Tony Reddin

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Tony Reddin
Personal information
Irish name Máirtín Cathal Ó Roideacháin
Sport Hurling
Position Goalkeeper
Born November 1919
Mullagh, County Galway, Ireland
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Nickname Thaudy
Occupation Bord na Móna employee
Club(s)
Years Club
Mullagh
Lorrha-Dorrha
Club Titles
Tipperary titles 0
Inter-county(ies)*
Years County Apps (scores)
1941-1947
1948-1957
Galway
Tipperary
1 (0-00)
25 (0-00)
Inter-county titles
Munster titles 3
All-Irelands 3
NHL 5
*Inter County team apps and scores correct as of 01:43, 2 July 2013.

Martin Charles Reddington (born November 1919), better known as Tony Reddin, is an Irish retired hurler who played as a goalkeeper for the Galway and Tipperary senior team.[1][2][3]

Born in Mullagh, County Galway, Reddin first arrived on the inter-county scene when he first linked up with the Galway minor team, before later lining out with the junior side. He made his senior debut in the 1941 championship. Reddin later joined the Tipperary team during the 1947-48 National Hurling League and went on to play a key part for almost decade, winning three All-Ireland medals, three Munster medals and five National Hurling League medals.

Reddin represented the Munster inter-provincial team for seven seasons, winning five Railway Cup medals in 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953 and 1955. At club level he began his career with Mullagh in Galway before later playing with Lorrha-Dorrha in Tipperary.

Throughout his career, Reddin made 25 championship appearances for Tipperary. His retirement came during a tour of the United States in October 1957.

Reddin is widely regarded as one of the greatest hurlers in the history of the game, with many former players, commentators and fans rating him as the number one goalkeeper of all-time. He has been repeatedly voted onto teams made up of the sport's greats, including as goalkeeper on the Hurling Team of the Century in 1984 and the Hurling Team of the Millennium in 2000.

Early life[edit]

Martin Charles Reddington was born in Mullagh, County Galway in 1919. His family, although having the surname Reddington, were always known as the Reddins, with Martin being referred to be his nickname of Thaudy. When he moved to Lorrha the locals misheard this nickname and he became Tony Reddin.[4] Reddin grew up on the family farm and was educated at the local national school. He learned his hurling skills on the family farm. When ploughing the fields he would carry a hurley and ball, striking the ball into the air and trapping it on the stick on its way down. To sharpen his reflexes he would practice against a rough stone wall from close distance, catching the sliotar as it rebounded in different directions.[5] Times were tough, however, in post-war Ireland. He tried in vain to make a living on a small holding of land also being farmed by his brother and the rest of their family, so at the age of twenty-eight he made the decision to leave. England was booming, however, the Mullagh man had a great love for the game of hurling and when he got the offer of a job on a farm in Lorrha in Tipperary, he took it.[6]

Playing career[edit]

Club[edit]

Reddin first played hurling with his local club in Mullagh. He enjoyed some early successes, culminating with the winning of a much-prized juvenile county championship medal in 1933. After moving to Tipperary in the late 1940s Reddin joined the local Lorrha-Dorrha club. He wasn't long at the club when he won a North Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship title in 1948. Reddin added a second North Tipperary county medal to his collection in 1956.

Inter-county[edit]

Reddin first came to prominence on the inter-county scene as a member of the Galway minor hurling team in the late 1930s. He enjoyed little success in this grade, however, he later joined the Galway junior hurling team. In 1940 Reddin was the goalkeeper on this team. That year he captured a Connacht title in this grade following a defeat of Roscommon. Reddin later lined out in the All-Ireland final with Cork providing the opposition. On that occasion, however, Cork were the winners by 3-3 to 3-1. He subsequently progressed onto the Galway senior hurling panel, however, Seánie Duggan was the established goalkeeper at the time and Reddin found it difficult to break onto the team.

In 1948 Reddin, who had been performing well in the club championship, was selected for the Tipperary senior team. He made his debut in a National Hurling League game against Offaly. A successful performance on that occasion led to Reddin being retained for the delayed final on 31 October 1948. A 3-3 to 1-2 defeat by Cork was the result on that occasion.

After being retained as goalkeeper for the 1948-49 league campaign, Reddin's side reached the decider for a second successive year. Cork provided the opposition once again, however, a 3-5 to 3-3 victory gave Reddin his first National Hurling League medal.

