Tyrone GAA to honour many of its 1973 treble-winning heroes at Garvaghey

The legendary Frank McGuigan will be one of many Tyrone heroes of the 1973 treble to be honoured this week.
The legendary Frank McGuigan will be one of many Tyrone heroes of the 1973 treble to be honoured this week.

The players who broke the mould and sent Tyrone spinning into a cycle of success are to be honoured at a special event this week.

The 1973 season is widely recognised as a breakthrough year, when the Red Hands made a clean sweep of Ulster titles, winning Minor, U21 and Senior honours.

Squad members from those provincial champions, along with other successful Tyrone teams from the early Seventies, will come together at a reunion at Garvaghey on Thursday evening, half a century later.

“This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Tyrone’s Ulster Football Treble in 1973,” said county chairman Martin Sludden.

“That put the icing on the cake of a series of Tyrone county football team successes that began in 1969.

“Because there’s such a strong common membership across so many of those teams, nine in all, ranging across Vocational Schools, Minors, Under 21s and Seniors, we’re bringing them all together for a special joined-up celebration night.”

Frank McGuigan, a teenage star at the time, Patsy Hetherington, Peter Mulgrew and Pat King were key men in the breakthrough senior team, provincial champions for the first time since 1957.

Martin Haughey, chairman of Club Tyrone, revealed that special guests from a number of other counties will also attend.

“We’ve invited along every Tyrone player who we know was involved in those teams, as well as the men who managed them. And we’re adding in a few special GAA guests, from Antrim, Cork, Donegal, and Fermanagh,” he said.

One of Tyrone’s confirmed attendees is Cork’s Robert Wilmot, the man whose stellar display in turning the 1972 All-Ireland Minor Final his side’s way remains fresh in the memories to this day in Tyrone.

Tyrone’s ‘Men of Achievement’ event will involve a light bite to eat, a chance to meet up with old and not-so-old Tyrone GAA colleagues, a bit of chat, and a small presentation for everyone.

More than 100 Tyrone footballers were involved at that special time, bringing honour and glory to their county.

They include several of the finest players ever to wear the Red Hand. This event is simply about Tyrone in turn now honouring them.

“In those years, Tyrone and Ulster were falling into a time of turmoil, chaos, horror and hurt, one that that would last for over two decades.

“The GAA overall, and our players of the late Sixties and early Seventies provided vital respite for everybody. That too can’t be forgotten,” Martin Sludden concluded.