Christy Ring

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Christy Ring
Christy Ring.jpg
Personal information
Irish name Críostóir Ó Rinn
Sport Hurling
Position Centre-forward
Born (1920-10-30)30 October 1920
Kilboy, Cloyne, County Cork, Ireland
Died 2 March 1979(1979-03-02) (aged 58)
Morrison's Island, Cork, Ireland
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Nickname Ringey
Occupation Oil delivery man
Club(s)
Years Club
1938–1940
1941–1967
Cloyne
Glen Rovers
Club titles
Cork titles 14
Munster titles 1
Inter-county(ies)*
Years County Apps (scores)
1939–1962 Cork 65 (33–208)
Inter-county titles
Munster titles 9
All-Irelands 8
NHL 4
*Inter County team apps and scores correct as of 16:05, 17 May 2008 (UTC).

Nicholas Christopher Michael Ring (30 October 1920 – 2 March 1979), better known as Christy Ring, was an Irish hurler whose league and championship career with the Cork senior team spanned twenty-four years from 1939 to 1963.[1] He established many championship records, including career appearances (65), scoring tally (33-208) and number of All-Ireland medals won (8), however, these records were subsequently bested by Brendan Cummins, Eddie Keher and Henry Shefflin respectively.[2][3][4] Ring 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 player of all time.[5][6]

Born near Cloyne, County Cork, Ring first excelled at hurling following encouragement from his local national school teachers Michael O'Brien and Jerry Moynihan. He first appeared on the Cloyne minor team at the age of twelve before later winning a county minor championship medal with the nearby St. Enda's team. A county junior championship medal with Cloyne followed, however, a dispute with club officials saw Ring join Glen Rovers in Blackpool in 1941. Over the next twenty-six years with the club, Ring won one Munster medal and fourteen county senior championship medals. As a Gaelic footballer with the Glen's sister club, St. Nicholas', he also won a county senior championship medal. He retired from club hurling at the age of forty-six following a victory over University College Cork in the 1967 championship quarter-final. Over the course of his senior championship career Ring estimated that he played in 1,200 games.

Ring made his debut on the inter-county scene at the age of sixteen when he was picked on the Cork minor panel for the All-Ireland final. In spite of victory, he was denied an All-Ireland medal as he was Cork's last non-playing substitute. Still eligible for the grade in 1938, Ring collected a set of All-Ireland and Munster medals as a member of the starting fifteen. An unsuccessful year with the Cork junior hurlers followed before he made his senior debut during the 1939-40 league. Over the course of the next quarter of a century, Ring won eight All-Ireland medals, including a record four championships in-a-row from 1941 to 1944, a lone triumph in 1946 and three championships in-a-row from 1952 to 1954. The only player to lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup three times as captain, he was denied a record-breaking ninth All-Ireland medal in 1956 in what was his last All-Ireland final appearance. Ring also won nine Munster medals, four National Hurling League medals and was named Hurler of the Year at the age of thirty-eight. He played his last game for Cork in June 1963. After indicating his willingness to line out for the team once again in 1964, Ring failed to be selected for the Cork team, a move which effectively brought his inter-county career to an end.

After being chosen as a substitute on the Munster inter-provincial team in 1941, Ring was an automatic choice on the starting fifteen for the following twenty-two years. He scored 42-105 as he won a record eighteen Railway Cup medals during that period, in an era when his skill and prowess drew crowds of up to 50,000 to Croke Park for the annual final on St. Patrick's Day.[7] Ring's retirement from the game is often cited as a contributory factor in the decline of the once prestigious championship.[8]

In retirement from playing Ring became involved in team management and coaching. As a mentor to the St. Finbarr's College senior team, he guided them to their first two All-Ireland and Harty Cup triumphs in 1963 and 1969. At club level Ring was instrumental as a selector with Glen Rovers when they claimed their inaugural All-Ireland title in 1973, having earlier annexed the Munster and county senior championship titles. It was with the Cork senior team that he enjoyed his greatest successes as a selector. After guiding the team to the National Hurling League title in his first season on the selection panel in 1974, Ring was dropped the following year before being reinstated in 1976. Over the next three years Cork claimed three successive All-Ireland titles.

Ring was most famous for his scoring prowess, physical strength and career longevity. He remains the only player to have competed at inter-county level in four different decades. Often the target of public attention for his hurling exploits, in private Ring was a shy and reserved individual. A teetotaller and non-smoker throughout his life, he was also a devout Roman Catholic.[9] Ring's sudden death in March 1979 and the scenes which followed at his funeral were unprecedented in Cork since the death of the martyred Lord Mayor Tomás Mac Curtain in 1920.[10] He was posthumously honoured by being named on the Hurling Team of the Century in 1984 and the Hurling Team of the Millennium in 2000, while he was also named as the Century's Best Hurler in the Irish Times.[11]

Early years[edit]

The village of Cloyne, birthplace of Christy Ring.

Nicholas Christopher Michael Ring was the second youngest son of Nicholas (1892-1937) and Mary (née Lawton) Ring (1888-1953), and was born on 30 October 1920 at Kilboy Cross, less than a mile from the small village of Cloyne in rural East Cork.[12] He had two brothers, Willie John and Paddy Joe, and two sisters — Katie and Mary Agnes. His family later moved to Cloyne where they occupied a house on Spittal Street, commonly referred to as Spit Lane. His father worked as a gardener for local landowners and, as a former Cloyne hurler, he instilled a passion for the game in his young son by taking him to club games in Cork, making the eighteen-mile journey by bicycle with his son on the cross-bar.

Ring was educated at the local national school in Cloyne, where he was noted as a quiet but diligent pupil. On one occasion, the school master, Maurice Spillane, offered a prize of a hurley and sliotar to the boy who would get the highest grade in the school. Ring applied himself diligently and got first place from among forty-eight pupils.[13]

As was common at the time Ring received no secondary education and left school before the age of fourteen. His first job was as an apprentice mechanic with the Williams firm in Midleton, before he later moved to Cork city where he found work as a lorry driver with Córas Iompair Éireann. In 1953 Ring became a delivery driver with Shell Oil.