Reddin made his championship debut in a drawn Munster quarter-final with Cork on 29 May 1949. The replay also ended in a draw, however, Tipp triumphed after a period of extra-time. A subsequent defeat of Clare set up a Munster final showdown with Limerick. A 1-16 to 2-10 victory gave Reddin his first Munster medal. On 4 September 1949 he lined out in his first All-Ireland decider, with surprise Leinster winners Laois providing the opposition. Tipp opened with a Paddy Kenny goal before Jimmy Kennedy added two more goals in the second half. At full-time, Tipp won by 3-11 to 0-3 and Reddin won his first All-Ireland medal.[7]

Tipperary made it two league titles in-a-row in 1950. A 1-12 to 3-4 defeat of New York gave Reddin a second National League medal. He later lined out in a second provincial decider, with Cork providing the opposition once again. In one of the toughest games of his career, Reddin came in for some unwanted treatment from some Cork supporters behind his goal. After a ten-minute stoppage to clear some of the 55,000 crowd who had invaded the field, Reddin's goal quickly became surrounded. Bottles, cans, sods and even an overcoat were thrown at him while he was also barracked and pushed during the closing stages. Tipperary eventually won the game by 2-17 to 3-11, however, in spite of collecting a second Munster medal, it took several hours before Reddin could leave the field due to an angry Cork crowd. The subsequent All-Ireland decider pitted Tipperary against Kilkenny. In a close affair, Tipperary played below par, however, the team eventually triumphed by 1-9 to 1-8. It was Reddin's second All-Ireland medal.

In 1951 Reddin captured a third Munster title following a 2-11 to 2-9 defeat of arch-rivals Cork. This victory resulted in Tipp being installed as the favourites for a third consecutive All-Ireland title. Wexford, however, stood in Tipp's way after making a long-awaited breakthrough in Leinster. Nicky Rackard had been Wexford's star goal-poacher throughout the year, however, his artistry was beaten by Reddin in the Tipperary goal-mouth. Séamus Bannon, Tim Ryan and Paddy Kenny got the goals in the second quarter that did the damage, however, Tipp forged ahead to win by 7-7 to 3-9. It was Reddins' third consecutive All-Ireland medal.

For the next three years Reddin's Tipperary side were defeated by Cork in the Munster championship. It wasn't the end of his playing days, however, as he captured further National League honours in 1952, 1954 and 1955.

Remembered for his wonderful anticipation, sharp reflexes and his vision, Reddin suffered from deafness and associated speech limitations throughout his career. In 1950 his ability to hear and speak improved when he got his first hearing-aid during a trip to New York with the Tipperary hurlers. In 1957 he visited New York again where he got a smaller hearing-aid. The hearing-aids helped Reddin as a goalkeeper, however, by the mid-1950s his career was coming to a close. Shortly after winning his sixth National League title in 1957, albeit as a substitute, Reddin retired from inter-county hurling.

Provincial[edit]

Reddin also lined out with Munster in the inter-provincial hurling championship where he played alongside his championship rivals Christy Ring, Tom Cheasty and Jimmy Smyth. He first played for his province in 1950 as Munster defeated Leinster to take the Railway Cup title. Both Munster and Leinster qualified for the Railway Cup final again in 1951. With Reddin between the posts Munster claimed a second consecutive victory over their great rivals. 1952 saw the Munster men capture a third successive title, this time following a victory over Connacht. In 1953 it was four in-a-row for Reddin and for Munster as Leinster were accounted for once again. After a defeat by Leinster in the Railway Cup final of 1954 Reddin won a fifth title in 1955 after Connacht were beaten once again. In 1956 Reddin lined out with Munster for the last time. The final pitted Leinster against the southern province, however, victory went to the Leinster men by 5-11 to 1-7.

Retirement[edit]

Following his retirement from the game Reddin continued to work as a hurley maker in Lorrha. He later moved to Banagher, County Offaly - where he still resides today - and worked with Bord na Móna. Here he also trained the local St Rynagh's hurling team for almost a decade, winning numerous county titles and regretting he couldn't have done a bit more and brought them All-Ireland success.

Long after his retirement Reddin was honoured by the Gaelic Athletic Association by being named on the "Hurling Team of the Century" in 1984. His reputation as the greatest hurling goalkeeper of all time was further cemented in 2000 when he was also named on the GAA's "Hurling Team of the Millennium". In a position noted for the remarkable talents of many players, Reddin was acknowledged as the undisputed number one goalkeeper in the history of hurling.

Honours[edit]

Tipperary[edit]

Munster[edit]

  • Railway Cup:
    • Winner (5): 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955
    • Runner-up (2): 1954, 1956

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The genius of Tony Reddin". Séamus J. King website. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Tony Reddin". Premierview website. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Tony Reddin". Lorrha-Dorrha website. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Eminent Members". Lorrha-Dorrha GAA. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  5. ^ "Tony Reddin". Premierview. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  6. ^ "Reddin was Galway's gift to Tipperary". Irish Independent. 2005-10-04. Retrieved 2009-01-06. 
  7. ^ Slevin, Gerry. "Happy days...fifty four years ago". Laois GAA website. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 

External links[edit]

Teams[edit]