GAA Football

Death of Armagh football great

Joe McManus

THE death has taken place of former Armagh and Ballymanab footballer Joe O’Hare, aged 86.

O'Hare played for Armagh in the 1953 All-Ireland Senior Football final against Kerry, replacing injured captain Seán Quinn in the second half. 

He was on holiday from his home in Birmingham when he took ill, while visiting family in Newtownards. One of a family of 14, Joe was an exceptional footballer and has been described by his contemporaries as Ballymacmab’s first real superstar, the idol of his generation. From the traditional catch-and-kick mould, he was the mainstay of Ballymacnab teams in the 1940s and '50s before emigrating to England to pursue his career in nursing.

Joe always maintained a strong link with the Round Towers GAC and was revered for his legendary reputation in the area, not only as a footballer but also as a genuine and noble person very strongly rooted in his Irish identity and his faith. He was honoured by the club in 2002 at its annual presentation night, when Sam Maguire Cup made its way around the clubs in the county. A minute’s silence was observed prior to last weekend’s Armagh SFC semi-final between Ballymacnab and Armagh Harps at the Athletic Grounds.

Joe’s remains were brought to Ballymacnab for a requien mass last Friday, before being brought back to Birmingham for burial. He is survived by his wife Pat, sons John and Stephen, grandchildren, brothers and sisters.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

GAA Football

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