Club career[edit]

St. Enda's[edit]

The formation of a Gaelic Athletic Association club in Cloyne in the 1930s allowed Ring and his brothers to play hurling locally in the various street leagues. He was twelve years-old when he played in his first competitive game, a minor hurling championship game against Sarsfield's, and surprisingly he was chosen as goalkeeper.

Ring subsequently played minor championship hurling with the St. Enda's club in Midleton. He won a county championship winners' medal in this grade in 1938 following a 5–3 to 4–0 win over the Seán Clárach's club.

Cloyne[edit]

That same year Ring and his brothers were key players when Cloyne won the East Cork junior hurling championship following a defeat of Bride Rovers.[14] Ring was suspended for the subsequent county championship series of games.

Cloyne retained the divisional title again in 1939 with Ring's scoring prowess helping the team to go all the way to the county junior championship final. Ring played the game with an injured ankle, however, a 6–5 to 3–3 defeat of Mayfield and a county junior championship winners' medal was his reward.[15]

Glen Rovers[edit]

Future Taoiseach Jack Lynch, who invited Ring to join the Glen Rovers club in 1941. Both men were later named on the Hurling Team of the Century.

Following an acrimonious dispute with the Cloyne club committee, Ring and his two brothers left the club. Willie John joined Ballinacurra and Paddy Joe joined Russell Rovers, however, Ring remained unattached from a club for over a year. A fortuitous meeting with Jack Lynch in the summer of 1941 led to his Cork teammate inviting Ring to join the Glen Rovers club. Ring accepted the offer and made his debut in a championship semi-final defeat of St. Finbarr's. He was at midfield for the subsequent decider against Ballincollig and gave, what was described in the Cork Examiner as, a masterful display with his midfield partner Connie Buckley. The 4-7 to 2-2 victory stretched the Glen's winning streak to eight successive championships. For Ring it was his first winners' medal.[16]

Nine-in-a-row proved beyond Glen Rovers as Ballincollig exacted their revenge in the semi-final of the 1942 championship. After a season of reorganisation, which saw the introduction of nine new players to the team, Glen Rovers reached the 1944 championship final where they faced reigning champions and three-in-a-row hopefuls St. Finbarr's. Ring was, once again, hugely influential and contributed 0-5 from centre-forward. The 5-7 to 3-3 victory gave him a second championship medal.

Divisional side Carrigdhoun provided the opposition as Glen Rovers reached the 1945 championship final in search of their tenth title. In what was probably the most exciting decider in which the club had been involved in so far. The Glen were five goals ahead after 25 minutes having played with a gale force wind, however, Carrigdhoun fought back to reduce the arrears and set up an exciting finish. Ring top scored with 0-6 as Glen Rovers retained the championship title following a 4-10 to 5-3 victory.[17]

After defeat by St. Finbarr's in the 1946 championship final, Glen Rovers saw a number of changes to the team when they next contested the decider in 1948. Retirement and emigration and forced a number of changes, with Ring once again filling a midfield berth. Ring had a quiet game by his standards as Glen veterans such as Jack Lynch and Johnny Quirke secured the double scores 5-7 to 3-2 victory over roll of honour leaders Blackrock.

Glen Rovers were presented with their chance of retaining their title when they faced divisional side Imokilly in the 1949 championship decider. On a day of incessant rain, the game was described as one of the best of the year. Donie Towmey and Jack Lynch were the stars of the team as they bagged 5-2 between them. Ring scored the Glen's sixth goal of the game and secured his fifth championship medal following the 6-5 to 0-14 victory.

Southside rivals St. Finbarr's were the opponents as Glen Rovers were determined to make it three titles in-a-row in the 1950 championship final. St. Finbarr's had the advantage of a very strong breeze in the first half and mounted attack after attack on the Glen goal but failed to raise the green flag. The Glen backs gave one of the finest displays of defensive hurling ever seen in the championship and kept the southsiders tally for the first half to 0-4. "The Barr's" added just one further point to their tally after the interval. The 2-8 to 0-5 victory secured a third successive championship title for the club and a sixth winners' medal for Ring.

Sarsfields ended the Glen's hopes of four-in-a-row in 1951, while defeat in the first round of 1952 looked like heralding a fallow period. The club returned stronger than ever when they qualified for the 1953 championship final where they faced Sarsfields once again. After a slow start Glen Rovers gave an exhibition of hurling all over the field, with Rings coring 1-2 in the process. The 8-5 to 4-3 victory secured his seventh championship medal.

In 1954 Ring was appointed club captain as Glen Rovers reached their 17th championship final in twenty years. Blackrock fielded a young team, however, Glen Rovers had eight inter-county players on their team. In spite of this, Blackrock stood up to the champions and the result remained in doubt to the end. A 3-7 to 3-2 victory secured an eighth championship medal for Ring, while he also had the honour of lifting the Seán Óg Murphy Cup.

Glen Rovers lost the next two championship deciders, while Ring was ruled out of the Glen's 1958 championship triumph after being sent off in the semi-final. In spite of watching the game from the stands he still collected a ninth championship medal having played in the earlier rounds. He was back on the starting fifteen as Glen Rovers faced Blackrock in the 1959 championship final. Once again the game went to the wire and it was Ring who scored the winning goal with four minutes remaining. His tally of 1-6 was vital in securing the 3-11 to 3-5 victory and his own tenth championship medal.

A third successive championship beckoned in 1960 as Glen Rovers faced University College Cork in the championship decider. The game was regarded as one of the most thrill-packed and nerve-shattering games in the history of the championship. With time running out the Glen were behind, however, Ring pointed a free from the sideline to level the game. Johnny Clifford secured the lead when his sideline cut went straight over the bar. He gave the Glen a two-point lead staraight from the puck-out when his shot sailed over the bar again. The 3-8 to 1-12 victory gave Ring his eleventh championship medal.

Four-in-a-row once again proved beyond the Glen, however, the team endured a hard-fought campaign in 1962. In the semi-final against Imokilly 41-year-old Ring rolled back the years and scored three goals in the last fifteen minutes to help the team qualify for the final against University College Cork. The Glen led 3-3 to 0-2 at half-time but the college team powered by many inter-county stars fought back and went ahead with a minute to go but Tom Corbett sent over the equaliser with seconds left and secured a 3-7 to 2-10 draw. The replay proved to be even more exciting than the drawn match as Joe Salmon and Ring were singled out as the key figures in the Glen's 3-8 to 2-10 victory.

