Stephen Cluxton

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Stephen Cluxton
Personal information
Irish name Stiofáin Cluxton
Sport Gaelic Football
Position Goalkeeper
Born (1981-12-17) 17 December 1981 (age 35)
Dublin, Ireland
Height 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in)
Nickname Clucko
Occupation Secondary school teacher
Club(s)
Years Club
1999–present Parnells
Club titles
Dublin titles 0
Colleges(s)
Years College
Dublin City University
College titles
Sigerson titles 1
Inter-county(ies)*
Years County Apps (scores)
2001–present Dublin 85 (0-48)
Inter-county titles
Leinster titles 12
All-Irelands 4
NFL 4
All Stars 5
*Inter County team apps and scores correct as of 17:32, 2 October 2016.

Stephen Cluxton (born 17 December 1981) is an Irish Gaelic footballer. His league and championship career as goalkeeper with the Dublin senior team has spanned sixteen seasons since 2001. Cluxton is widely regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of the game.[1][2][3][4]

Born in Dublin, Cluxton was raised in a house that had a strong association with soccer. His father, Pat, won several medals with Postal Celtic, while Cluxton himself played with St. David's Primary School and Tolka Rovers. It was during his schooling at St. David's Secondary School that Cluxton developed into a Gaelic footballer, eventually becoming a goalkeeper.[5] He soon joined the Parnells club, eventually becoming a key member of the senior team.

Cluxton made his debut on the inter-county scene at the age of seventeen when he first linked up with the Dublin minor team. A Leinster medal winners in this grade, he later won a Leinster medal with the under-21 team. Cluxton made his senior debut during the 2001 championship. Since then he has established himself as Dublin's first-choice goalkeeper and has won four All-Ireland medals, beginning with lone triumphs in 2011 and 2013, and two championships in-a-row in 2015 and 2016. As captain for the last three victories, Cluxton is only the third player ever to captain a team to three championship titles. He has also won a record twelve Leinster medals, four National Football League medals and five All-Stars.

Early life[edit]

Cluxton was born into a soccer background. His father Pat Cluxton won a lot of medals with Postal Celtic. He played soccer at St David's Primary School, Artane, County Dublin, and played at left back or on the left wing with Tolka Rovers. It wasn't until he went to St David's Secondary that he began to play Gaelic football. He played at corner forward until the school goalkeeper Robert O'Connor was suspended. Back up goalkeeper Tony Gallagher had just moved to Denmark, so without a known replacement, Cluxton volunteered to stand in for him in that position. He has remained in that position ever since.[6]

Playing career[edit]

Inter-county[edit]

Cluxton was an All Star winner in 2002, and he received the Young Personality of the Year Award at the 2002 RTÉ/Hibernian Sports Ceremony held in the Burlington Hotel, on Saturday 4 January 2003. Following Cluxton's sending off in the third round of the All-Ireland qualifiers in 2003 against Armagh, then manager Tommy Lyons blamed him for Dublin's defeat.[7] After this incident, Cluxton seriously considered quitting the Dublin panel to play professional soccer with League of Ireland side St Patrick's Athletic.

Cluxton was part of the Dublin City University team which won the 2006 Sigerson Cup, winning a place on the Third Level Hotshots Team. He was an All Star winner that year. Cluxton won the 2007 O'Byrne Cup with Dublin against Laois at O'Connor Park in Offaly. The game finished on a scoreline of 1–18 to 2–13. Cluxton to this day remains the best shot-stopper in Ireland with bags of skill and fast reflexes. Overall, he has been described as "arguably...the best shot-stopper at inter-county level".[citation needed]

Cluxton played an important role in Dublin's 2011 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship winning season.[8] He scored the winning point in the 2011 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final. He is the only goalkeeper in the history of the game to have done so.[9] After the final whistle he slowly walked off the pitch down the tunnel beneath the Hogan Stand in keeping with his famously private persona and desire to shy away from the spotlight. It is believed Cluxton actually exited the pitch straight away as his beloved Manchester United were playing Chelsea in the premier league, and the second half was about to start.[10] Dublin teammate Paul Flynn paid tribute afterwards: "He [Cluxton] is out training an hour before everybody else and he kicks them over with his eyes closed. I didn't even look at the kick. I looked at him and he just kicked it and ran back. He is a phenomenal man, I am delighted for him."[11]

On 28 April 2013, Cluxton captained Dublin to win the 2013 National Football League after a 0–18 to 0–17 win against Tyrone at Croke Park.[12] His free kicks have attracted criticism – in the 2013 Leinster final he spent eight minutes of the match trotting up the field to kick the ball over the bar.[13]

On 22 September, Cluxton captained Dublin to win the 2013 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final against Mayo, and scoring the point from a free that was the deciding winning point in the game. [14] Cluxton again captained Dublin to All- Ireland final success in 2016, narrowly defeating Mayo in a replay on a scoreline of 1-15 to 1-14.[15]

International rules[edit]

Cluxton made his debut appearance for Ireland in the International Rules Series during the 2002 test series won by Australia. He was part of the victorious Irish team during the 2004 International Rules Series, winning the Irish player of the tournament award.[16]

Cluxton kept a clean sheet when he played in goal for Ireland in the 2010 International Rules Series in Limerick.[17] Cluxton captained Ireland during the 2011 International Rules Series in Australia. Ireland went on to win the Series.[citation needed]

