Cork soccer mourns the loss of popular players Dennehy and McGrath

Cork soccer mourns the loss of popular players Dennehy and McGrath
The Cork Celtic team before a game in 1969, with Liam Dennehy second from left in the front row.

CORK soccer mourned the loss of two very popular former players this weekend.

Liam Dennehy (Cork Celtic, Hibs and Limerick) and Seanie ‘Wadsy’ McGrath (Cork Hibs and Crosshaven) have both died.

Liam, a member of the famous Dennehy football family from Cork’s north-side, began his career with his father’s Wolf Tones before progressing to the League of Ireland and was a manager’s dream being the proverbial utility player.

He had the distinction of playing with three League of Ireland teams – Cork Celtic, Limerick and Cork Hibs.

Liam Dennehy with Cork Celtic in 1969.
Liam Dennehy with Cork Celtic in 1969.

Amazingly, between 1968-1974 he wore every jersey from one to 12 while playing in the professional game. He signed for Limerick in 1967-68 and was ever-present in the pre-Christmas period after which, unfortunately, an injury resulted in him missing the vital end of season run-in.

Liam transferred to Cork Celtic in 1968 and, playing full back, scored in the semi-final of the FAI Cup in 1969 but, surprisingly, was omitted from the cup final 11 defeated by Shams after a replay.

He moved on again a year later, signing for Cork Hibs, linking up with cousin Miah on the star-studded Bacuzzi team which won the League Championship.

Seanie, popularly known as Wadsy, was a local legend around Crosshaven where he was synonymous, not alone with the soccer team, but the oval ball side as well.

He began his soccer career in the colours of Tower Rovers with whom he won every trophy in the province including the Munster Minor Cup on two occasions. After returning from a trial with Birmingham City he signed for Cork Hibs and made his debut against Limerick in August 1963. Plagued by hamstring injuries he transferred home to Crosshaven at the end of the season and became the rock on which most opponents perished.

Sean McGrath in his Crosshaven days.
Sean McGrath in his Crosshaven days.

He had the respect of his peers, with most of the ‘hard men’ describing him as one of the most difficult opponents they ever had to face especially on the notorious sloping pitch on Church Bay Road.

May they both rest in peace.

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