Wednesday 4 March 2015

The Lows and Highs of Sport

Last Monday, the 2nd of March, was a day of contrasts for me regarding two sporting figures whom I greatly admired.

During the day I learned of the death of Tony Reddin, after a short illness, in his 96th year. 1949 was the first year in which I was capable of appreciating the sporting events taking place at the time. That was also the first year of a golden era for Tipperary hurling which lasted for the senior team until 1966. In 1949, Tipperary won both the senior and minor All-Ireland hurling titles. The star, among many, on the senior winning team was goalkeeper Tony Reddin. Tony had made his debut on the team at the close of 1948 when he was approaching his 30th birthday. He continued to produce spectacular displays of goalkeeping for Tipperary and Munster, as well as for his club Lorrha until 1956, when an eye injury sustained in a challenge game against Clare ended his county career. He continued to play for his club until the early sixties.

Tony was born in Mullagh, Co. Galway, on the 15th of November 1919. He played both in goal and outfield for Galway senior and junior hurlers. He moved residence to Lorrha, Co. Tipperary in 1947 where he owned and drove a hackney car. He went to live in Banagher, Co. Offaly in 1963. He trained the local St. Rynagh's senior hurling team which won ten Offaly senior titles between 1965 and 1976.

Tony Reddin is laid to rest in Rathcabin graveyard in the parish of Lorrha, Co. Tipperary. May the Lord have mercy on his gentle soul.

On the evening of last Monday I was delighted to hear on the radio that Padraig Harrington had achieved a notable golfing victory after a long absence from the podium. The popular Irish golfer had won the Honda Classic at the PGA National Resort and Spa, Palm Beach Gardens, Flordia. This was his first win on American soil since the 2008 PGA Championship. He had a great run of wins in the mid noughties and then the wins dried up. I always admired his gentlemanly, and honourable, approach to the game which came through in his interviews. I hope that this is the restart of many more big wins for him.

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