Injury ruled him out of the 2013 International Rules Series so Paddy O'Rourke filled his gloves.[18][19][20]

Personal life[edit]

Cluxton is currently studying for a BSc in Science Education part-time, and is also a secondary school teacher at St David's CBS, Artane, where he teaches Biology. He became a member of the faculty at the beginning of the September 2006 term. He served as a member of the school football team coaching staff.[10]

Charity work[edit]

In April 2011, while participating in a charity soccer match between Darndale F.C. and Liverpool/Manchester United Legends in aid of Autism Ireland, Cluxton clashed with former Republic of Ireland soccer team player Jason McAteer. Cluxton and McAteer were both sent off.[21]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 1 October 2016.
Team Season National League Leinster All-Ireland Total
Division Apps Score Apps Score Apps Score Apps Score
Dublin 2001 Division 1A 0 0-00 2 0-00 0 0-00 2 0-00
2002 5 0-00 3 0-00 3 0-00 11 0-00
2003 5 0-00 2 0-00 2 0-00 9 0-00
2004 5 0-00 0 0-00 5 0-00 10 0-00
2005 7 0-00 4 0-00 2 0-00 13 0-00
2006 6 0-00 3 0-00 2 0-00 11 0-00
2007 7 0-00 4 0-00 2 0-00 13 0-00
2008 Division 2 6 0-00 3 0-00 1 0-00 10 0-00
2009 Division 1 6 0-00 3 0-00 1 0-00 10 0-00
2010 5 0-00 2 0-00 5 0-05 12 0-05
2011 6 0-00 3 0-06 3 0-06 12 0-12
2012 4 0-04 3 0-03 2 0-06 9 0-13
2013 7 0-04 3 0-07 3 0-09 13 0-20
2014 8 0-10 3 0-04 2 0-01 13 0-15
2015 6 0-00 3 0-00 4 0-01 13 0-01
2016 6 0-00 3 0-00 4 0-00 13 0-00
Total 89 0-18 44 0-20 41 0-28 174 0-66

Honours[edit]

Team[edit]

Dublin City University
Dublin
Ireland

Individual[edit]

Awards

References[edit]

  1. ^ Crossan, Brendan (17 September 2016). "Stephen Cluxton: The keepers' keeper". The Irish News. Retrieved 2 October 2016. 
  2. ^ Sweeney, Peter (16 September 2016). "How Stephen Cluxton became the biggest player in the game". RTÉ News. Retrieved 2 October 2016. 
  3. ^ Breheny, Martin and Keyes, Colm (18 September 2013). "O'Leary or Cluxton: Who is Dublin's No 1 goalkeeper?". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2 October 2016. 
  4. ^ Fogarty, John (7 March 2015). "Dublin have missed Stephen Cluxton's influence". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2 October 2016. 
  5. ^ Hickey, Paddy (6 October 2005). "Cool Cluxton content to stay down to earth". Irish Independent. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  6. ^ Profile, unison.ie; accessed 29 November 2015.
  7. ^ Irish Independent story, unison.ie; accessed 29 November 2015.
  8. ^ Clerkin, Malachy (18 September 2011). "Cluxton stays cool to claim Sam". The Irish Times. Retrieved 18 September 2011. In the end, it came down to one man. Or, if you prefer, a number one man. Stephen Cluxton, the Dublin goalkeeper who has been so crucial to their year, trotted forward with a minute of injury time left to drill an All-Ireland winning score into the Hill at last, after a breathless day in Croke Park. 
  9. ^ "Cluxton the hero as Dublin win All-Ireland". RTÉ Sport. 18 September 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "All-Ireland Championship: Cluxton just so cool". The Belfast Telegraph. 19 September 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  11. ^ Houston, Rory (19 September 2011). "Flynn pays tribute to Gilroy's 'team'". RTÉ Sport. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "Dublin 0–18 Tyrone 0–17". RTÉ Sport. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  13. ^ "Cluxton frees took eight minutes". Hogan Stand. 15 July 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  14. ^ "Cluxton never lets Dubs down – he was outstanding". Irish Independent. 23 September 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  15. ^ https://www.rte.ie/sport/gaa/2016/1001/820736-dublin-mayo-match-report-all-ireland-final-replay/
  16. ^ Profile, HILL16.ie; accessed 29 November 2015.
  17. ^ "Ireland 40–47 Australia". RTÉ News. 23 October 2010. 
  18. ^ "Injury worry set to rule Cluxton out for Irish duty". Herald. 2 October 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "O'Rourke following the Cluxton template". Independent. 25 October 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  20. ^ "Cluxton the template for O'Rourke". Hogan Stand. 25 October 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  21. ^ Ellis, Fiona; O'Connell, Edel (5 April 2011). "McAteer calls on Cluxton to apologise over punch". Irish Independent. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bryan Cullen
Dublin Senior Football Captain
2013–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Achievements
Preceded by
Michael Murphy
(Donegal)
All-Ireland Senior Football Final
winning captain

2013
Succeeded by
Fionn Fitzgerald
(Kerry)
Preceded by
Fionn Fitzgerald
(Kerry)
All-Ireland Senior Football Final
winning captain

2015-2016
Succeeded by
Incumbent