Senior Football Champions 1955-1960

Westmeath Senior Football Champions 1955-1960 - 50th Anniversary Re-Union 25 Sept 2010

6 in a Row Celebrations

Athlone 6 in a Row Citations – Reunion December 2010                                           

BRIAN SCANLON : At center-half-back or midfield, the Coosan native was truly one of the greatest players ever to don the blue & white jersey.

KEN O’NEILL (RIP) : An excellent midfield player, he was teak tough and a very committed man at all time. His fine displays will remain an abiding memory

DECLAN RYAN : He was an outstanding player and his many fine displays wearing the blue & white jersey remain etched in the memory.

PADDY DUFFY : The Castledaly native came with lots of tradition on board.  A good player that would command a position on most teams.  A gentleman to his fingertips.

PADDY RYAN : The Mardyke Street native was a vital cog in the Athlone machine.  He would never miss a game or a training session.

TOM HENSON : A legend from the football fields. A towering man his displays anywhere in defence especially the full-back line was much admired by friend and foe alike.  The Clonbonny native was rock hard, an iron man on the ball.

TOM GUNN :  A majestic mid-fielder, the quietly spoken Tom gave many superlative displays wearing the blue & white jersey.  His name will live on in the annals of the Athlone GAA Club.

PAT MORAN : A pacy player that could command a place anywhere on the team.   Gave some memorable displays operating at wing-forward.  Another household name that will always be remembered with affection in Athlone GAA history.

T.J. FINNERAN : Another legend in his own lifetime.  His possessed a great pair of hands for taking the ball out of the clouds, At mid-field or anywhere in defence he reigned supreme and reminded one very much of the Kerry legend Paddy Kennedy, praise indeed.

MARTIN KENNY : A very fast player,  his solo runs out of defence, very often gained vital respite for a beleaguered back line.   He was a footballer to his fingertips.

MICK DOYLE (RIP) : The Mount Temple native was a tenacious and hardworking corner back with a great will to win at all times. A vital asset to have on any football panel.

RODDY KILLEEN : A player at wing back or anywhere in the forward line.  Kicked some vital scores for the blue & whites and was one of the more popular players on the team.

BERNIE COLCLOUGH: He gave some memorable displays at left half forward for the Shannonsiders.  His astute pass to set up the winning point in the ’58 final remains etched in the memory.   Tough and strong, his work rate in every game was staggering. 

TOM DONLON : When the game got tough he was a great man to have on your team. An excellent ball player with a great pair of hands, when called into the fray he would never let the team down.

JOHN AHERNE : His display at midfield was monumental in the win over Kinnegan in the 1960 final.  A superb all round footballer and a supreme gentleman.

JOHN DOLAN : A most dedicated member of the panel.  It is players with his commitment and determination that make winning teams.  A historian, in his own right, regarding Athlone GAA football.

JOHN MCCANN : A great full back or indeed a great full forward if the occasion demanded.  Truly, one of the great footballers ever to don an Athlone jersey.   His heroic exploits on the football fields for the blue & whites will live on into perpetuity.

MICHAEL SCANLON : Another legend of Athlone football over many years.   He could turn a game in the twinkling of an eye with a spectacular score.  He was fast and elusive and the Hall of Fame man was a great character on and off the field.

MICK DUFFY : He gave many excellent displays wearing the number 3 jersey.   The Castledaly native came from a family with a great football tradition.  It was a privilege to watch this player taking the ball out of the sky.

DES MCCANN : One of the most stylish forwards ever to don the blue & white jersey.  His side-step, his solo run and his selling of the dummy along with his football brain was a joy to behold.  Add in some great scores from the same player and you had the complete package.

EAMON GINNANE : Another legend of Athlone football over many years.  He is the holder of championship medals in all grades with the Shannonsiders.   Has served on the Executive Committee of the Club with distinction.   His many fine displays on the football field remain a legacy to savour.

HENRY CUFFE (RIP) : His is remembered as one of the really brilliant defenders wearing the blue & white jersey.  Teak tough and with a great pair of hands for taking the ball out of the clouds, his heroic efforts on the field of play is still talked about to this day in the club.  He has won championship medals at all levels with Athlone.

DES LYNCH (RIP) : One of Athlone’s greatest footballers and clubman ever.  With his sterling displays at left corner back he won admiration of friend and foe alike over many years.   The holder of numerous championship medals at all levels with the Shannonsiders.  A former Chairman and Secretary of the club, his passing has left a void that will not be easily filled.