Ring played his last championship game against University College Cork in 1967.

Ring was appointed club captain again in 1964 as Glen Rovers faced St. Finbarr's in the championship final. The Glen were underdogs and looked well beaten in half a dozen vital outfield positions in the opening thirty minutes. All changed in the second half with Ring scoring a vital goal to give the Glen the lead. "The Barr's" battled back, however, at the full-time whistle the Glen were the champions and Ring collected a remarkable thirteenth championship medal and captained the team to victory for the second time. The Glen's success took on extra significance as they became the first club to represent Cork in the newly-created Munster Club Championship. After little interest in the opening rounds of the championship and lengthy delays, the Glen qualified to meet Mount Sion in the provincial decider. After the initial game was abandoned, Ring gave an exhibition of his skills in the replay and collected a coveted Munster medal following a 3-7 to 1-7 victory.

Following a victory over University College Cork in the 1967 championship quarter-final, Ring suddenly announced his retirement from club hurling.

Inter-county career[edit]

Minor and junior[edit]

By 1937 Ring's performances as a minor hurler for St. Enda's led to him being considered for the Cork minor hurling panel. He was only sixteen years-old throughout the championship campaign and was not selected for any of the provincial stages or for the All-Ireland semi-final. He was later listed as one of the five non-playing substitutes for the subsequent All-Ireland final against Kilkenny. He played no part in that game, which Cork won, but received no All-Ireland medal.

Ring was eligible for the minor grade again the following year and made his debut in a Cork jersey against Limerick on 22 May 1938. Although he would come to be known as a high-scoring forward, his inter-county career began as a defender. He later won a Munster winners' medal following a 9–3 to 0–0 thrashing of Kerry. The subsequent All-Ireland final saw Ring make his first Croke Park appearance. Dublin provided the opposition on that occasion and a tough game of hurling ensued. Ring, in spite of playing in defence, scored a goal from a 21-yard free to help his county to a 7–2 to 5–4 victory. It was his first All-Ireland winners' medal.

By 1939 Ring was too old for the minor grade, however, he went on to become the youngest member of the Cork junior hurling team. There was no place for him in defence and he was seen as too vital a player to be left out of the starting fifteen, so instead he was moved to the forwards. Cork were fancied to retain their junior crown for a second year, however, Waterford got the better of them in their opening game.

Senior career[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

Ring made his first appearance for the Cork senior team when he was introduced as a substitute in a tournament game against Limerick in early 1939. Later that year on 22 October, he made his first competitive start when Cork played the newly crowned All-Ireland champions Kilkenny in the opening round of the 1939–40 National Hurling League. Ring marked four-time All-Ireland medal winner Paddy Phelan and, after a nervous start, settled into the game and scored a point in the 6-5 to 4-7 victory. Cork progressed through the league and qualified for the final against Tipperary. Ring, who was the youngest player on the Cork team, was named at right wing-forward and was one of the many goal-scorers in a 14-goal thriller. Cork won by 8-9 to 6-4 and he collected his first league medal. Ring retained the position of right wing-forward on Cork's subsequent championship team and made his championship debut on 2 June 1940 in a 6-3 to 2-6 Munster quarter-final defeat of Tipperary.

Four-in-a-row[edit]

Cork were undefeated throughout their 1940-41 league campaign and qualified for a second successive league final. A 4-11 to 2-7 defeat of Dublin gave Ring a second league medal. Cork were well placed going into the subsequent championship and were drawn to play Tipperary in the Munster semi-final. An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Tipperary changed matters and the match was called off the previous Monday by order of the Department of Agriculture. Tipperary, and other counties affected by the disease, wanted officials to put back the All-Ireland final, but Central Council would not agree. The council ruled that teams be nominated and if a nominated team won the All-Ireland that team would be awarded the 1941 championship. The Munster Council decided that Cork and Limerick should play off for the right to represent the province in the All-Ireland final. It was also agreed that the winners would play Tipperary later in the Munster final. Limerick had already qualified for the final as a result of victory over Clare.[18] Cork easily accounted for Limerick, who were without Mick and John Mackey, by 8-10 to 2-3 and qualified for the All-Ireland final on 28 September 1941. Dublin, who were nominated by the Leinster Council, to represent the province provided little resistance. Johnny Quirke opened the goal-scoring for Cork before Ted O'Sullivan netted a second. Further goals by Quirke, O'Sullivan and Mick Brennan in the second half secured a 5-11 to 0-6 victory. It was one of the most one-sided championship deciders of all time, however, it did give Ring his very first All-Ireland medal at senior level. On 26 October 1941, Cork faced Tipperary in the delayed Munster final. The exertion of winning the All-Ireland had taken its toll on some of the Cork players who took a less than serious attitude to the game. Some players were accused of even being drunk during the match. Consequently, Cork were defeated by 5-4 to 2-5, thus creating the anomaly of being All-Ireland champions but Munster runners-up.

Losing the Munster decider tainted Ring's view of the worth of the All-Ireland title, however, in 1942 Cork were given the opportunity to reverse the defeat when they qualified to meet Tipperary in the provincial final again. The game was played on an even keel for 45 minutes, however, a more youthful Cork side pulled away in the final quarter to win by 4-15 to 4-1. The victory gave Ring, who scored 0-5, his first Munster medal. Cork subsequently qualified to face Dublin in the All-Ireland final on 6 September 1942. The match was much more evenly contested than the corresponding fixture the previous year, with Ring scoring 0-3 in the opening exchanges. In spite of losing goalkeeper Ned Porter to an injury, Cork finished the stronger and a Derry Beckett goal at the end put the result beyond doubt. The 2-4 to 3-4 victory gave Ring his second successive All-Ireland medal.

Ring was instrumental in helping Cork to retain the Munster title in 1943. His contribution of 1-3 in a close game was vital in helping Cork to a 2-13 to 3-8 defeat of a Waterford team appearing in their first provincial decider in nine years. Antrim, having already pulled off two of the biggest shocks in the history of the championship by defeating Galway and Kilkenny, were Cork's opponents in the All-Ireland final on 5 September 1943. The game was a poor spectacle as Cork routed their opponents by 5-16 to 0-4.[19] Goals from Johnny Quirke (two), Ted O'Sullivan, Mick Brennan and Mick Kennefick helped secure a third successive All-Ireland winners' medal for Ring.

