Camogie legend and Echo columnist Linda Mellerick recognised for her epic contribution to the sport

Mary Newman pays tribute to one of the greatest players to ever pull on the Cork geansaí
Camogie legend and Echo columnist Linda Mellerick recognised for her epic contribution to the sport

Hall of Fame recipient Linda Mellerick at the Gaelic Writers Association Awards, supported by EirGrid. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

The Gaelic Writers awards saw four new inductees into the GWA Hall of Fame, amongst them our own camogie correspondent Linda Mellerick. 

The GWA scheme, in association with EirGrid, recognise the extraordinary contribution of players to Gaelic games and former stars in all four codes.

Linda was the winner of six All-Ireland medals with Cork and was one of the most influential players in the history of camogie. She was one of only four Cork players selected on the camogie team of the century in 2004 where she was joined by her club mates Sandie Fitzgibbon and fellow Corkonions Marie Costine and Pat Moloney.

Linda Mellerick of Cork during the 2000 All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship final. Picture: Pat Murphy/Sportsfile
Linda Mellerick of Cork during the 2000 All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship final. Picture: Pat Murphy/Sportsfile

In what was a fantastic club career she won eight Cork County Senior Championships medals, three All-Ireland Club Championship medals as well as Munster club and All-Ireland Sevens with Glen Rovers, who she joined in 1986 having played underage with Brian Dillon’s. She captained the Glen to the 1996 county against Imokilly to record a seven-in-a-row, matching the club's record from 1962-'68. 

Her inter-county career spanned 21 years and she captained Cork to All-Ireland successes in 1993 and 1997 and also won 10 leagues. She also won minor and junior All-Irelands and four Gael Linn Interprovincial titles. 

Linda was actually born in Tipperary but moved to Cork at a very young age where she attended St Patrick’s school at Gardiner’s Hill. It was there that she decided to try out camogie.

UNIQUE

A superb athlete she had a unique style and covered every blade of grass. She stood out in the days when helmets with her boundless energy. Her skill matched that work-rate, always available to help teammates in defence or attack. 

Linda Mellerick putting it on the line for Cork to block Therese Brophy, Tipperary, at Croke Park. Picture: Aoife Rice/SPORTSFILE
Linda Mellerick putting it on the line for Cork to block Therese Brophy, Tipperary, at Croke Park. Picture: Aoife Rice/SPORTSFILE

Her trademark solo runs were legendary while her spirit and leadership qualities made her a special player. 

It was nothing to Linda to finish shift work and come straight to training with Cork and Glen Rovers ready to give 100%. She frequently urged on her teammates to be better and became the only player to captain Cork to win All-Ireland senior titles on two occasions in 1993 and 1997. 

She was also Player of the Year in 1993 and 1998.

Retirement was on the horizon in 1997 but she returned for five more years and eventually hung up her boots in 2002 after winning her sixth All-Ireland medal, two years before the introduction of the Camogie All-Stars scheme.

In recent years Linda has carved out a new role off the playing field, reporting on games for The Echo and contributing a hugely popular and honest weekly column. 

I am honoured to have her as a colleague at club and media level but most of all as a friend. Well done Linda, it was hugely deserved.

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