Thursday 12 February 2009

125 - Monaghan Player List

The memories of Monaghan flooding back

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Mickey Louth
A member of the Inniskeen team that won the first ever Monaghan SFC in 1887 and a forward of some repute. Committed to posterity in a poem that was written by the Bard of Callenberg to celebrate that victory. Still revered in Inniskeen.

Pat McGrane
Acknowledged as one of the all-time greats in the county, he won a number of Ulster SFC medals with Monaghan and also represented Fermanagh for a spell. Nicknamed ‘The Red Fella’, he played in the 1930 All-Ireland final and was on the team that won the 1938 Ulster SFC.

Pat Clarke
A member of the Clontibret club, Clarke has the distinction of being the only Monaghan captain ever to lift an All-Ireland title – the 1956 All-Ireland JFC.

Jack Crawley
Regarded as one of the best exponents of the game in Ulster and tasted Railway Cup action for quite a number of years. He was on the Monaghan team that won the Ulster SFC in 1938 and played against Galway in that year’s All-Ireland semi-final.

Paddy Kilroy
The only man to captain the county in an All-Ireland SFC final – 1930. Won provincial championships in three provinces, with Galway in Connacht (1922) and played with Dublin in the All-Ireland final of that year. He won a championship with Wexford in Leinster in 1925.

Tom Shevlin
Rated as one of the best goalkeepers in Ulster. Won four Ulster SFC medals with Monaghan and four with Cavan.

Christy Fisher
Known as ‘The Daddy of them all’, Fisher represented Monaghan for well over a decade and was recognised as one of the classiest forwards in the game. Played in the All-Ireland final in 1930. Won three Ulster SFC medals.

Billy Mason
A member of the team that reached the All-Ireland final in 1930, having won his third Ulster SFC medal that year. He represented Ulster in three consecutive Railway Cups.

Vincent Duffy
An outstanding footballer. He was a member of the Ulster team that won the first Railway Cup in 1942 and was again selected as left half-back on the Ulster team that retained the title in 1943.

Joe Carroll
NEVER won an Ulster SFC medal, but was regarded as one of the best forwards in the province in his day and came to the attention of the Ulster selectors.

Sean Woods
One of the leading lights during a barren period, Woods played his club football with Clontibret, with whom he won Monaghan SFC medals. Won a Railway Cup medal in 1968.

Tommy McArdle
THE only Monaghan player to have won a MacRory Cup medal and an All-Ireland JFC medal in the same year (1956). Went on to represent Monaghan at senior level.

John Tavey
PLAYED on the Monaghan team that won the 1956 All-Ireland JFC. He starred at full-back for the best part of a decade and he won a Railway Cup medal with Ulster.

Hughie McKearney
Represented Monaghan for over a decade at senior level and was recognised as an exceptional talent. Played for Ulster and the Combined Universities in the Railway Cup.

John Rice
AN automatic choice for Ulster for quite a number of years. Won five SFC medals with Clontibret. As well as Railway Cup honours, he was named in a Rest of Ireland select.

Paddy O’Rourke
HIS contribution to the GAA in Monaghan and on a national level is without question. As a player he represented Monaghan for the best part of a decade and was on the team that won the Ulster SFC in 1938. After his playing career, he became a referee and set a record by serving his club as secretary for over 50 years. He was a long-term treasurer of the county board.

Ollie O’Rourke
THE full-back on the 1956 junior All-Ireland-winning side, O’Rourke went on to become an iconic figure. Brilliant under the high ball, his lengthy deliveries became a part of the folklore of the game – described by one of his contemporaries as being able ‘to eat iron and drink Castrol’.

Joe Smyth
A stylish, skillful player, he was a regular on Monaghan teams for almost 15 years.
Renowned for his high fielding and accurate finishing.

Benny Mone
The successor to John Rice at centre half-back, he established a similar reputation. Won Monaghan senior league and championship medals and a Railway Cup medal with Ulster in 1960.

Seamus Mulligan
Still a teenager when he won an All-Ireland junior championship medal in 1956, he went on to represent the county at senior level, playing mostly in midfield or on the ‘40’.

Seamus McElroy
Another member of the 1956 junior team, this Latton native was renowned for his high fielding and accurate distribution.

Ted Duffy
One of the county’s most accurate forwards in the late ’50s and into the early ’60s, this Sigerson Cup winner was also a vital member of the 1956 All-Ireland junior championship-winning side.

Eamonn Tavey
THE inaugural winner of the Senior Footballer of the Year award (1973), his lengthy inter-county career saw him eventually make the breakthrough with an Ulster championship medal in 1979.

Gerry Fitzpatrick
Hugely-talented, he was one of the stars of the Castleblayney team that won five Monaghan SFCs between 1963 and 1967. Represented Monaghan for over a decade in a particularly lean period at inter-county level and no honours came his way.

Kevin Treanor
Established a unique record in that he represented the county at minor, U21, junior and senior in a single year, playing Ulster minor and SFC on the same day. He won an Ulster SFC medal with Monaghan in 1979.

Eugene ‘Nudie’ Hughes
One of the best-known names in Monaghan football, ‘Nudie’ (pictured, left, raising the Dr McKenna Cup after Monaghan beat Down in the 1985 final) won Ulster SFC medals in 1979, 1985 and 1988 as well as an NFL medal in 1985. He is also the only Monaghan player to have been awarded an Allstar on three occasions. The holder of two Ulster club championship medals, he also played for Ulster against Australia.