A unprecedented fourth successive All-Ireland was within Cork's reach in 1944, however, Cork were nearly beaten by Limerick in the Munster final. After leading by nine points at one stage on the second half, a Limerick resurgence was spearheaded by the Mackey brothers, Dick Stokes, Paddy McCarthy and Dave Clohessy. Limerick had a two-point lead as the game drew to a close, however, Johnny Quirke scored his third goal in what looked like the winning score. Dick Stokes pointed from a free in the last minute to draw the game. The replay created enormous excitement with thousands making their way to Thurles in spite of [{World War II|wartime]] petrol rationing. With seven minutes left in the match it looked as if Cork's great run of success was at an end. Trailing by four points, Mick Mackey burst through for his second goal, however, play was called back for a foul on him. Limerick missed the resulting free. Cork nicked a goal and a point to equalise. With a minute left, Mackey’s effort for a winning point went wide. Seconds later, Ring picked up the sliotar in his own half and set off up field, slipped past a series of challenges and, from 40 yards out, crashed the ball to the net for the winning goal. Ring's last-minute goal secured a 4-6 to 3-6 victory and a third successive Munster medal.[20] Maany regard this passage of play as the moment that the mantle of hurling's star player passed from Mick Mackey to Ring. Once again Cork went on to face Dublin in the All-Ireland final on 3 September 1944. Cork looked sluggish and failed to score for the opening ten minutes, however, they held an 0-8 to 0-2 half-time advantage. Joe Kelly was the star forward as his 2-3 was instrumental in Cork securing a 2-13 to 1-2 victory. It was a victory which set Cork apart from all their predecessors as they became the first team to win four successive All-Ireland titles.[21] On a personal level for Ring, he became the holder of four All-Ireland winners' medals before his 24th birthday.

Fifth All-Ireland and decline[edit]

Cork's hopes of extending their unbeaten run to five successive All-Ireland championships ended with a 2-13 to 3-2 defeat to Tipperary in the 1945 Munster semi-final.[22] Ring was, rather surprisingly, subdued and outplayed for the hour by Tommy Purcell.

Ring was appointed captain of the Cork team in 1946, a year which saw him become the key player on the team. After the shock defeat the previous year, Cork qualified for the Munster final. An ageing Limerick team provided the opposition, however, in a disappointing game Cork had an easy victory by 3-8 to 1-3. Ring top scored with 0-5 as he collected his fourth Munster medal. A subsequent defeat of Galway allowed Cork to advance to an All-Ireland final meeting with Kilkenny on 1 September 1946. Gerry O'Riordan scored Cork's first goal as the first half drew to a close before Ring scored one of the most iconic goals of his career. Catching a clearance from Paddy O'Donovan on the half-way line, Ring took off on a solo-run at speed and dodged several Kilkenny defenders. After reaching the 21-yard line he let off a shoulder-high shot which flew straight to the net.[23] Cork scored five more goals after the interval as they powered to a 7-5 to 3-8 victory. The victory secured a fifth All-Ireland medal in six seasons for Ring, while he also had the honour of collecting the Liam MacCarthy Cup on behalf of the team.

Cork continued their provincial dominance in 1947. A 2-6 to 2-3 defeat of Limerick in the provincial decider gave Ring a fifth Munster medal. For the second year in succession, Cork qualified to play Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final on 7 September 1947. In what is often regarded as the greatest final of all time, Ring was held to just a single point. Mossy O'Riordan and Joe Kelly scored two goals to almost win the game for Cork, however, Kilkenny rallied with Terry Leahy and Jim Langton leading the charge. Leahy secured the equalising point before scoring one of the greatest match-winners ever. Having gathered the sliotar from a long clearance by right corner-back Paddy Grace, he struck from around 50 yards out and not far inside the Cusack Stand sideline. Immediately after the puck out the game ended and Kilkenny had won by 0-14 to 2-7.[24][25] In spite of the All-Ireland defeat, Ring ended the year as the championship's top scorer.

Three-in-a-row[edit]

Ring was runner-up to Cavan's Mick Higgins for the title of 1952 Sportsman of the Year.

In 1952 Tipperary were presented with the possibility of equalling Cork's record of four successive All-Ireland titles. When both sides met in that year's Munster final, Tipperary looked the likely winners as Cork failed to score for the opening quarter. Trailing by 2-5 to 0-5 at the break, Ring gave an inspirational display in the second half. After being denied twice by Tipperary goalkeeper Tony Reddin, he set up Liam Dowling for a vital goal to leave Cork just a point in arrears. As the umpire was slow to raise the green flag to signal the goal, Ring ran in and waved it himself to the delight of the Cork supporters. Cork held out for the lead and won the game by 1-11 to 2-6.[26] For the first time in eight years, Cork subsequently faced Dublin in the All-Ireland final on 7 September 1952. The Christy Ring-Des Ferguson duel was a highlight of the game, as Cork took a narrow 1-5 to 0-5 half-time lead after a Liam Dowling goal. Cork took complete control after the interval, with Dowling netting a second goal and Ring adding four points to the two he already scored in the first half. A 2-14 to 0-7 victory gave him his sixth All-Ireland medal. At the end of the year Ring was runner-up to Cavan Gaelic footballer Mick Higgins when the Gaelic Sportsman invited its readers to select the Sportsman of the Year.

The Gresham Hotel was the scene of an assault on Ring after the 1953 All-Ireland final.

