Where are they now? Former Tyrone defender John Lynch

John Lynch (left) with former Tyrone colleague Damian O'Hagan

Neil Loughran catches up with former Tyrone star John Lynch... 

Age: 54


Club: St Eugene’s, Castlederg


When did you play for Tyrone?


What do you do nowadays?
I work in construction, running my own moulding company - Derg Ornamental.


Are you still involved in Gaelic football?
I have been involved quite a bit with development squads in Tyrone, in the academy.

This year, I’m working with the U12s in my own club. I’ve managed senior teams, including my own club - I enjoy the coaching side of it as opposed to managing.


What do you remember about your first game for Tyrone?
It was against Monaghan in the National League, 1980.

I remember getting a slap before half-time and, I swear to God, it was a rude awakening. My club was a junior club, I had come through minor and U21, but I had never been hit a thump like it.

I was only 18 and I was still suffering at half-time, but you had to get on with it, f**k it.


What’s your best memory?
Beating Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final in 1986.

That was the ultimate for us at that time. That was the best feeling I had during my career.


And the worst?
The All-Ireland final. We went into that match thinking and knowing we could beat Kerry.

I broke a bone in my leg in the second-half and had to come off, so I was just sitting there watching it all unfold. Once Spillane got his goal, it was hard to come back.

When you pick up bad injuries, it’s a bad day, but you get over them - in football terms, that was a really bad day.


Are you glad you played in your era rather than today?
I would’ve played midfield for my club and you were more part of making things happen whereas, with Tyrone, I was often deployed as a marker. I would love to have played in this era because I did athletics, fitness was never an issue for me.

I played a bit of club football in Donegal with Red Hugh’s and, even then, they would have played that possession style, there was always that mindset and I loved that style of play.


Any regrets?
The injuries I picked up - I’ve broken bones all over the place. I broke my jaw twice, my nose quite a few times, arms, ribs… I’m sitting here with broken ribs at the minute.

Nothing to do with football, I was away mountain biking in the Alps about four weeks ago and I came off the last day. You’re coming from 12,000 feet down - it’s absolutely brilliant - but I just went straight over the handlebars, wrecked my shoulder, broke ribs.

It brought me back to my footballing days!

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