Kieran Finlay
Often Monaghan’s leading scorer, ‘Jap’ won an Ulster SFC medal with in 1979 and established a scoring record for an Ulster final that year that stood for over 20 years until it was broken by Armagh’s Oisin McConville.

Hugo Clerkin
Carved out a special niche for his consistent performances at midfield for the county for over a decade. He also earned for himself the reputation of being a very tough opponent and was a key figure in Monaghan making a breakthrough in the Ulster championship terms in 1979 – their first title in 41 years. Won Ulster SFC and NFL titles in 1985.

Paddy Linden
One of Monaghan’s best ever goalkeepers. He was on the team that won the Ulster SFC in 1979 and was again between the sticks in 1985 and 1988, having in the process recovered from a serious car accident that threatened to end his career. His ultimate honour was an Allstar award in 1988.

Gerry McCarville
The holder of 14 Monaghan SFC medals and 12 senior football league medals as well as three
Ulster club championship medals. Played at midfield for Monaghan when they ended the Ulster SFC famine in 1979. By 1985, when they won the title again, he had reverted to full-back and one of the travesties of the game is that he did not get an Allstar in that position in 1985. As well as his NFL and Ulster championship medals in 1985, he won another Ulster SFC medal in 1988. Also the holder of Railway Cup medals with Ulster, he played for Ulster against Australia in the early years of the International Rules.

Eugene Sherry
Made his name as a corner-back, but later succeeded McCarville at full-back on the senior team. The only Monaghan player to be
presented with a senior trophy at national level on the steps of the Hogan Stand when Monaghan won the NFL title in 1985, the same year that he captained them to an Ulster SFC title. He won a second Ulster medal in 1988. Represented Ulster in the Railway Cup in 1989.

Eamonn McEnaney
First hit the headlines as a member of the Monaghan panel for the 1979 Ulster SFC, although still a minor.
He went on to win acclaim at national level as Monaghan’s top scorer in successive seasons and was, on one occasion, the top scorer nationally in the NFL.
His Ulster championship successes in 1985 and 1988 left him with three Ulster SFC medals as well as an NFL medal in 1985 and an Allstar replacement that same year. His greatest moment was probably his equalising point from a 55-metre free against Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final in 1985.

Ray McCarron
ONE of the classiest forwards in the game in the ’80s. McCarron (below) only took up Gaelic football when he was 16 after his family came back to Scotstown from Luton. Despite the late start, he went on to establish himself as a talented, skilful player whose accuracy is now legendary. Won Ulster SFC medals in 1985 and 1988 and an NFL medal in ’85. Selected for an Allstar award.

Ciaran Murray
Having won an Ulster SFC and an NFL medal in 1985, Murray went on to captain Monaghan in 1988 when, following their victory over Tyrone in the final, he was presented with the Anglo Celt Cup on his native pitch, St Tiarnach’s Park, Clones.
Twice honoured with an Allstar award, he represented Ireland in the International Rules series twice.

David Byrne
came to prominence as a midfielder in 1985. Brilliant under the high ball with a deadly left foot, he was a central character in Monaghan’s resurgence in the ’80s, when he partnered Hugo Clerkin in midfield.

Bernie Murray
ONE of the key members of the NFL-winning squad of 1985. He sustained a broken leg in a challenge match in London following Monaghan’s League victory which ruled him out of the Ulster SFC.

Eoin Lennon
HAS established himself as one of the best midfielders in the country. He won an NFL Division Two medal in 2005 and is one of the anchors of the current team. A native of Latton, he is the third generation of the same family to represent club and county.

Paul Finlay
Son of the legendary ‘Jap’, Paul has carried the baton of football tradition passed on to him.
Represented Monaghan at minor, U21 and senior.
A brilliant fielder of the ball and deadly accurate with left and right from play and frees, Finlay would command a first team place on any team in the country.

Dick Clerkin
SON of the legendary Hugo, Dick has developed into a similar role as a hard-grafting midfielder.
Strong on the ball and fearless in the tackle, Clerkin has now established himself among the top midfielders in the country, winning a Railway Cup medal in 2007.

Tomas Freeman
The ‘Magheracloone Flyer,’ as he is referred to locally, has developed into one of the deadliest finishers in the game and is among the top three forwards in the game.
Would command a place on any county team with his pace, skill and finishing. Without doubt one of the county’s all-time greats, his star quality was recognised with an Allstar award in 2007.

Remember if you think, we have left someone out who you think merits a place on the top 125 of Ulster's great footballers feel free to add you own.



  1. Nudie Hughes is a cert, he must have played for Monaghan well into his late 30's

  2. i cannot believe for the life of me why Declan Loughman and declan Smyth have not been included in the monaghan list.

  3. They wouldn't have made the top 15 anyway. Don't think they were even good enough to make the top 15 in Monaghan. Do you?

  4. I cannot believe that the Late Tony Loughman, was not listed, a man that did so much for GAA

  5. Monaghan GAA Supporter4 May 2009 at 15:35

    I cant believe the late Tony Loughman or his son Declan was not included in this. Declan holds the record for the most championship medels in monaghan (12) Tony is the only player in monaghan to have won medals in all levels Junior (1), Intermediate (1) and Senior (10) and (3) minor c/ship medals.

  6. Well you would have to say that any of the men that won all stars would have to get one, although mc enaney was unfortunate not to win one.

  7. For the love of God how is Dick Clerkin on that list...

  8. all of the 1956 all ireland winning junior team should be on that list

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