Cork and Tipperary renewed their rivalry in 1953, when a record crowd of over 38,000 saw them contest the final of the league. Paddy Barry and Jimmy Lynam gave Cork a comfortable lead after scoring two goals as Tipperary missed several scoring chances. Paddy Kennedy responded with two goals at the end to narrow Cork's margin of victory to 2-10 to 2-7. It was Ring's fourth league medal overall. For the subsequent championship campaign, county champions Avondhu had the right to the captaincy of the Cork team. In an unprecedented but popular move, the North Cork division named Ring as captain. Having already met in the league decider, Cork and Tipperary qualified to meet in the Munster final as well. In one of the greatest games of his career, Ring had the sliotar in the Tipperary net from a 25-yards free after just a minute of play. He added eight further points, while also making a remarkable goal-line save to secure a 3-10 to 1-11 victory. For the second time in his career as captain, Ring collected the Munster Cup while he also won his seventh Munster medal. This victory qualified Cork for the All-Ireland final, however, between the two deciders Ring's mother passed away. Her death had such a devastating effect on Ring that it seemed likely that he would miss the All-Ireland final. After much agonising and encouragement from family members, Ring rejoined the Cork team for training and was at left wing-forward for the game against Galway. After a slow start, which allowed Galway take an early lead, Cork regrouped and were 2-1 to 0-3 ahead at half-time after goals from Josie Hartnett and Ring. Galway remained close to Cork throughout the second half, however, a third goal from Tom O'Sullivan put the result beyond doubt and secured a 3-3 to 0-8 victory for Cork. As captain, Ring collected the Liam MacCarthy Cup for the second time in his career, while he also won a record seventh All-Ireland medal. In spite of victory, the game remained controversial over the alleged hitting of Galway captain Mickey Burke by Ring during the second half. There were ugly scenes at the post-match reception at the Gresham Hotel when an unknown Galway player struck Ring in retaliation as he was leaving the ballroom. To compound matters, both sets of players were staying in Barry's Hotel. At breakfast the following morning Ring was punched in the face by another Galway player who then made a quick escape. Several more Galway players gathered across the road from the hotel and more fighting was expected, however, they were dispersed and Cork left Dublin for their homecoming celebrations.[27][28] At the end of the year Ring once again finished runner-up in the Gaelic Sportsman Sportsman of the Year.

Ring remained as Cork captain for 1954, as he attempted to make history by becoming the first player to win eight All-Ireland medals. The Munster final saw Cork face Tipperary for the sixth consecutive season. Tipperary looked likely winners for much of the match, however, a Ring shot from 20 yards was saved by goalkeeper Tony Reddin before falling to the waiting Paddy Barry who clinched the winning goal. The 2-8 to 1-8 victory gave Ring his eighth Munster medal and his third victory as captain. After overcoming Galway in the semi-final, Cork faced Wexford in the All-Ireland final on 5 September 1954. It was their first championship meeting in over fifty years. A record crowd of 84,856 saw the sides on level terms after the first quarter. A scramble after a sideline ball resulted in a Wexford goal by Tom Ryan after 26 minutes which gave them a 1-3 to 0-5 lead. With a strong breeze in their favour in the second half, Cork looked in a very strong position. Nicky Rackard had switched from full-forward to centre-forward to curb the long clearances of Vincy Twomey. By the tenth minute points from Tim Flood and Paddy Kehoe had Wexford 1-6 to 0-5 ahead. Then a goal-bound Ring shot struck Nick O'Donnell, breaking his collarbone. Further points cut the Cork deficit to two and with four minutes left young Johnny Clifford trapped the ball on the end line, dribbled it along the ground and shot past Art Foley from a narrow angle. Injury-time points from Hartnett and Ring gave Cork a 1-9 to 1-6 victory and secured the elusive eighth All-Ireland medal. He also became the first captain to receive the Liam MacCarthy Cup on three occasions.[29][30]

Last All-Ireland final[edit]

Four-in-a-row proved beyond Cork as they were shocked by a Jimmy Smyth-inspired Clare in the 1955 Munster quarter-final. The defeat sparked several retirements and an influx of some new players to the Cork team which qualified to play reigning champions Limerick in the 1956 Munster final. With a quarter of the match remaining, Limerick were six points ahead, while Donal Broderick had prevented Ring from making any significant contribution. With time running out Ring took a pass from Josie Hartnett, fought his way through two defenders and, from a kneeling position, palmed the sliotar to the net. A minute later he netted his second goal after a solo-run down the left wing. After a Vivian Cobbe point steadied Limerick, Ring netted his third goal for a 5-5 to 3-5 victory and his won ninth winners' medal.[31] For the second time in three years, Cork faced Wexford in the All-Ireland final on 23 September 1956. The game reached a climax in the closing stages as Cork were two points down and Ring tried to salvage a victory. The sliotar broke to Ring after a 70-yards free and he headed straight for goal with the Wexford back line in pursuit. When he got to the 21-yard line he let off a shot that was set to rattle the back of the net, but the shot was somehow blocked by Wexford 'keeper Art Foley and then cleared by him too. Ring remarked in an interview many years later; "When I got through I thought I had it, but Foley had other ideas, and fair play to him he made a great save." After the sliotar had been cleared Ring raced in and grabbed Foley by the hair and said "You little black bastard you've beaten us". Foley replied "It's about so and so time someone did" before both men shook hands and Ring congratulated him on his save. Within a minute the ball dropped into Foley again and after it was cleared it made its way up the pitch and was buried in the back of the Cork net by Nicky Rackard giving Wexford a 2-14 to 2-8 victory.[32][33] With seconds remaining in the final and Wexford holding onto a two-point lead, [34][35] In what was only his second All-Ireland final defeat, Ring was denied his ninth All-Ireland medal. In the moments after the final whistle Nick O'Donnell, Bobby Rackard and Art Foley raised Ring onto their shoulders and carried him off the field in what was an unparalleled display of sportsmanship in any game, raised Ring onto their shoulders and carried him off the field. Towards the end of the year, Ring was chosen as the number one hurler of the year in the Gaelic Echo.

Twilight years[edit]

Following defeat in the 1956 All-Ireland final, it was expected by many that Ring, who was now thirty-six years-old, would retire from inter-county hurling. No such announcement came and he was included on Cork's championship fifteen again for 1957. In the Munster semi-final victory over Tipperary, Ring suffered a broken wrist which ruled him out of the subsequent Munster final. Cork lost that game to an up-and-coming Waterford side by 1–11 to 1–6.

In 1958 Cork exited the championship after just two games, while in 1959 the side reached the Munster final once again. Waterford provided the opposition and in spite of Ring scoring 1–5, Cork lost by a goal. Ring, however, was later honoured as the Caltex Hurler of the Year as he embarked on his fourth decade of senior inter-county hurling. He remains the oldest player ever to win the award.

