Pen Pictures of the Men Who Will Don the Galway Jerseys
The Connacht Tribune 6 October, 1956
On Sunday next the Galway footballers will be making their tenth appearance in an All—Ireland final. They will also be making a bold bid to capture their fourth senior crown.
After a devastating passage through the Connacht Championship, beating the might of Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo in turn, they withstood a stiff test by the pick of Tyrone in a thrill—a—minute semi—final. Now they take on the men of Cork in what promises to be a memorable struggle.
The following are pen pictures of the men who will don the Galway jerseys at Croke Park on Sunday.
Joe Young (An Cead Cath) — Age: 22; Height: 5—11½ Weight: 13—8; Occupation: Lieutenant.
A native of Donnycarney, Dublin, Joe Young is the second member of the team to play both hurling and football for the county. He has played senior hurling with Dublin and won an All—Ireland junior medal with that county. While playing with ST. Vincent's he won numerous senior and junior medals in both football and hurling. He is also the holder of Leinster Colleges and Army medals. A very fit footballer, he is noted for his power—driven shots near goal.
Jack Mahon (Dunmore McHales) — Age, 23; Height, 5—10, Weight, 12—8; Occupation, Vocational Teacher
Although now one of the most consistently brilliant, centre—half backs in the game. Jack Mahon made his debut in senior football as a forward. A product of St. Jarlath's College, Tuam. Jack was a half forward of note with many College's teams. He played with Galway minors in 1949 and captained the team in 1950. He was with the junior team in 1951 and '52 and played at right—half forward with the senior side against Roscommon in 1958. He won a county championship medal when Dunmore had their first major victory in 41 years. He has played on Railway Cup teams and with the Combined Universities and Rest sides. He was also a regular on the UCG Sigerson Cup team. He is the holder of two Connacht senior championships, one county championship and numerous Colleges medals. A brilliant fielder, his excellent positional sense and excellent covering up 'tactics make him a defender of exceptional merit.
Jack Mangan (Tuam) — Age: 28; Height, 5—11; Weight, 12—7; Occupation: Traveller
Star goalkeeper and captain of the team, Jack Mangan first played football with the CBS, Tuam. He also distinguished himself on the athletic field, being Connacht Colleges high jump champion in 1946. A useful hurler in his youth, he played on the Connacht Colleges' team at right—half back. In Dublin, Jack played with Kichhams but now is a regular with Tuam Stars with whom he has won three county championship medals. He has one Railway Cup medal and has played for Ireland against the Combined Universities. This is his first year as captain of the side.
Sean Purcell (Tuam) — Age: 27; Height: 5—11; Weight: 13—4; Occupation: National Teacher
One of the all—time "greats" in Galway football, Sean Purcell can adapt himself to any position in the field and has played with distinction at full—back, midfield, full—forward and centre—half forward, his best position. A native of Tuam, he has been the inspiration of his club and has won four county championship medals with them. A product of St. Jarlath's College, the home of football, with whom he was an outstanding player, Sean Purcell later shone in many Sigerson Cup games with UCG and has played with the Combined Universities and Ireland sides. He is the holder of one Railway Cup medal. A brilliant fielder, he is regarded by many as the "brainiest".
Frank Stockwell (Tuam) — Age 27; Height: 5—7; Weight: 11 stone; Occupation: Decorator
One of the most elusive full—forwards in the game, Frankie Stockwell has proved a headache to many a stalwart full—back. He has won four championship medals with Tuam Stars and has represented Connacht in the Railway Cup. While residing in Louth, he played with that county and also had the distinction of being selected on the Leinster side. A fast, nippy forward with an uncanny sense of anticipation, he can send over a point from practically any angle.
Mattie McDonough (Ballygar) — Age: 19; Height: 6 ft; Weight: 14—7; Occupation: Teacher
A rugged midfielder, Mattie McDonough first caught the eye when playing with Summerhill College, Sligo. He has represented Galway in minor, junior and senior ranks. The "baby" of the team uses his height, stamina and very sound pair of hands to great advantage; is also a lengthy place kicker.
