Preceded by
Kevin Heffernan
All-Ireland Senior Football Final
winning manager

1984 - 1986
Succeeded by
Seán Boylan