Ring finished the 1959–60 National League as top scorer, however, Cork were beaten by Tipperary in the final. Both sides met later that same year in the Munster final, in what has been described as the toughest game of hurling ever played. Cork had most of the possession in the first-half, however, Tipp led by a goal at the interval. The deadly accuracy of Jimmy Doyle saw him end the game with a tally of 1–8. A nail-biting finish saw 'the Rebels' capture a late goal, however, Tipperary held on to win a gruelling encounter by 4–13 to 4–11.

1961 followed a similar pattern to the year before. Ring was once again the National League top scorer for the 1960–61 season and, once again, Cork and Tipperary lined out against each other in the Munster final. A tempestuous game followed with scuffles breaking out throughout the first-half. As the game entered the final quarter Ring and John Doyle became involved in a punch-up while Tom Moloughney was knocked to the ground, allegedly after being struck by Ring. Tipperary won the game by 3–6 to 0–7, however, Ring was wrongly named in some national newspapers as having hit both Doyle and Moloughney. The National Union of Journalists later issued an apology to him.

Cork reached the final of the 1961–62 National League where Kilkenny provided the opposition. In what would be his last outing at Croke Park, much of the Ring magic still remained, however, Cork ultimately lost by 1–16 to 1–8. The subsequent Munster championship saw Ring lose out to Waterford at the semi-final stage. It would be Ring's last championship game for Cork.

Ring played a tournament game against Waterford in June 1963 and was again later picked for Cork's championship fifteen. On the day of the opening game against Clare, it was announced that Ring would not be playing. Cork won and he was again included as a non-playing substitute for Cork's subsequent Munster semi-final defeat against Tipperary.

In 1964 Ring, in spite of being out of inter-county hurling for over a year, let it be known that he was available to play on the county team but he was turned down by majority decision of the team's selection committee. After 25 years and a then record of 64 championship appearances Ring was effectively dropped and the curtain was brought down on his inter-county career. but Ring did not line out with Cork when he heard that the decision to be recalled was not a unanimous one. While he also indicated that he would be interested in playing in the All-Ireland final, the prospect of winning his ninth All-Ireland winners' medal as a substitute to another player did not appeal to Ring and he declined to be listed as a sub in the end. This decision finally ended all of the speculation that Ring would make a dramatic comeback at some stage.

Inter-provincial career[edit]

Ring in typical pose for Munster.

Ring's relationship with the Railway Cup inter-provincial competition was as remarkable for its longevity as well as its success rate. While he enjoyed the rivalry with the other counties during the Munster Championship he felt honoured to be on the same team as the great players from Tipperary, Limerick, Waterford and Clare. Ring played for Munster for the first time in 1941 and went on to contest twenty-three consecutive inter-provincial finals between then and 1963. During this time he won a record-breaking eighteen Railway Cup medals. No other player in the history of the Gaelic Athletic Association has gone into double figures in terms of the amount of medals won and the only occasions that he didn't end up on the winning side were in 1941, 1947, 1954, 1956 and 1962. Ring was noted for being at his best and for giving exceptional displays on Railway Cup days. In the 1957 final he gave a remarkable performance to coincide with the opening of the new Hogan Stand at Croke Park. During the game he scored 4–5 of Munster's total of 7–11. This was five points more than Connacht's total of 2–6.

Retirement[edit]

In retirement from playing the game that he loved Ring quickly became a selector with various teams at all levels. In 1963 he was a mentor to the senior hurling team of St Finbarr's College, Farranferris that captured both Munster and All-Ireland honours at colleges level.[36]

Ring later served as a key member of the selection teams when his beloved Glen Rovers won county, Munster and All-Ireland club hurling honours in the 1970s.

In 1974 Ring became a selector with the Cork senior hurling team, however, it was an unsuccessful year in the championship for his county. He was dropped from the selection team in 1975, however, Ring returned as an influential selector under Bertie Troy in 1976. That year Cork captured the Munster title before later lining out against Wexford in the All-Ireland final. After six minutes of play Cork were in arrears by 2–2 to no score, however, Ring's switch of Jimmy Barry-Murphy to centre-forward was pivotal in helping Cork to turn the game around and win it by 2–21 to 4–11. In 1977 a second set of Munster and All-Ireland titles followed for Ring as selector again. 1978 was a particularly poignant year for Ring and the Cork hurling team. Cork annexed a third Munster title under Ring's stewardship that year before later lining out against Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final. Once again Ring made some decisive positional switches involving Barry-Murphy and Tim Crowley, which eventually led to a 1–15 to 2–8 victory over the old enemy. It was a particularly sweet victory for Ring. It had been forty years since he captured his first All-Ireland medal with Cork in 1938. He was a stylish young hurler on the senior team when Cork captured the three-in-a-row in 1943 and he was a legendary figure on the team when he repeated this feat in 1954. Now Ring had also become an All-Ireland three-in-a-row winning selector with Cork.[37] The 1978 All-Ireland triumph over Kilkenny turned out to be Ring’s last visit to Croke Park.

Death[edit]

As Ring was walking past the Cork College of Commerce on Morrisson's Island on 2 March 1979 he suffered a massive heart attack and collapsed. He was taken by ambulance to the South Infirmary Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.[38] He was 58 years old. The news of his death came as a great shock to the people of Ireland, and particularly to the people of Cork. His funeral was one of the biggest ever seen in Cork with up to 60,000 people lining the streets. It was also a remarkable hurling occasion with many of Ring's former Munster and All-Ireland foes in attendance. Farrenferris pupils formed a guard of honour, draped in the famous black, green and gold Glen Rovers colours. The funeral Mass was presided over by Bishop Cornelius Lucey while the chief celebrant was Fr Charlie Lynch, brother of former Cork team-mate and Taoiseach Jack Lynch. Other former Cork team-mates involved included Fr Con Cottrell, Fr Bernie Cotter and Fr J.J. O'Brien. Ring's coffin was shouldered into St Colman's churchyard by renowned sporting celebrities from Cork and other counties. "We carried him at last" was former team-mate Paddy Barry's remark, in reference to Ring often saving the Cork hurlers from almost certain defeat.[39]

Ring's graveside oration in Cloyne was delivered by a former team-mate and the then Taoiseach, Jack Lynch. Lynch finished by claiming that:

"As long as young men will match their hurling skills against each other on Ireland's green fields, as long as young boys swing their camáns for the sheer thrill of the feel and the tingle in their fingers of the impact of ash on leather, as long as hurling is played the story of Christy Ring will be told. And that will be forever.[40]"

It was also related that Professor Seán Ó Tuama heard an old Cork lady say at his funeral. "Tis a sin to bury that man"

Family life[edit]

Ring married Rita Taylor at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Ballinlough on 12 September 1962. Traffic in and around the city was held up for over an hour as thousands turned up to see the wedding. In a major departure for the national radio broadcaster, Raidio Éireann included news of the event in their main news bulletin. It was their first report on a sports celebrity wedding. Fledgling television broadcaster, Telefís Éireann, also filmed the wedding for the Nine O'Clock News.