BERNIE MCMAHON : Truly one of the greatest Athlone players of the early fifties.  He gave many out-standing performances wearing the No 11 jersey.  A brilliant player; this gentleman of football on and off the field is talked about with admiration and affection by all Gaelic enthusiasts.

PADDY O’LEARY : The Kerry native came to Athlone with all the traditions of the Kingdom County Football running through his veins.  An excellent footballer; with his height and physique he could play in any position on the team with distinction. He excelled in midfield and half-forward line. One of the real gentlemen of football in that era.

PAT MCCORMACK : (RIP) An icon on the football field during the six in a row  adventure. Gave many brilliant performances in defence particularly at left corner back.  His name will always shine like a beacon in the annals of Athlone GAA.   We were all indeed proud to have seen him play.  We say thanks to Pat for the abiding memories.

BRO GERARD : The prince of centre half backs in his day.   He was unbeatable when wearing the number 6 jersey.   A football supremo and a true gentleman.   He always considers the great junior team of 1954 as one of the best footballing sides that he ever played on.

SEAN FOGARTY : The holder of seven senior football championship medals all won on the field of play.  One of the best Athlone forwards ever to play with the Shannonsiders.  A most unassuming individual.   One might often hear him say “a musha I don’t think I should have been on the team at all.”

TERRY REYNOLDS:   He was an excellent custodian of his era.   1954 was special for him as he won minor and junior championship medals with the club.   By keeping a clean sheet in the senior final win in 1960 was crucial to the outcome.

SEAN DEMPSEY : A very pacy and stylish forward; his two brilliant points scored just before half time in the ‘58 final will always be fondly remembered for all time.   He was an excellent footballer who could command a place on any club or county team.

SEAMUS NUGENT :  A prince of midfielders; he was the complete footballer and a joy to behold when in full flight.   His three points scored after half time in the ‘59 final set Athlone on the way.   Compared by friend and foe alike to the Kerry maestro Mick O’Connell, and that is praise indeed.

KIERAN HENSON : He was one of the great right wing backs of the era.   He could also slot into the midfield position if the occasion demanded with distinction.  A very determined player, he gave many excellent displays wearing the blue & white jersey that are still talked about.   His love for the Athlone Club right down to present days knows no bounds.

JIMMY REYNOLDS : His winning point scored with one second remaining on the clock in the 1958 thriller is still talked about till the embers die low at many a household fireside.  A top class forward he gave great service to the Athlone Club over many years.

FRANK COLCLOUGH : He commanded the Irish Cadets at the funeral of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Arlington Cemetery.  With millions in attendance and at least another billion watching the poignant graveside ceremony worldwide, he and his comrades brought great honour to Ireland and he himself to his family, to Clonbonny and to the Athlone GAA Club.  A few years ago he and quite a number of his contempories went back to Arlington fifty years on to visit the graveside and the eternal flame etc.  It was all filmed on TG4 in a brilliant and very nostalgic programme.  One of the best ever players to play for the Shannonsiders.

FR LIAM HICKEY : A very brilliant corner forward he scored many crashing goals and kicked some superb points as well in a distinguished group with Athlone.  Along with the late and great Fr Kieran Ryan they tormented every backline into a state of panic.  Their names will always shine like a beacon in the annals of the Athlone GAA.

HARRY MURTAGH (RIP) : One of the great left wing backs of the era.  He possessed a very cultured left foot and his reading of the breaking ball was next to uncanny.    Always led by example.   His likes on the playing field will not be seen again.

KIERAN HUNT (RIP) : A great goalkeeper of the era; he brought off many brilliant saves in his time.   The day, with ball in hand, that he sidestepped the in rushing Kinnegad legend Sike Dunne Sike went through the back of the net and nearly ended up at Greville Arms Hotel, while the custodian cooly cleared the ball downfield, that escapade is still talked about throughout the length and breadth of Westmeath.

EOGHAN O’BOYLE : A native of one of the islands off the coast of Donegal.  He was a very good footballer and give many sterling displays wearing the blue & white jersey.   Also a great man for songs and concerts; he is remembered with affection in the Athlone GAA Club.

EDDIE MARTIN : Like Terry Reynolds 1954 was special for him for he also won minor and junior championship medals.   He too considers the 1954 junior team the best Athlone team he played on, of course it was the nucleus of the winning senior team.  Now he can’t praise himself - let’s just say that he done more good than harm for the six in a row cause.

On behalf of the club we wish each and every one of the six in a row panel good health and happiness in the future. The Athlone GAA were indeed honoured to have you back in the Club this evening.  We leave with this humble little list of citations for posterity.

SLán agus Beannacht – E. MARTIN