Johnny Crowley (Gaelic footballer)

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Johnny Crowley
Personal information
Irish name Seán Ó Crualaoich
Sport Gaelic football
Position Forward
Born County Kerry, Ireland
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Occupation Garda
Years Club
1990s–2000s 2002


Club titles
Kerry titles 3
Years County Apps (scores)
Kerry 49 (12–53)
Inter-county titles
Munster titles 7
All-Irelands 3
All Stars 1

John Crowley is a former Irish Gaelic football forward with the Glenflesk and Bishopstown clubs, East Kerry divisional side and Kerry county team.

Playing career

Club career[edit]

With the East Kerry team, Crowley won three consecutive Kerry Senior Football Championship titles from 1997 to 1999, starring on the side along with fellow Glenflesk and Kerry player Séamus Moynihan. He also had a lot of success with Glenflesk during one of the club's most successful eras. He won 5 East Kerry Senior Football Championships as well as a Kerry Club Football Championship in 2000, Glenflesk would later qualify for the Munster Senior Club Football Championship final where they lost out to Nemo Rangers. He also spent a year playing with Bishopstown in Cork city.

Intercounty career

Schools, Minor, Under 21 and Junior[edit]

Crowley first played with Kerry in the early 90s when he lined out for the county's Vocational Schools team. He won All Ireland titles with them in 1992 following a win of Offaly in the final and again in 1993 following a win over Wicklow. He also played with the Kerry minor team at this time but had little success.

He then moved on to the Under 21 panel in 1994. Kerry lost out to Cork in the semi-final in what was their only game of the championship. Later in 94 he would join up with the county junior team. A one pont win over Clare gave Crowley his first Munster championship medal. Kerry later qualified for the All Ireland final where they faced Galway. In the end Kerry ran out easy winners on a 0–15 to 0–04 scoreline, giving him his first All Ireland medal at junior level.

After the disappointment of the first round loss to Cork in 94 Kerry regrouped and win over Clare, Limerick and Waterford seen Crowley pick up a Munster Under 21 title. This set up an All Ireland semi-final with Donegal, 2 points from Crowley helped his side to a 2–06 to 1–05 win and set up an All Ireland final meeting with Mayo. A 2–12 to 3–09 scorelinemeant the sides would have to meet again, when they did Kerry ran out 3–10 to 1–12 winners, in a game that was to be the only one where Crowley failed to score. He scored 0–11 over the course of the campaign.

Senior career[edit]

Crowley first appeared for the Kerry senior team during the National Football League in 1995, playing in all of Kerrys games in the campaign. He played his first championship game at Right Half Forward in the opening round of the Munster Championship scoring a point in an easy win over Limerick. The next round saw Kerry blitz Tipperary, scoring 7 goals, with Crowley helping himself to 2–01 to book a place in the Munster final for the first time since 1992. They faced Cork in the final. The Rebels continued to have the upper hand over The Kingdom and ran out 0–15 to 1–09 winners. Crowley first season as a Kerry senior seen him finish with a personal tally of 2–02 from 3 games.

1996 saw Crowley struggle with injury, limiting him to only 4 league games. He scored 1–02 off the bench in Kerrys Munster championship opening round win over Tipperary. He played no part in the semi-final win over Waterford as Kerry set up another Munster final with Cork. Crowley was once more sprung from the bench and despite not getting on the scoreboard Kerry still ran out 0–14 to 0–11 winners and claimed a first Munster title since 1991. He was back in the starting 15 for the semi-final with Mayo at Left Half Forward. However his first, and many of his teammates, Croke Park outing ended in a surprising 2–13 to 1–10 loss.

Crowley began the 1997 season by appearing in all over Kerrys league games up to the semi-final win over Laois. He played no part in the final as Kerry overcame Cork to take the title. For the third year in a row Crowleys side faced Tipperary and for the third year Crowley scored a goal against them, once more off the bench. This set up a Munster final with Clare who had a surprise win over Cork in the other semi-final. Once more he was to make an appearance off the bench scoring a point in the process as he picked up a second Munster championship. He played no part in the All Ireland semi-final as Kerry made up for the previous years loss as they over came Cavan. The win meant Kerry qualified for a first All Ireland final in 11 years where they faced Mayo once more. With Crowley coming off the bench to score a point Kerry ran out 0–13 to 1–07 winners and in the process won a first All Ireland title in 11 years. As well a second Munster and first All Ireland Crowley also helped himself to 1–03 in the 3 games he played.

