Willie Campbell (hurler)

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Willie Campbell
Personal information
Irish name Liam Mac Cathmhaoil
Sport Hurling
Position Right wing-back
Born 1918
Midleton, County Cork, Ireland
Nickname Billy
Years Club
St. Finbarr's
Club titles
Cork titles 1
Years County Apps (scores)
1939-1944 Cork 12 (1-00)
Inter-county titles
Munster titles 1
All-Irelands 1

William "Willie" Campbell (born 1918) was an Irish hurler who played as a centre-back for the Cork senior team.

Campbell joined the team during the 1939 championship and was a regular member of the starting fifteen until his retirement after the 1944 championship. During that time he won one All-Ireland medal, one Munster medal and two National League medals. Campbell was an All-Ireland runner-up on one occasion.

At club level Campbell played with a variety of clubs including Midleton, Sarsfield's and St. Finbarr's.

Playing career[edit]


Campbell began his club hurling career with Midleton. After progressing from the minor grade he eventually joined the club's senior team, however, he enjoyed little success.[1]

In 1941 Campbell joined Sarsfield's, however, his tenure was brief and unsuccessful.

Two years later Campbell was a key member of the St. Finbarr's senior hurling team. He lined out in his first senior championship decider that year as the Barr's faced Ballincollig. A 3-3 apiece draw was the result on that occasion, however, St. Finbarr's made no mistake in the replay and powered to a 7-9 to 1-1 victory. It was Campbell's first championship medal.[2]


Campbell first came to prominence on the inter-county scene as a member of the Cork minor hurling team. He was unused substitute in 1934 before breaking onto the team the following year.

In 1936 Campbell won a Munster medal in the grade following a 6-5 to 1-4 defeat of Tipperary. The subsequent All-Ireland decider saw Cork face a narrow 2-4 to 2-3 defeat by Kilkenny.

In 1939 Campbell made his senior debut with Cork as the team made a breakthrough in the provincial championship after nearly a decade in the doldrums. A narrow 4-3 to 3-4 defeat of Limerick gave Cork the title and gave Campbell his only Munster medal. The subsequent All-Ireland final pitted Cork against Kilkenny. In one of the most iconic championship deciders of all-time, played on the day that World War II broke out, the climax of which was played in a ferocious thunder storm. While a draw looked likely as the hour drew to a close Paddy Phelan sent a seventy-yard free in towards the Cork goalmouth. The sliotar was gobbled up by the defence and cleared, but only as far as Jimmy Kelly who sent it straight over the bar for a one-point lead. Immediately after the puck-out the referee blew the whistle and Cork were defeated on a score line of 2-7 to 3-3.[3]

Although defeated in the All-Ireland decider, Cork continued their breakthrough in 1940. An 8-9 to 6-4 defeat of Tipperary in the decider gave Campbell his first National Hurling League medal. He added a second winners' medal to his collection in 1941 following a defeat of Dublin.

An outbreak of foot and mouth disease severely hampered the 1941 championship. As a result of this Cork were nominated to represent the province in the All-Ireland series. Campbell lined out in defence against Dublin, however, it turned into a one-sided affair thanks to contributing goals from Johnny Quirke and Ted O'Sullivan. At the full-time whistle Cork had won by 5-11 to 0-6. It was one of the most one-sided championship deciders of all-time, however, it did give Campbell an All-Ireland medal.

Campbell's appearances for Cork were sporadic after this victory. He eventually left the panel after the 1944 championship.


Campbell also had the honour of being selected for Munster in the inter-provincial series of games. In 1940 he lined out in his first inter-provincial decider. A 4-9 to 5-4 defeat of fierce rivals Leinster gave Campbell his sole Railway Cup medal.[4]

Coaching career[edit]

In retirement from playing Campbell maintained a keen interest in hurling and became involved in coaching and team selection.

He was part of the Cork senior hurling selection committee for the successful 1970 season. Cork began the year by securing the National League title following an aggregate 5-21 to 6-16 defeat of New York. The subsequent championship campaign Campbell's Cork team secure the Munster crown as Tipperary were accounted for by 3-10 to 3-8. Cork later qualified for the All-Ireland final with Wexford providing the opposition in the very first eighty-minute championship decider. The game saw a record 64-point score line for both teams as Cork's Eddie O'Brien scored a hat-trick of goals to give Cork a considerable lead. At the full-time whistle Cork were the winners by 6-21 to 5-10.[5]



St. Finbarr's


  1. ^ "Cok representatives". Midleton GAA website. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "St. Finbarr's: a history". St. Finbarr's GAA website. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Scoring hero of the 'thunder and lightning' final". Carlow People. 29 June 2010. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Railway Cup Hurling". Munster GAA website. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Lewis, Simon (11 September 2011). "O'Brien hails Corbett's hat-trick heroics". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 12 March 2013.