The Rings lived at Avondale Park in Ballintemple for much of their married life. They experienced personal tragedy in raising their children: twin boys Christy and John were born in 1963, however, John died as an infant. Their daughter, Mary, was born shortly afterwards.

Tributes[edit]

  • A film about Ring's life was produced by Gael-Linn in 1964 and Val Dorgan wrote his biography in 1981, both works entitled "Christy Ring".
  • He has also been commemorated by a life-size statue in his native village of Cloyne, and the "Christy Ring Bridge" over the River Lee in Cork remembers his achievements. One of Cork city's principal GAA stadia, Páirc Uí Rinn (Ring Park in English), is named in his honour.
  • In 2005 the GAA commemorated Ring by creating the Christy Ring Cup, a hurling award for the tier 2 winning team. The inaugural Christy Ring Cup final was played on Sunday, 14 August 2005 between Down and Westmeath. The score was Westmeath 1–23, Down 2–18.
  • In 2006 a life-sized statue of him was revealed outside Cork airport's new terminal commemorating his achievements. The statue is of him swinging a hurley outside the arrivals wing at the airport.

Quotes[edit]

  • "For the Doc! For the Doc!" Ring's jubilant statement to Éamonn Young following Cork's defeat of Tipperary in the 1952 championship. "The Doc" refers to Young's brother, Dr. Jim Young, who played with Ring on the Cork four-in-a-row team. In winning the Munster final, Cork had prevented Tipperary from the possibility of winning a fourth successive All-Ireland title and equalling the record of the nine.
  • "We're the best in everything now." Ring's comment after competing a championship double as a dual player with Glen Rovers and St. Nicholas' in 1954.
  • "Keep your eye on the ball, even when it's in the referee's pocket."
  • "Babs, if Jimmy Doyle was as strong as you and I nobody would ever ask who was the best." Ring's comment to Babs Keating when pressed on who he considered to be the greatest hurler of all time.[41][42]
  • "I like to do the unorthodox and keep defenders worried...I usually attempt what other people might think is impossible."
  • "My hurling days are over. Let no one say the best hurlers belong to the past, they're with us now and better yet to come."[43][44]
  • "You don't play hurling with your nose." Ring's riposte to Seánie O'Leary who feared he may miss the All-Ireland final after breaking his nose when a sliotar struck him during the warm-up prior to the 1977 All-Ireland final.[45]
  • "The contest was the most important thing for me. Playing the game was the most important thing as far as I was concerned. It wasn't what I got from it or what was at the end...but to play hurling for Cork...that was the most important thing."
  • "The Glen has meant a lot to me. I don't know how you describe the spirit of the Glen, no more than describe the spirit of "the Barr's", or "the Rockies"...or the spirit of Cloyne...I don't know...it's just that they have this tradition of playing the game as it should be played; hard and tough."
  • "You should have somebody else here today instead of me. It's about time they stopped talking about me." Ring in a rare television interview with Donncha Ó Dúlaing shortly before his death in 1979.

Tributes[edit]

  • "'Tis a sin to bury that man." Unknown woman overheard by Professor Seán Ó Tuama at the removal of Ring.
  • "'I have seen them all and he is the greatest hurler ever. Ring is a natural. A pocket Hercules, beautifully built with a powerful frame." Pioneering Gaelic games journalist P.D. Mehigan whose recall of games spanned nearly seventy years.
  • "'I was twenty years of age in 1922 when I saw my first senior match. I have seen every great hurler since. I have never seen one who attained Christy's standard of excellence and maintained that standard over such a long period of time." Four-time All-Ireland medal winner with Cork Jim Hurley.
  • "'To us kids Christy was the ultimate. We all modelled ourselves on him" Six-time All-Ireland medal winner with Kilkenny Eddie Keher.
  • "'There are no words I know of that can adequately do justice to the greatness of the hurler, Christy Ring. If hurling were an international sport his name and fame would stand at least alongside Pelé in soccer, Bradman in cricket, Edwards and Kyle in rugby, Nicklaus and Palmer in golf. But there is no method of measuring genius, man for man, in the various sports. All one can say is that Ring was a genius in his own sport. And his genius in hurling was incomparable." Irish Times sports journalist and friend of Ring, Paddy Downey, writing at the time of his death in 1979.
  • "We carried him at last." Three-time All-Ireland medal winner with Cork Paddy Barry, speaking after shouldering the coffin at Ring's funeral. The quote refers to the numerous times that Ring saved Cork from almost certain defeat.
  • "There would be no question about who was the greatest hurler. There's no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Ring was the greatest hurler of all time." Two-time All-Ireland medal winner with Wexford Martin Codd.
  • "I never saw anyone like Christy Ring. In my opinion, his sort will never be seen again. He was the best I've ever seen, he had everything." Former GAA President, Paddy Buggy.
  • "He's something that comes around once every hundred years. I guarantee you that. I haven't seen anything like him and I don't believe I ever will see anybody like him...Tipperary won eight All-Irelands for me but Ring won eight All-Irelands for Cork." Fellow eight-time All-Ireland medal winner with Tipperary John Doyle.
  • "Some people say Mackey was...Eddie Keher...but I have to give it to Christy, number one. Always did." Six-time All-Ireland medal winner with Tipperary Jimmy Doyle.
  • "He would be remembered for his hurling ability, for his skill. And the enjoyment, in particular, that he gave to the crowds. He'll always be remembered, he will never be forgotten. There was only one Christy Ring and there'll never be another." Three-time All-Ireland medal winner with Cork Willie John Daly.

