Con Buckley, who passed away recently was one of the best footballers Cork ever produced

Con was one of the greats whose name will be etched in the memories of those privileged to have seen him play.
Con Buckley, who passed away recently was one of the best footballers Cork ever produced

Connie Buckley

CON BUCKLEY, who passed away at Marymount Hospice on Saturday was a polished defender who served Cork Athletic, Evergreen / Cork Celtic and Glasheen with distinction. 

His introduction to soccer was in the colours of one of Ireland’s most famous nursery clubs Glasheen. 

Con Buckley grew up in Friar’s Road, Turner’s Cross, renowned for its great sporting products. 

With Glasheen he became accustomed to trophy successes but also tasted the bitter pang of defeat when in 1953 Johnville beat them in the FAI Minor Cup final. 

However, he had some consolation that season as he helped Glasheen to a great AOH Cup victory. 

He was introduced by Cork Athletic as understudy for their Inter-League full backs Paddy and Dave Noonan. 

After a promising apprenticeship he graduated to claim the number three shirt in 1956-57. 

Connie was calmness personified, strong in the tackle and used the ball cleverly. 

Cork Athletic, however, plunged into a financial crisis and were removed from the League in 1957.

Con then signed and starred for Evergreen, one of the classiest sides in the country, at a time when attendances were regularly exceeding 10,000.

Two championship runners up medals and a few Top Four Trophy mementos is all Con had to show for his Evergreen/ Cork Celtic career. 

His consistency caught the attention of the League of Ireland selectors and in 1959 he played outstandingly well at left-full on the team beaten by the Scottish League. 

Con also played on the Provinces team which shared the honours with Dublin following an eight goal thriller at Dalymount Park. 

Con's retirement from League of Ireland football in1961-62 ended Celtics ever-present (still recalled today) line-up of Brohan (Blount), O’Keeffe, Buckley, Cowhie, Coughlan, McCarthy, O ‘Donovan, Noonan, Leahy, Lynam (O’Brien) and O’Leary. 

Pat O’Mahony replaced Connie who returned to his old club Glasheen where it was all about brotherly endeavour as he was joined by brother Der and the three Moloney siblings Willie, John and Ollie. 

Together, in 1964, they were the mainstays of the side unluckily defeated by Drogheda at Lourdes Stadium in the FAI Cup first round. 

Twelve months later Glasheen were surprisingly beaten by TEK United in the FAI Intermediate Cup final; surprising, as a few months earlier they gave FAI Cup holders Shamrock Rovers the fright of their lives in the first round at Turner’s Cross. 

Rovers who had scrapped for a 1-0 win at the ‘Cross went on to beat Limerick in the final. 

Con was one of the greats whose name will be etched in the memories of those privileged to have seen him play.

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