Crowley began the year by playing in 6 of Kerrys league games. He started his first championship game since the 1996 All Ireland semi-final in the Munster semi-final against Cork. Kerry ran out 1–14 to 1–11 winners with Crowley helping himself to 0–05 from Full Forward. This set up a Munster final with Tipperary. Kerry ended up winning comfortably on a 0–17 to 1–10 scoreline, with Crowley scoring a point. This set up a meeting with surprise Leinster champions Kildare, a team managed by ex Kerry player and manager Mick O'Dwyer. Kerry were expected to win and make a second All Ireland final in a row however things didn't work out to plan and Kildare ran out surprise winners on a 0–13 to 1–09 scoreline. Crowley scoring Kerrys goal. In what was to date his best season from a personal point of view as he finished the year with 1-07 to his name.

1999 seen Crowley appointed captain of the Kerry team following East Kerry's county championship win. He started out the season by playing in 7 of Kerrys league games, missing out on the Q/F loss to Meath. For the first time since his debut in 95 he wouldn't face Tipperary in the Munster championship missing out on Kerrys first round win. He was back for the semi-finalwin over Clare in a game where he scored 2 goals. This set up another Munster final with Cork. On a wet day in Cork Kerry could only manage 4 points, 2 from Crowley, as they lost out on a 2–10 to 2–04 scoreline. At the end of a disappointing year for the Kingdom Crowley finished with 2=02 from 2 games.

Crowley stated off 2000 by helping Kerry to make the semi-final for the league where they lost out to Meath. In the Munster semi-final he scored a point as Kerry made up for the disappointment of 99 by beating Cork on a 2–15 to 1–13 scoreline. This set up, for the second time in 4 seasons, a Munster final date with Clare. 1-03 from Crowley helped Kerry to an easy 3–15 to 0–08-point win and a 4th Munster title for Crowley. This set up a semi-final meeting with Ulster champions Armagh. In the end the sides finished level on a 2–11 each scoreline with Crowley scoring a point. The replay was to be another exciting game with Kerry just getting over the line on a 2–15 to 1–15 scoreline after extra time. Crowley once again scoring a point. This set up an All Ireland final with 98 champions Galway. In yet another exciting game much like the semi, the sided ended level 0–14 easch. Crowley helping himself 2 points. In the replay Crowley, in what was to be a personal best in an All Ireland final, scored 0–03 as Kerry ran out 0–17 to 1–10 winners. Giving Crowley his second All Ireland medal. he also finished with 1–11 from 6 games.

Crowley only managed to play one league for Kerry in 2001. The opening game against Louth. He was back for the championship opener against Tipperary. Kerry ran out easy winners by 3–17 to 1–04, with Crowley scoring 1–02. It was the 5th and final goal Crowley would score against Tipp in the championship. This set up a semi-final meeting with Limerick. In what was only his second time facing the Shannon siders Crowleys side ran out comfortable winners on a 1=15 to 0–10 scoreline. With Crowley scoring 3 points. This set up yet another Munster final with old rivals Cork. Kerry were winners in a high scoring game, winning by 0–19 to 1–13. Crowley helping himself to 0–04 from Right Corner Forward. 2001 seen for the first time in the football championship a quarter-final stage. Kerry faced off with Dublin in Thurles. It was a first championship meeting between the two sides since the glory days of the 70s and 80s. The game ended in a draw thanks to a super late score from a sideline by Maurice Fitzgerald. Crowley himself finished the game with 3 points. The replay was another exciting game and 2=02 from Crowley helped Kerry to a 2–12 to 1–12 win. Kerry faced into the All Ireland semi-final in confident mood when they faced Meath, who themselves had needed a replay to overcome Westmeath in their Q/F tie. The stage was set for a cracking game however things didn't go to plan. In the end Meath ran out easy winners on a 2–14 to 0–05 scoreline. A result to this day that is still Kerrys heaviest hhampionship defeat. In what was to be Crowleys best individual season he finished the year with an All Star and 2–15 in 6 games.

2002 seen Crowleys struggle with early season fitness, only making 3 league appearances. He was back a Full Forward for the Munster championship first round game with Limerick. A game where he scored 0–02 in a 0–14 to 1–07 win seeing up a Munster semi-final with Cork. On a wet ran in Killarney a low scoring 0–08 a piece scoreline, with Crowley scoring a point, meant the sides would have to meet again. In the replay Cork ram out winners on a 0–15 to 1–09. In a game where Crowley failed to score for the first time in 22championship games. Kerry faced into their first ever All-Ireland Qualifier game and a first game against Wicklow at championship level. For the first time in 20 championship games Crowley would start on the bench, a role he would play for the rest of the year. He came on during the game scoring a point in a start forward 5–15 to 0–07 win. This set up another first championship meeting for Kerry this time with Fermanagh. Another comfortable win was the result for Kerry, this time on a 2–15 to 0–04 scoreline. Crowley once again appearing off the bench and scoring two points. This set up a meeting with Kildare who had lost the Leinster final. In the first championship meeting for the sides since Kildares surprise 98 semi-final win Kerry made no mistake winning on a 2–10 to 1–05 scoreline, with a point from Crowley. The win meant Kerry were back in Croke Park for a Q/F tie with All Ireland champions Galway. The Kingdom had too much for them and ran out comfortable winners on a 2–17 to 1–12 scoreline. Crowley appeared off the bench but failed to score. This set up a historic first championship meeting in Croke Park with old rives Cork. After losing out in Munster Kerry made no mistake second time around and routed the Rebels on a 3–19 to 2–07 scoreline. This set up an All Ireland final with Armagh. Kerry looked to be in control when they led at half time but an early second half goal seen the Ulster side claim a first All Ireland on a 1–12 to 0–14 scoreline. Crowley finished the year when he largely played as an impact sup with 0-09 from 9 games, 6 when he appeared as a sub.

