|Jimmy Smyth in action against Wexford in 1953
In the GAA magazine, Gaelic Sport, of January 1973, Jimmy—then an executive officer at GAA headquarters—had a long chat with Owen McCann. I will quote some of the comments he made:
Having been a contemporary of some of the biggest names in hurling, he had no hesitation in putting one above them all—"Christy Ring, whom I regard as the supreme artist". He rated Eddie Keher as the outstanding man of the previous twelve years, and made former Tipperary ace, Galway-born Tony Reddan, the best goalkeeper.
As a forward, Jimmy came up against many great backs. He recalled wistfully the skills of Matty Fouhy and Tony O'Shaughnessy of Cork, and John Doyle and Tony Wall of Tipperary. Dan McInerney—a team mate of his in the Clare side—he puts in a special class as one of the greatest leaders Clare hurling has ever produced. McInerney played at full back of course.
Jimmy had a high opinion, too, of Ray Cummins, Cork: "One of the great full forwards". After much thought and consideration, he came up with his top eight hurlers:
1. Christy Ring
2. Nicky Rackard
3. Eddie Keher
4. Jimmy Doyle
1. Pat Stakelum
2. Bobby Rackard
3. Jimmy Finn
4. Mick Roche
May the green sod of his beloved Ruan rest lightly on this noble son of Clare.