Cork people show huge support for Beara goalkeeper Padraig Crowley

Past and present members of the goalkeeping club in a number of sports add their names to the list
Cork people show huge support for Beara goalkeeper Padraig Crowley

The Beara squad who won the Cork Senior Football Championship in 1997, following a replay. Picture: George Hatchell

THE goalkeepers’ club is rowing in behind to support one of their own, Padraig Crowley, who was between the posts for Beara in their 1997 county title winning season, overcoming Castlehaven after a replay.

And it’s just not confined to Gaelic football either because hurling and soccer are also represented in the outpouring of goodwill towards Crowley and his family.

Beara GAA, as well as those involved in that never-to-be-forgotten 1-10 to 1-7 victory over the Haven, have launched a fund-raising drive to support the future educational needs of James (8) and Molly (4), children of Padraig and Gemma.

Cork’s 1973 All-Ireland winning keeper and captain, Billy Morgan, has the led way for those members of that exclusive club, the players who wear different jerseys to the rest of their teams.

Tyrone’s Niall Morgan as well as hurling winner Davey Fitzgerald from Clare are among those who’ve also reached to their fellow goalkeeper.

And a whole string of players who know what it’s like to sample the unique experience of winning county titles and lifting the famous Andy Scannell Cup are lending their support.

The list varies from Padraig’s fellow west Corkmen, Des McAuley (Bantry Blues) and Pat Prendergast (Carbery), to Nemo duo, Briain Morgan and current Cork custodian, Micheal Aodh Martin, as well as 2010 All-Ireland winner Alan Quirke (UCC).

And the spirit of togetherness has extended to other codes, too, like Caoimhin Kelleher, the former Ringmahon Rangers player now with Liverpool and part of the Republic of Ireland squad, too.

And goodwill messages have come from the other side of the world, as well, in the form of Doug Howlettt, the former All Blacks wing, who made such a contribution during his time with Munster, both as a player and administrator.

Sporting stars past and present have been sending messages of support to Padraig and his family. These messages are being posted to the Beara GAA social media channels to help promote the upcoming fundraisers and they, as well as many more, can be viewed on the Beara GAA social media channels.

There has been a huge response to the Golf Classic to be staged at Berehaven GC in a fortnight’s time, September 15-17, inclusive.

It’s a three-person team event costing just €60 per team and bookings can be made by contacting Joss Crowley at 086 8644111.

And those businesses, clubs, organisations or societies who are unable to send teams, sponsorship of tee boxes and greens, costing only €50, can be arranged through Barry Murphy at 087 2342703.

A raffle will be held on the October bank holiday weekend with a wide variety of prizes available.

Tickets cost €10 and are available online at www.bearagaa.ie and currently on sale from members of the Beara ’97 team and management. Tickets are also on sale in various businesses in Beara.

It was the last time Beara were crowned kings of Cork football in a memorable campaign, which culminated in those two gripping encounters with their west Cork rivals.

The championship, which saw Nemo eliminated by Bantry Blues in round 1, began for Beara with a one-point win over Clyda Rovers in round 2, the divisional side surviving by 0-13 to 1-9, having received a bye in round 1, before facing city opposition in Na Piarsaigh at the quarter-final stage.

Beara won convincingly enough by 2-10 to 1-7 and advanced to the semi-finals, where another divisional side, Duhallow, awaited.

It was a goal-less affair, the west Cork representatives prevailing by 0-15 to 0-7 and adding to the growing levels of excitement and anticipation.

A feature of that season’s championship was the strength of the divisional sides with Imokilly also reaching the last four, making the Haven the lone club survivors, though, they overpowered the east Cork team to reach the final.

Beara and the Haven couldn’t be separated after the first game and it was Seamus Spencer’s goal in the replay which settled the outcome.

Ciaran O’Sullivan, one of the great sons of Beara, emerged as the leading scorer in that season’s championship, starting with 0-9 against Clyda, en route to accumulating 1-24 to pip current Cork football manager John Cleary, who finished with 0-25.

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