Much like the previous few seasons Crowley played only a limited part in the league, appearing in only 3 games. He started at Right Corner Forward in the Munster championship semi-final scoring 2 points as Kerry ran out 0–25 to 1–10 winners over Tipperary, in what was to be his last game against the Premier county, a team he had played 6 times in championship football, Cork being the only team he played more and level with Limerick. This set up a Munster final with Limerick, a side Crowley had little experience facing, this being only his second time facing them. In a close game Kerry ran out 1–11 to 0–09 winners, with Crowley scoring a point off the bench to give him a 6th Munster medal. This set up a Q/F clash with Roscommon. Despite considering 3 goals Kerry still ran out 1–21 to 3–10 winners, Crowley once again scoring a point off the bench. Ulster championships Tyrone would be Kerrys opponents in the semi-final. Kerry were over ran for the second year in a row by an Ulster team and easily beaten for the seind time in 3 years in an All Ireland semi-final as Tyrone ran out winners on a 00–13 to 0–06 scoreline. He finished the year with 0-04 from 4 games.

In what was to be his final year at intercounty level, Crowley managed to make 6 appearances in the league, his most since 2000. He also won his first League medal, scoring 2 goals from Full Forward in the final against Galway. He was Full Forward for the Munster opener with Clare when he scored a goal that was to be his last score in a Kerry jersey. He was Full Forward once again for the semi-final as Kerry over came Cork. Setting up a repeat of the previous years final with Limerick. A last gasp catch from a 45 from Darragh O Se meant the sides finished level on a 1–10 each scoreline. Crowley appearing from the bench. He was back at Full Forward once again for the replay. where despite a shacking start Kerry won on a 3–10 to 2–09 scoreline. Giving him a 7th and what was to be final Munster medal. He was back on the bench for the QF clash with old foes Dublin in Croke Park. He again appeared from the bench in a 1–15 to 1–08 win. For the third time in four seasons Kerry faced an Ulster side in the latter end of the championship, this time squaring up with Derry this time however Kerry end up on the rightside of a 1–17 to 1–11 scoreline. Kerry faced Mayo in the final in a first championship meeting for the sides since the 1997 final. In some what of a surprise Crowley was picked to start at Right Corner Forward. \despite not scoring he played a big part as Kerry ran out easy winners on a 1–20 to 2–09 scoreline, giving Crowley a third All Ireland. In his last season with Kerry Crowley scored one goal in 7 games. Bar the 2002 season it was the most games he played in a single season.

In an intercounty career that lasted from 1995 to 2004. Johnny Crowley played 46 Championship games and scored 12–53. He played a big role in helping Kerry to win 7 Munster championships, 3 All Irelands and a National League.

The fallowing is a breakdown of Johnny Crowleys championship appearances and scores

Cork played 10 times scored 0–13 Tipperary played 6 times scored 6–09 Limerick played 6 times scored 0–07 Clare played 4 times scored 4–04 Dublin played 3 times scored 2–05 Galway played 3 times scored 0–05 Armagh played 3 times scored 0–02 Mayo played 3 time scored 0–01 Kildare played 2 times scored 1–02 Fermanagh played 1 scored 0–02 Meath played 1 scored 0–01 Wicklow played 1 scored 0–01 Roscommon played 1 scored 0–01 Derry played 1 scored 0–00 Tyrone played 1 scored 0–00


Crowley also appeared for the Munster provincial selection in four Railway Cup matches. He was a sub on the team that lost out to Leinster in 1996, but did play in the semi-final with over Ulster. He was Full Forward the following year as Muster lost by a point to Connacht in the semi-final. He was sub once again as Munster lost out in 98 to Leinster. He was again Full Forward in another losing semi-final in 2000 this time to Connacht once more. This was his last game with Munster.

International Rules[edit]

He also play with the Irish international rules teams tour to Australia in 2001. Ireland won the series on a 130 to 105 aggregate scoreline


Sporting positions
Preceded by
Seamus Moynihan
Kerry Senior Football Captain
Succeeded by
Seamus Moynihan