Willie John Daly was a Carrigtwohill icon and Cork hurling legend

Willie John Daly was a Carrigtwohill icon and Cork hurling legend
An Ireland hurling selection in 1954, featuring: (back row): John 'Jobber' McGrath, Terry Leahy, Bobby Rackard, Liam Dowling, John Doyle, Pat Stakletum, Paddy Kenny, Connie Murphy and (front row): Tim Flood, Christy Ring, Willie Walsh, Billy O'Neill, Tony O'Shaughnessy, Willie John Daly, Sean Duggan.

A true Leeside legend will be laid to rest on Friday, a hurler who did it all for his club and county. 

An Ireland hurling selection in 1954, featuring: (back row): John 'Jobber' McGrath, Terry Leahy, Bobby Rackard, Liam Dowling, John Doyle, Pat Stakletum, Paddy Kenny, Connie Murphy and (front row): Tim Flood, Christy Ring, Willie Walsh, Billy O'Neill, Tony O'Shaughnessy, Willie John Daly, Sean Duggan.
An Ireland hurling selection in 1954, featuring: (back row): John 'Jobber' McGrath, Terry Leahy, Bobby Rackard, Liam Dowling, John Doyle, Pat Stakletum, Paddy Kenny, Connie Murphy and (front row): Tim Flood, Christy Ring, Willie Walsh, Billy O'Neill, Tony O'Shaughnessy, Willie John Daly, Sean Duggan.

Willie John Daly, the last surviving member of the Cork three-in-a-row team of the 1950s who starred in the attack alongside Christy Ring, passed away this week at the age of 92.

Daly was a county medalist with Carrigtwohill from 1948 to 1950, winning a junior and two intermediate titles, and brought his obvious talent as a top-class scorer to the inter-county stage, particularly from 1952 to 1954 when the Rebel treble was achieved. 

He also landed the Railway Cup in 1952 and 1955, along with two league titles at senior and an All-Ireland junior crown in 1947. 

His Carrigtwohill club-mate Mattie Fuohy was also a key member of the Cork team of the era and the club was always hugely important to the iconic figure, who witnessed Carrig land Premier Intermediate and Senior Championships in recent years.

Carrigtwohill legend Willie John Daly with the county trophy after the club won the PIHC at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Carrigtwohill legend Willie John Daly with the county trophy after the club won the PIHC at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Cork chairman Ger Lane paid tribute to a Rebel great on behalf of the county board.

“He played with Christy Ring and Willie Moore and they were all big men in East Cork hurling. We grew up hearing about them. We never saw them play, but we heard all about them.

“The three-in-a-row team of 1952-’53-’54 was a marvellous team and they helped inspire the teams of the 60s and the 70s,” Lane added.

The Cork team who played Tipperary in the 1948 league final, included in the front row are Willie John Daly (second from left)  and Jack Lynch (sixth from left). 
The Cork team who played Tipperary in the 1948 league final, included in the front row are Willie John Daly (second from left)  and Jack Lynch (sixth from left). 

In a statement, his club referred to him as “Carrigtwohill icon and Cork legend”.

"Willie was a gentleman off the field, a great conversationalist. Willie John Daly is synonymous with Carrigtwohill and Cork hurling and will be remembered as a true giant of the game. He will be sorely missed by his friends, his club and his county. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family at this difficult time.” 

Willie John Daly with the Seán Óg Murphy Cup in 2011 and Carrigtwohill hurlers Brian Lordan, Niall McCarthy and Michael Fitzgerald. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Willie John Daly with the Seán Óg Murphy Cup in 2011 and Carrigtwohill hurlers Brian Lordan, Niall McCarthy and Michael Fitzgerald. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Willie John is survived by his wife Teresa, daughter Ann-Marie and grandchild Lauryn. He will be reposing on Thursday from 5.30pm at Cobh Community Hospital Mortuary with removal at 7pm to St Mary’s Church, Carrigtwohill. Funeral mass on Friday, at 12 noon followed by burial in St Mary’s Cemetery, Carrigtwohill.

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