Cake, Strimmer and Jelly; a football team of great nicknames
11 May 2017
Martin Gavigan ©INPHO
Down through the decades, the GAA has given rise to some superb nicknames – here’s a fun football team made up of particularly memorable ones.
Quite how you could beat a midfield pairing of The Boy Wonder and The Flying Doctor is beyond us!
1. The goalkeeper’s jersey goes to a Roscommon man called ‘Cake’. On his passport it says Shane Curran.
2. Although better known as a forward, Monaghan’s Eugene ‘Nudie’ Hughes started out as a corner back and was good enough to earn an All Star there.
3. Paddy ‘Hands’ O’Brien from Meath was full back on the Team of the Century. The legendary Skryne clubman won All-Irelands with the Royals in 1949 and 1954.
4. Born in Canada, Ryan ‘Ricey’ McMenamin was one of the best defenders of the modern era, winning All-Irelands with Tyrone in 2003, 2005 and 2008.
5. Johnny ‘Dog’ McGurk kicked an unforgettable winning point against Dublin in the 1993 All-Ireland semi-final and went on to collect the Sam Maguire Cup with Derry that September.
6. A year earlier, ‘Rambo’ was a box office hit on Donegal’s breakthrough All-Ireland winning team. Off the field of play, some people called him Martin Gavigan.
7. He never won an All-Ireland medal but Monaghan’s Dermot ‘Strimmer’ McArdle had one of the best nicknames in gaelic football so he’s an automatic choice.
8. ‘The Boy Wonder’ was the delightful sobriquet bestowed upon Laois legend Tommy Murphy, who helped the O’Moore County to three Leinster SFCs and was selected at midfield alongside Mick O’Connell on the Team of the Millennium.
9. From Swinford, ‘The Flying Doctor’ won All-Irelands with Mayo in 1950 and ’51. His alias was Padraig Carney.
10. In 1995, Ciaran McBride represented Tyrone in the All-Ireland final. Peter Canavan got eleven of the Red Hands’ twelve points against Dublin but it was ‘Dinky’ who had the coolest nickname at Croke Park that day.
11. ‘Gooch’. Nicknamed Colm Cooper, Kerry’s Gooch was quite simply one of the best footballers of all time. He won five All-Irelands and ten Munsters with the Kingdom during the course of an incredible intercountry career.
12. ‘The Bear’ can play anywhere but we’ll select him at wing forward. The Westmeath dual ace is known to his family by the moniker of Kieran Martin.
13. ‘Jelly’ always gives defenders the wobbles. Cavan’s Seanie Johnston gets the nod at top of the right.
14. ‘Bomber’ was undoubtedly one of the all-time greats of the GAA. What a nickname! And Eoin Liston could play a bit of football, too, when he wanted to…
15. ‘The Man With the Cap’ is just too cool to be omitted. The fact that Peter McDermott also collected a couple of All-Irelands with Meath is an added bonus. In between his Sam Maguire successes in 1949 and '54 (as captain), he refereed the 1953 final between Kerry and Armagh, as well as the '56 decider between Galway and Cork.