St Finbarr's and Cork mourn the death of highly decorated dual star Christy Ryan

Talented hurler and footballer won the All-Irelands in both codes and captained Cork to the 1983 Munster title after a famous win over Kerry
St Finbarr's and Cork mourn the death of highly decorated dual star Christy Ryan

Christy Ryan holds the league trophy aloft after he captained the Rebel County to victory over Kerry in 1980, much to the delight of goalkeeper Billy Morgan and teammates.

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.

Cork's Christy Ryan and Frank Broderick of Galway in 1987 Picture: INPHO/Billy Stickland
Cork's Christy Ryan and Frank Broderick of Galway in 1987 Picture: INPHO/Billy Stickland

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.

He was a versatile player, comfortable in leading the defence in the number six jersey or lending his powerful frame in the critical midfield zone or as a target man close to goal in attack.

Among his vast collection of medals, Ryan pocketed three All-Ireland clubs, when they managed to keep clean sheets in all three finals.

Barrs forward Christy Ryan clashes with Glen men Teddy O'Brien and Martin O'Doherty in a packed Páirc for the 1977 county hurling final.
Barrs forward Christy Ryan clashes with Glen men Teddy O'Brien and Martin O'Doherty in a packed Páirc for the 1977 county hurling final.

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.

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