Seán Purcell

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Seán Purcell
Personal information
Irish name Seán Puircell
Sport Gaelic football
Position Centre forward
Born 1929
Tuam, Galway, Ireland
Nickname The Master[1]
Years Club
1947–1962 Tuam Stars
Club titles
Galway titles 10
Years County
1947–1961 Galway
Inter-county titles
Connacht titles 7
All-Irelands 1

Seán Purcell (17 December 1928– 27 August 2005),[2] was a Gaelic footballer for County Galway.

Best known as a centre half forward, he played in most outfield positions during his career.[1] In 2009 he was named in the Sunday Tribune's list of the "125 Most Influential People In GAA History".[1]

Born in Tuam, County Galway, Purcell was educated at Tuam Christian Brothers School and St. Jarlath's College. He played in the St Jarlath's College side that won the Hogan Cup in 1947,[3] beating St Patrick's Grammar School, Armagh in the final at Croke Park in Dublin. His nickname "The Master" originated when he taught at Strawberry Hill National School in Dunmore.

His footballing career spanned three decades, from the 1940s to the 1960s. Purcell formed a successful on-field partnership with Frank Stockwell at Galway, culminating in the team winning their fourth All-Ireland championship in 1956 and leading to their nickname as the "Terrible Twins".[4][5]

Further successes in which Purcell was involved include winning the League title in 1957, three Railway Cups, one of which he captained, the 1950 Sigerson Cup, appearances with the Combined Universities side and ten county titles with the Tuam Stars, including seven in a row from 1954 to 1960.

His involvement in the GAA continued long after his playing days as he served in a number of positions as team mentor and administrator in Galway.

In 1984, the GAA's centenary year, he was named on the GAA's Football Team of the Century and the organisation's Gaelic football Team of the Millennium in 1999. In 1984 the Sunday Independent invited readers to vote for their Team of the Century. Purcell won more votes than any other player. In 1991 he was inducted into the All-Stars All-Time Hall of Fame. In 2003, he was named on the St. Jarlath's All Stars team.

Seán Purcell died on 27 August 2005, aged 76.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c McEvoy, Enda; Kieran Shannon; Dave Hannigan; PJ Cunningham; Malachy Clerkin; Pat Nugent (4 January 2009). "125 Most Influential People In GAA History". Sunday Tribune. Archived from the original on 9 August 2009. Retrieved 28 January 2009. 
  2. ^ "Gifted footballer and very modest gentleman". The Irish Times. 3 September 2005. Retrieved 19 February 2018. 
  3. ^ McDonagh, Michelle (1 September 2005). "Final goodbye to the revered Sean Purcell". The Irish Times. Retrieved 14 February 2018. 
  4. ^ "Tributes paid to Sean Purcell". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 28 August 2005. Retrieved 19 February 2018. 
  5. ^ "Legendary Frank donned the red and white of Louth for a year". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. 18 March 2009. Retrieved 19 February 2018.