Captain of 1965 champs backing Dublin’s minors
LIAM MARTIN was the last man to captain Dublin to All-Ireland minor hurling glory in 1965. They beat Limerick in the final.
Not long after, Liam lost his medal. “It happened somewhere between the junction of Talbot Street and O’Connell Street on the way up to the old Nelson’s Pillar,” he recalls.
“It just went missing from the bag. I’m not saying it was robbed, but I’m not exactly sure. Maybe somebody found it and they still have it in the back of a drawer or somewhere. The inscription is on it.”
One thing Liam has no problem losing is “the monkey off my back. It is a real pain at this stage.
“I am tired of being introduced as the last man to captain a winning All-Ireland Dublin team. I am always introduced as that and never as Liam Martin!”
Dublin won the final by 4-10 to 2-7. “That scoreline looks comprehensive, but both teams were still going strong till the end. And in the tension of an All-Ireland final, you never win till the final whistle.”
Limerick were the favourites. “They had some great players and they were very successful in all the college competitions.
“At the start of the year, I felt Tipperary would get to the final. They were the team I feared the most. I don’t know what happened to them.
“That year we played a lot of challenge games. That was a big thing for that Dublin side. We went all over the country. The only team that got a result against us was Tipp, and that was a draw.”
On the day of the All-Ireland final, the squad assembled at the Dublin County Board. “Limerick were well fancied, but that was on paper. We thought differently.
“Our management instilled so much confidence into us and that played a big part in the success.
“They gave us such belief. We ran out feeling like champions. Michael Cody was the manager. He was a Christian Brother. Jimmy Boggan was also involved.
“We had a wide spread of clubs. And we didn’t all play for Dublin in our club positions. That was the beauty of that management team. They made us feel we were good enough to play anywhere.”
Liam’s colleagues included four players from his own club, St Columba’s — now Crumlin. They were Fergie McDonald, Thomas Grealish, Pat Naughton and Pat Cassells.
“Thomas was the vice-captain and he was being lined up in case I wouldn’t be able to make the speech in Croke Park!”
Liam wasn’t too happy with the words he heard following Dublin’s dramatic semi-final win over Clare last month. “I was listening to Ger Loughnane and the other pundits and reading the papers, and it was all about the fact that Clare threw it away.
“Dublin got very little credit for winning that match, but Dublin came back from the dead to do it.
“They were so determined in the last 15 minutes of that game.
“If they produce that kind of performance for the hour against Tipp, I give them every chance. Shay (Boland) and his management team are doing a fine job and I think last year’s experience will benefit them.”
For his own part, Liam just wants two things — the return of his precious medal and a Dublin win.
“People might then start introducing me as Liam Martin!”
p If anybody has any information about Liam’s long lost All-Ireland minor hurling winning medal of 1965, he’d appreciate a ring on 087-6333316.
– Niall Scully – Evening Herald