The late great Tim O'Sullivan to be honoured with a plaque on the Boxing Wall at Bishop Lucey Park

Tim was known throughout the length and breadth of Ireland.  For many years in Cork, Tim was regarded as the human face of boxing.
The late great Tim O'Sullivan to be honoured with a plaque on the Boxing Wall at Bishop Lucey Park

Tim O'Sullivan, centre with brothers Fergal and Michael Carruth.

NEXT month a plaque will be erected on the Boxing Wall in Bishop Lucey Park in honour of the late great Tim O'Sullivan.

Tim passed away at the age of 92 in October 2020. 

Following his death, a huge volume of tributes was left including one by the Taoiseach Michael Martin, who described Tim as an ever-present in the Cork boxing scene and a man who has an incredible knowledge of Cork and Irish boxing history.

Tim was known throughout the length and breadth of Ireland. 

He had contacts and friends in every sport. 

For many years in Cork, Tim was regarded as the human face of boxing.

He worked as a physio in Maylor Street in the city. 

Over the years, Pat Spillane and Paudie O'Shea were amongst the thousands of men and women who visited his clinic.

A boxing colleague of his, John Kid Cronin, was also linked to the Cork senior hurling and football teams. 

GAA stars visited Tim regularly.

He treated such well known iconic players such as Christy Rong, Tommy Kiernan and Carl Davenport.

Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan pictured with President Michael D.Higgins on the occasion of his visit to Aras an Uachtaráin with the WBO International Middleweight Belt. Also included are President Higgins wife, Sabina Higgins, Tim O'Sullivan of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association and Michael O'Brien of the Cork County Boxing Board.
Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan pictured with President Michael D.Higgins on the occasion of his visit to Aras an Uachtaráin with the WBO International Middleweight Belt. Also included are President Higgins wife, Sabina Higgins, Tim O'Sullivan of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association and Michael O'Brien of the Cork County Boxing Board.

Mick O'Dwyer, the famed Kerry footballer, was very impressed with Tim's work. 

In 1975 O'Dwyer, as manager, set out with a very young Kerry team. 

He employed Tim as the physio and the Kingdom won that All-Ireland and went on the become one of the greatest Gaelic football teams of all time.

Twelve years prior to that in 1963, Blackrock had a handy minor hurling team. 

The qualified for the final of the championship where they were meeting a star-studded team representing St Finbarr's.

Few, however, gave then much hope of victory. 

Five days prior to the match Blackrock, known as the Rockies, had discovered that Tim O'Sullivan was administering a new form of electric shock treatment for sportsmen. 

This was designed to tone the leg muscles and create greater energy in sagging limbs.

The Rockies marched their minor team into Tim's clinic and the entire panel availed of the service.

For the rest of the week, the team were walking on air. 

Some even claimed that their teeth were glowing in the dark. 

On the day of the big final, the Rockies found themselves behind by five clear goals at half time.

Tim O'Sullivan was a spectator and was now receiving very strange looks from many quarters.

However, in his inimitable style Tim remained calm. 

In the second half the Rockies were firing on all cylinders and mesmerised the Barrs with goals and points coming from every angle to win the match handsomely.

Where the final whistle blew many heads again turned toward Tim and proclaimed him to be a genius and a man ahead of his time. 

One supporter clapped him on the back saying, "what about the shock treatment now, Tim?" and with a glint in his eye and a wry smile on his face, Tim replied "Well, my boy, it was the Barrs who got the biggest shock of all."

Against all the odds the Rockies had prevailed and Kevin Cummins was presented with the cup. 

Tim O'Sullivan, President of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association, presenting Michael O'Sullivan and Anthony Connolly of Glen BC with a specially designed framed Centenary Certificate to mark the famed clubs 100 year anniversary, the first club in the country to receive such an honour. Picture: Doug Minihane
Tim O'Sullivan, President of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association, presenting Michael O'Sullivan and Anthony Connolly of Glen BC with a specially designed framed Centenary Certificate to mark the famed clubs 100 year anniversary, the first club in the country to receive such an honour. Picture: Doug Minihane

The Barrs team that day included the great Gerald McCarthy who was a County and Munster boxing champion.

Gerald went on the captain the famous U21 and senior All-Ireland double winners in 1966. 

He subsequently set up a sports trophy business. 

Over the years, he has supplied many trophies to Cork boxing, including the three most prestigious perpetual cups, the Victor Aston Cup, the Mick Leahy Cup and the Paddy The Champ Martin Cup.

For Kevin Cummins, the Rockies success that day ensured he was selected to captain the Cork minor team the following year to All-Ireland hurling glory.

In business, Kevin went on to become MD of Cork's premier sports store - Cummins Sports Limited.

Kevin never forgot the role that Tim played prior to that final in 1963 and he was there to say farewell old friend as Tim's funeral procession left the little church in Ballinlough.

It is both sad and ironic that Tim's plaque in Bishop Lucey Park will be unveiled this year as this is the golden jubilee year of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association (CEBA), which Tim and Paddy Martin co-founded in 1972.

Tim was proud of the way the organisation evolved, particularly in the last ten years.

Mick O'Brien, former President of the Cork Boxing Board, and pro with CEBA for the last ten years, said this about Tim.

"Tim was boxing gold on Leeside over those years. 

"He had the honour of being invited to meet the President of Ireland. 

"The Lord Mayor hosted his 90th birthday party in City Hall, attended by the current Taoiseach and over 200 guests. 

"He had the distinction of being the first Cork man to receive the IABA Hall of Fame award.

"A huge gathering will assemble to pay tribute to a Leeside boxing legend when the plaque is unveiled in the near future."

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