Frank Eivers (Garda) — Age: 23; Height 6—2; Weight: 14 st; Occupation: Garda
A native of Co. Westmeath, Frank Eivers gave prominent displays with Leinster Colleges selections and with Franciscan College, Multyfarnham. After playing on the Westmeath senior side, he made his debut as a midfielder with Galway some years ago. An excellent fielder, he uses his great height to advantage. He gave his best display in the semi—final with Tyrone.
Gerry Daly (Garda) — Age: 26; Height: 6—1; Weight: 13—7; Occupation: Garda
Full—back Gerry Daly first came into prominence with his native club, Ballinasloe. He has since filled the full—back berth on the county side with distinction and is a regular with the Garda Club in Dublin.
Jack Kissane (An Cead Cath) — Age: 26; Height: 5—11; Weight: 12—7; Occupation: Lieutenant
A native of Lisselton, Kerry. Jack Kissane, strangely enough did not play much football in his native county but was a regular defender with the Military College (Curragh). On his transfer to Dun Uí Mhaoiliosa, Galway, he declared for Galway and played his first game in the maroon and white colours against Leitrim in the Connacht championships in 1953. He is the proud holder of two Connacht championship, one county championship, three Medical Services and three Chaplains Cup medals. He is also a competent half—back on the Cead Cath hurling team. A constant trier, he is a very safe defender and has excellent positional sense.
Billy O'Neill (An Cead Cath) — Age: 27; Height: 5—10; Weight: 14 stone; Occupation: Lieutenant
Better known as a hurler. Billy O'Neill is a native of Carrigtwohill, County Cork. He made his first appearance in Galway colours as a hurler against Tipperary in London in 1952. He had the distinction of captaining the Cork junior hurling side that won the All—Ireland in 1950. A product of the North Monastery, he won All—Ireland Colleges medals in hurling and football. He has more than 12 Army football and hurling medals and is also the holder of the Army long jump championship. Playing at left—half—forward on the Galway team, he has a great turn of speed and amazing staying power. He had represented Connacht in the Railway Cup in both hurling and football.
Jack Keely (Ballinasloe) — Age: 21; Height: 5—8; Weight: 12 stone; Occupation: P.O. Linesman.
Although Jack Keely's best position is at right—full—back, he has played in all defensive positions for his native Ballinasloe. He figured prominently in the Galway junior side and earned his place on the senior team this year with some brilliant club displays.
Tom Dillon (Ahascragh) — Age: 28; Height: 5—10; Weight: 14 stone; Occupation: Farmer
A tough, rugged defender. Tom Dillon was an outstanding centre—half back on Galway teams for a number of years before moving to his present position at left full back. A regular on Connacht Railway Cup teams, he has also played for Ireland against the Combined Universities. Unbeatable in possession, he is a good fielder and lengthy place kicker. While resident in Dublin, he gave many brilliant displays with Westerns.
Gerry Kirwan (Ballinasloe) — Age: 23; Height: 6 ft; Weight: 13—7; Occupation: Army Lieutenant
A native of Ballinasloe, Gerry Kirwin struck the limelight with a classic display as full—forward with the Galway minor team that won the All—Ireland two years ago. He now plays at left—full—forward on the senior team. He is an accurate kicker with a very high catch. He figured prominently on the Military College teams in the Army championships and now plays with his native Ballinasloe in the Galway championship.
Michael Greally (Ballygar) — Age: 21; Height: 5—9; Weight: 12—7; Occupation: Agricultural Student
A product of Summerhill College, Sligo, Michael Greally was selected for the left—half—back position on the Galway team this year. Although never spectacular he has few equals as a halfback. He belies his slight appearance with a strong resourceful performance. He plays with Ballygar in the Galway championship.
Jackie Coyle (Ballygar) — Age: 23; Height; 5—7; Weight: 11 stone; Occupation: Contractor
A native of Ballygar, Jackie Coyle first came into prominence while playing with the Galway team in last season's National League. He has been a substitute on the championship team this year and was called into action in the semi—final when Tom McHugh retired injured. He is a fast, accurate forward.