It is always controversial when an organisation selects any “best 15″ be it in hurling or football,or for that matter in any sport . This time round the GAA asked a specially convened panel to choose their Team of the ’80′s NEVER to have won an All-Ireland winners medal.
At the invitation of the GAA the final selection was chosen by an experienced panel of All-Star and former All-Star selectors who covered Gaelic games for the print and broadcast media during the 1980s.
The selection panel consisted of: Martin Breheny (Irish Independent); Brian Carthy (RTÉ Radio); Michael Lyster (RTÉ Television); Seán Moran (Irish Times); Mártan Ó Ciardha (formerly Raidió na Gaeltachta); Jim O’Sullivan (formerly Irish Examiner).
The GAA has now confirmed the selection of its Hurling ‘Stars of the ‘80s’ team which will be honoured on All-Ireland hurling final day on Sunday September 8 when Cork meet Clare at Croke Park.
After back-to-back winners Galway (1987-88) were honoured at last year’s final the GAA has availed of the opportunity to acknowledge a specially chosen team deemed to be best 15 hurlers from the 1980s who did not win All-Ireland senior medals.
All of those included in the final 15 were deemed to have made special contributions to the GAA through outstanding performances over prolonged periods.
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam Ó Néill congratulated all those chosen and welcomed the opportunity to highlight the skills and dedication to a new audience of hurling followers.
He said: “We were presented with a rare opportunity to temporarily replace the Jubilee teams in both codes because of the back to back successes of both Galway (hurling) and Meath (football) in 1987/’88.
“Legions of top quality players grace Croke Park with their skills but not all are rewarded for their efforts with All-Ireland medals. This should in no way diminish their contribution to the GAA and to the game of hurling.
“For people like me who followed the game of hurling over the course of the 1980s the mention of those who have been chosen on this team evokes great memories and I laud each and everyone of them for the great moments they gave us and the legacy they left behind in their clubs and counties and indeed beyond.”
The team is as follows:
1. TOMMY QUAID (Limerick / Feoghenagh, RIP): Limerick’s first-choice goalkeeper from 1976 to 1993, playing in four Munster finals and the All-Ireland final of 1980. Won Railway Cup and NHL medals and an All-Star award in 1992.
2. JOHN GALVIN (Waterford / Portlaw): His career lasted 14 years from 1972 with Waterford and he also represented Ireland in Shinty. Was the county’s first All-Star award winner in 1974 and won a second award in 1982.
3. LEONARD ENRIGHT (Limerick / Patrickswell): One of the outstanding full-backs of his generation, he was sub goalkeeper when Limerick won the 1971 NHL title. Also excelled in other sports, including athletics. All-Star awards in 1980, ’81 and ’83.
4. DESSIE DONNELLY (Antrim / Ballycastle): Selected on the Antrim team of the century. Played in the 1980 All-Ireland club final and the All-Ireland hurling final of 1989 – when he won an All-Star.
5. GER LOUGHNANE (Clare / Feakle): The inspiration behind Clare’s resurgence in the nineties and Galway manager from 2006 to ’08. He won NHL and Railway Cup medals and was twice an All-Star, in 1974 (Clare’s first) and ’77.
6. SEÁN STACK (Clare / Sixmilebridge): Widely recognised as one of the outstanding centre-backs of his generation, he won two NHL medals with Clare and played on two winning Railway Cup winning teams in 1984 and ’85. Won an All-Star award in 1981.
7. TERENCE McNAUGHTON (Antrim / Cushendall): The man affectionately known as ‘Sambo’ operated both in attack and defence over a lengthy career, lining out at corner-forward in the 1989 All-Ireland final. Won an All-Star award in 1991 and formerly joint Antrim manager.
8. MOSSY WALSH (Waterford / Ballyduff): Distinguished himself at midfield all through the eighties, especially in the Munster finals of 1982 and ’83. Was an All-Star winner in 1980 and a year later won a Railway Cup medal at wing-forward.
9. PAT CRITCHLEY (Laois / Portlaoise): A dual player who also played basketball at a high level, he was selected on the Laois hurling team of the millennium. Won an All-Ireland club football medal in 1980 and is the only Laois hurler to win an All-Star (in 1985).
10. JOHN CALLINAN (Clare / Clarecastle): Played Railway Cup with Munster and the Combined Universities and won a fourth medal in 1985. Was on Clare’s NHL winning teams of 1977 and ’78 and won All-Stars in 1979 and 1981.
11. MARTIN QUIGLEY (Wexford / Rathnure): Member of the last Wexford team to win the All-Ireland minor title (1968). In 1973, he won an NHL medal and the first of four consecutive All-Star awards. Played on four winning Leinster teams.
12. PADDY KELLY (Limerick / Kilmallock): A national hurdles champion, he earned a reputation as a speedy and stylish hurler with Limerick all through the eighties. Won an All-Star in 1984, he was on the losing Munster team in the Railway Cup final of 1986.
13. DAVID KILCOYNE (Westmeath / Ringtown): One of the ‘greats’ of Westmeath hurling. A Railway Cup and All-Ireland ‘B’ medal winner, he won the county’s only All-Star in 1988 and last year received a Leinster ‘Hall of Fame’ award.
14. P.J. CUDDY (Laois / Camross): A prolific scorer over the course of a lengthy career. Played in the 1977 All-Ireland club final and named on the Laois team of the millennium. Won a Railway Cup medal in his fourth final in 1988.
15. JIM GREENE (Waterford / Mount Sion): An All-Star winner in 1982, he won the last of eight county championship medals in 1988 in the company of his son Brian. Manager when the Déise last contested the All-Ireland minor final in 1992.
So do YOU agree with the panel’s selection and if not who has missed out that should have been chosen? SportsNewsIreland would like to hear YOUR views on the subject.