ON the day football was allowed to return with collective training, the local football community was saddened to hear of the passing of former Cork Examiner FC founder, player and manager and Cork Business League treasurer and PRO, Frank Linehan, who passed away on Monday.
Little did he think when he answered the phone at the dispatch department of the former Cork Examiner premises on Academy Street in October 1949 that the call would lead to a fifty-five year involvement in football, first with the Examiner works team and later as a dedicated officer on the management committee of the CBSL itself.
Along with Con O’Carroll, Seamus O’Leary, Tom West, John Crowley and Ned and Tom Looney, he helped to form the club which first entered the Inter-House League in March the following year.
The team narrowly missed out on the league and cup double in 1953/54 before entering the Business League in 1960/61 only to return to the Inter-House the following season.
A return to the BL in 1966 lasted for three happy but trophy-less seasons only to be followed by a stint in the Cork AUL which lasted for ten years before finally resting back at the Business League for a most productive tenure of almost twenty-five years.
The club’s crowning glory was the treble success of 1990/91, thirty years ago, when Frank ran the day-to-day running of the club.
For Cork Examiner, he was manager, delegate, first-aid man, treasurer, secretary, laundry man and water bottle carrier, everything which made up a clubman of extraordinary ilk.
After Examiner withdrew from the league he could be seen along with his good friend and former work colleague Michael John Courtney at many matches and were known as the league’s first unofficial referee assessors.
His steadfast handling of the league’s purse strings as treasurer was well known while his work as PRO heightened the esteem in which the league was held by promoting it mainly through the extensive coverage it received in the weekly round-up on the Echo.
He followed his immaculate hand-written notes with the type writer equivalent before embracing the computer age with the onset of e-mail transmission.
A shy, unassuming individual, he would often offer a rendition at the end-of-season awards function while accompanied on guitar by his good friend and former Examiner colleague, Pat Broderick.
He was a shining example of all what could be achieved in football.
Ar Dheis Dé ar raibh a anam.