|Irish name||Seán de Staic|
|Born||Listowel, County Kerry|
Seán Stack (born 1953 in Listowel, County Kerry) is a former Irish sportsman. He played hurling with his local club Sixmilebridge and with the Clare senior inter-county team in the 1970s and 1980s. Stack is regarded as one of the greatest players never to have won an All-Ireland title. Up until August 2013 he was a teacher at St. Patricks Comprehensive School in Shannon Co. Clare
Seán Stack was born in Listowel, County Kerry in 1953. His father was a native of Kerry while his mother hailed from Glin, County Limerick. Stack spent the first year of his life in Listowel before moving to Glin for three years. In 1957 his father purchased a farm of 97 acres (390,000 m2) near Sixmilebridge, County Clare.
Stack was educated locally and first came to prominence on the hurling field at school and college (St. Patrick's College, Maynooth). He later moved the United States where he spent a number of years working.
Stack played his club hurling with his local club in Sixmilebridge and enjoyed much success. He won his first senior county title with the club in 1977. It was the first county championship victory in the history of the club. Stack’s side later played in the Munster club final, however, Blackrock from Cork emerged victorious after a replay.
Two years later in 1979 Stack won a second county medal. He won two more back-to-back county medals in 1983 and 1984. This latter victory was later converted into a Munster club medal following a 4-10 to 2-6 triumph over Patrickswell. ‘The bridge’ were later defeated by Castlegar in the All-Ireland semi-final.
1989 saw Stack collect a fifth county medal before lining out in his third Munster club final. For the second time Sixmilebridge were defeated in the provincial decider.
Stack captured another set of back-to-back county medals in 1992 and 1993. On both occasions ‘the bridge’ reached the Munster final, however, on both occasions he ended up on the losing side. The latter defeat was bittersweet for Stack as his club side were defeated by Toomevara, a club that he was coaching at the time. He retired from club hurling following this defeat.
Stack first came to prominence on the inter-county scene with the Clare minor hurling team in the early 1970s. He captained the side in 1971 as he lined out in the Munster minor final against Cork. On that occasion ‘the Rebels’ were too good for Clare and trounced Stack’s side by 6-13 to 3-5.
Stack later joined the county under-21 team. He lined out in the Munster final in that grade in 1972, however, Tipperary won by a single goal. Two years later in 1974 Stack was back in a second under-21 provincial final. Once again Clare looked poised for victory, however, Waterford won by 2-5 to 1-3.
By this stage Stack had already joined the Clare senior hurling team. He made his debut against Galway in a National Hurling League game in late 1973 and made his senior championship debut in 1974. That year Stack lined out in his first senior Munster final. Liemrick, the reigning All-Ireland champions, provided the opposition on that occasion, however, Clare looked likely to make the big breakthrough. Unfortunately, this never materialized and Clare were heavily defeated by 6-14 to 3-9.
Two years later in 1976 Clare made further progress when they reached the final of the National League. Kilkenny provided the opposition on that occasion, however, the game turned into a rout. Stack’s side lost the game by 6-14 to 1-14.
1977 saw Stack lining out in his second consecutive National League final and, once again, it was Kilkenny who were the opponents. At last Clare made the big breakthrough at national level and won the game by 2-8 to 0-9. It was Stack’s first National League medal. Later that summer Clare reached the Munster final and expectations were high. Cork were the opponents on that occasion and an exciting game followed. Once again, Clare’s hopes were dashed as Stack’s side lost the game by 4-15 to 4-10.
In 1978 Stack was appointed captain of the Clare senior hurling team. That year his side reached their third successive National League final with Kilkenny providing the opposition for the third year in-a-row. Stack’s team were now very much in their stride and brushed ‘the Cats’ away by 3-10 to 1-10 giving him a second National League medal. The subsequent Munster final saw Clare take on Cork for the second year in-a-row. Once again the game was an exciting affair, played out in front of 55,000 spectators. On this occasion Clare were the firm favourites, however, Cork were aiming for a third All-Ireland title in-a-row and nothing was going to stop them. ‘The Rebels’ won the game by 0-13 to 0-11 and dashed Stack’s hopes once again.
Three years later in 1981 Clare were back on form and reached the provincial decider once again. Limerick, the reigning champions, were the opponents on that occasion, however, Clare failed to step up to the mark once again. Stack’s side suffered a 3-12 to 2-9 defeat, thus ending Clare’s championship campaign. In spite of this defeat Stack was later presented with a coveted All-Star award.
Five years later in 1986 Stack lined out in his fifth Munster final, however, he had yet to end up on the winning side. Cork provided the opposition on that occasion as they were attempting to capture a record-equaling fifth consecutive provincial title. Once again both sides served up an exciting game, however, for the fifth time Stack was defeated in a provincial decider by 2-18 to 3-12.
Stack retired from inter-county hurling following a National League game against Wexford in early 1987.
Stack also lined out with Munster in the inter-provincial hurling competition. He first played for his province in 1980, however, Connacht were the victors on that occasion. Stack continued to play for his province for another few years and captured two Railway Cup medals in 1984 and 1985.
|Clare Senior Hurling Captain
- Corry, Eoghan, The GAA Book of Lists (Hodder Headline Ireland, 2005).
- Fullam, Brendan, Captains of the Ash (Wolfhound Press, 2002).