Honours[edit]

Player[edit]

St. Enda's
  • Cork Minor Hurling Championship (1): 1938
Cloyne
St. Nicholas'
Glen Rovers
Cork
Munster
  • Railway Cup (18): 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963

Selector[edit]

St. Finbarr's College
Glen Rovers
Cork

Individual[edit]

Honours

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Val Dorgan, Christy Ring, (Ward River Press, 1980).
  • Brendan Fullam, Captains of the Ash, (Wolfhound Press, 2002).
  • Tim Horgan, Christy Ring: Hurling's Greatest, (The Collins Press, 2007).
  • Colm Keane, Hurling’s Top 20, (Mainstream Publishing, 2002).
  • Éamonn Sweeney, Munster Hurling Legends, (O’Brien Press, 2002).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Christy Ring – Legendary Hurler". Ireland's Eye. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Lawlor, Damian (10 July 2011). "Keeping up appearances". Irish Independent. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Moran, Seán (8 September 2012). "Shefflin so close to unique pinnacle". Irish Times. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Keys, Colm (1 October 2012). "'This medal is the sweetest', says Henry Shefflin". Irish Independent. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Torpey, Michael (March 2010). "The greatest hurler ever". The Clare Champion. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "16 for 16: The most important Irish athletes of the last 100 years - Christy Ring". The 42. 7 June 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  7. ^ Keyes, Dermot (10 July 2009). "Mysticism part and parcel of provincial showpiece". The Munster Express. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  8. ^ McGee, Eugene (27 October 2008). "Neglected Railway Cups deserve better platform". Irish Independent. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  9. ^ Kane, Conor (28 February 2008). "Mass on internet for Christy Ring". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  10. ^ Siggins, Ger (28 February 2016). "Flashback 1979: death of Cork hurling legend Christy Ring". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  11. ^ Moran, Seán (27 December 1999). "Century's Best: Hurler". Irish Times. Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  12. ^ "Hurl your way home to Ringy’s birthplace". Irish Examiner. 29 May 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2016. 
  13. ^ "Christy Ring". Roscommon Herald. 15 February 2006. Retrieved 30 December 2008. 
  14. ^ "Imokilly Junior A Hurling Finals 1926 – 1970". Cork GAA results archive. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "Junior A County Hurling Finals 1925 – 1970". Cork GAA results archive. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "Booming Blackpool". Cork Independent. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  17. ^ Larkin, Brendan (30 April 2007). "Murphy: a truly great GAA statesman". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  18. ^ O'Riordan, Tom & Hickey, Paddy (1 March 2001). "Shutdown to cause fixture chaos as new season looms". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  19. ^ Bogue, Declan (8 February 2014). "Creggan aim to give Antrim hurling surprise boost". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  20. ^ Fitzpatrick, Richard (11 July 2014). "Ring’s 1944 goal opened door to four-in-a-row". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  21. ^ "Kilkenny aim to replicate Cork's four-in-a-row". Hogan Stand. 2 September 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  22. ^ "Elusive five-in-a-row - how the other four attempts ended in failure". Irish Times. 6 September 2010. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  23. ^ Shannon, Kieran (21 May 2012). "Things can only get better". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  24. ^ "Keepers of September's flame". Irish Times. 12 September 2003. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  25. ^ McEvoy, Enda (27 July 2013). "Scientific hurling, please, you owe us". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  26. ^ Ryan, Larry (20 May 2016). "Christy Ring’s ‘blood and bandage lady’ tracked down". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  27. ^ O'Flynn, Diarmuid (29 September 2012). "Taking the plunge for the Tribe". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  28. ^ Crowe, Dermot (12 August 2012). "Old rivals bound by respect". Irish Independent. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  29. ^ Duggan, Keith (14 August 2004). "The one Ring that binds them". Irish Times. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  30. ^ Sweeney, Éamonn (3 September 2006). "Ringy cracks Wexford wall". Irish Independent. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  31. ^ O'Riordan, Tom (7 September 1999). "Magic of maestro still Rings true for Rebels". Irish Independent. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  32. ^ "Wexford's Art Foley on that save from Christy Ring in '56 Final". Irish Independent. 13 December 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  33. ^ "Foley recalls crucial save vs. Ring". Irish Echo. 13 December 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  34. ^ "All-Ireland Win 1956". Ask About Ireland website. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  35. ^ "One fine day - When Wexford went to Croker". RTÉ Radio 1 website. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  36. ^ Christy Ring:Hurling's Greatest pp. 282–285
  37. ^ Christy Ring:Hurling's Greatest pp. 318–323
  38. ^ Christy Ring:Hurling's Greatest p. 337
  39. ^ Christy Ring:Hurling's Greatest pp. 340–341
  40. ^ Christy Ring:Hurling's Greatest p. 342
  41. ^ Byrne, Cormac (23 June 2015). "Babs Keating reveals how Christy Ring paid Jimmy Doyle the greatest hurling compliment ever". Irish Independent. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  42. ^ Fogarty, John (23 June 2015). "Babs Keating and Eddie Keher in tribute to Jimmy Doyle". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  43. ^ Treacy, Matt (2 August 2007). "Croke Park witnesses another chapter in epic hurling saga". An Phoblacht. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  44. ^ Bellew, Ronnie (5 September 2015). "The bluffer’s guide to September sport: Part 1 – Hurling". Irish Independent. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  45. ^ Moynihan, Michael (10 September 2013). "25 hallmarks of the real Cork hurling fan ...". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Seán Condon
Cork Senior Hurling Captain
1946
Succeeded by
Seán Condon
Preceded by
Jim Young
Cork Senior Hurling Captain
1950
Succeeded by
John Lyons
Preceded by
Paddy Barry
Cork Senior Hurling Captain
1953–1954
Succeeded by
Vincy Twomey
Preceded by
Tony O'Shaughnessy
Cork Senior Hurling Captain
1956
Succeeded by
Tony O'Shaughnessy
Achievements
Preceded by
John Maher
(Tipperary)
All-Ireland Senior Hurling
winning captain

1946
Succeeded by
Dan Kennedy
(Kilkenny)
Preceded by
Paddy Barry
(Cork)
All-Ireland Senior Hurling
winning captain

19531954
Succeeded by
Nick O'Donnell
(Wexford)
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Tony Wall
(Tipperary)
Caltex Hurler of the Year
1959
Succeeded by
Nick O'Donnell
(Wexford)