THE death has taken place of Christy Ryan, the former Cork football captain and St Finbarr’s club stalwart. He was 63.
Ryan, who was also a Cork hurler, won a national football league medal in 1980, manning the defence from centre-back.
He was part of two successful Cork teams in Munster, leading the side on that famous day when Tadhg Murphy’s late goal rocked Kerry in the 1983 final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Four years later Ryan bagged his second Munster senior medal when Cork overcame their great rivals by 0-13 to 1-5 in the decider in Killarney.
The St Finbarr’s great was full-forward in 1987 when Cork reached the All-Ireland final to lose to Meath.
Ryan’s exploits with the Barrs came during their golden era, winners of the All-Ireland club titles in both football and hurling.
The foundations of those brilliant teams were laid by the all-conquering minor sides of 1976, when the Barrs completed the league and championship double in both codes with Ryan captaining the footballers.
Among his vast collection of medals, Ryan pocketed three All-Ireland clubs, when they managed to keep clean sheets in all three finals.
The first of those came in the 1979-80 campaign, which yielded an historic title following the 3-9 to 0-8 win over Connacht champions St Grellan’s from Galway.
The Barrs retained their crown the following season, on this occasion denying Walterstown from Meath by 1-8 to 0-6 in the decider.
And the Togher club were champions again in 1986-87 after defeating Clann na Gael from Roscommon by 0-10 to 0-7 in the final.