Louth All-Ireland winner Alfie Monk passes away

April 01, 2020

Louth All Ireland SFC winners 1957. Front l-r: Stephen White, Frank Lynch, Kevin Beahan, Seamie O'Donnell, Dermot O'Brien, Peadar Smith, Patsy Coleman, Jim McDonnell, Sean Cunningham, Jim Roe, Jim Meehan. Back l-r: Jim McArdle, Dan O'Neill, Jackie Reynolds, Jim Judge, Tom Conlon, Ollie Reilly, Alf Monk, Barney McCoy, Mickey Flood, Sean Og Flood, Aidan McGuinness, Jim Quigley.

by Noel Coogan

Alfie Monk from Drogheda, who passed away in Dundalk Hospital on March 30, held the distinction of winning All-Ireland football medals with Meath and Louth in the fifties.

After being on the St Patrick's intermediate championship winning team in 1951, with Ballinlough being defeated by 0-7 to 0-5 in the final, the stylish forward made his mark with the Meath junior team the following year.

After figuring in attack in the Leinster campaign, including the 2-6 to 0-1 provincial final win over Wicklow in  Newbridge, Monk was at right full-forward in the two All-Ireland 'home' semi-finals against Donegal. The number 13 was among the winners' goal scorers in the 4-6 to 1-4 replay win at Pairc Tailtean in after a draw in  Bundoran.

However, Alfie lost his place for the Breffni Park win over Leitrim and the title-winning victory over London at Pairc Tailteann with St Patrick's clubmate Paddy Whelan having the honour of the captaincy.

Alfie Monk transferred to Naomh Mhuire for the 1953 season and helped the Drogheda club make history that year. In their first year in senior ranks, Naomh Mhuire went all the way to gain their one and only Louth SFC title.

A surprise win over St Mary's of Ardee put them into an all-Drogheda final against Oliver Plunketts. Before an attendance of 5,500 at the Drogheda Athletic Grounds, later to become the Gaelic Grounds, Naomh Mhuire romped to an emphatic 4-10 to 0-8 win with Alfie Monk outstanding at full-forward.

In 1957 he was part of Louth's memorable All-Ireland SFC triumph. After suffering an injury in the Leinster final against Dublin, Frank Lynch took his place at left half-forward and retained it for the subsequent wins over Tyrone and Cork.

Alfie was in the number 13 berth when Dublin dethroned the Wee County in the 1958 Leinster final at Pairc Tailteann with the side captained by Kevin Heffernan going on to claim the All-Ireland title with a final victory over Derry.

Alfie Monk is survived by wife Gladys, sons Rodney and Gary, daughter Jackie and other relatives, to whom sympathy is extended.

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