The Men of '67: Mattie Kerrigan
13 September 2017
Meath's Mattie Kerrigan
The 50th anniversary of Meath's third All Ireland football final win. Meet the men who made it possible.
At centre half forward, on the forty and wearing the number 11 jersey – Mattie Kerrigan.
A lesson to all young footballers with dreams of lining out for their county. Mattie Kerrigan never played minor for Meath. The Royals did not enter the Leinster under 21 competition during the mid sixties and he was all of 24 years old when he first wore the green and gold at senior competitive level. The occasion, a NFL game against Louth in late 1965.
The motto has to be '' keep trying'' as Mattie went on to become one of the most decorated Meath players of all time.
A real clever attack leader, he led the line superbly. Adept at winning possession, he added a vital ingredient to the Meath attack, one that was missing in 66.
The Meath team versus The Galahs at Melbourne Cricket Ground on the 11th March 1968. Front l-r: Paddy Mulvany, Terry Kearns, Tony Brennan, Sean McCormack, Peter Darby, Mick White, Pat Collier. Back l-r: Rev Fr. P. Tully, Mick Mellett, Peter Black, Mattie Kerrigan, Peter Moore, Jack Quinn, Bertie Cunningham, Ollie Shanley, Pat Reynolds, Peter McDermott
He also had that ability to revert to midfield when Meath were under pressure in that sector, a la that 67 decider when it was his centre that found Terry Kearns lurking on the edge of the square for the all important goal. Just minutes earlier the pair had switched positions.
Mattie went on to inspire Summerhill to their famous four-in-a-row of Meath SFC wins from 1974 to 77. Who will ever forget his cheeky, back heeled goal into the Hospital End in Navan as Seneschalstown were beaten in the replayed final of 77.
Later that year the Hill hammered famed St. Vincents to take Leinster provincial honours.
Mattie continued to represent his county right into the seventies. He was there again on the forty in 70 and was a goal scoring corner forward as a late rally pipped the Dubs in the NFL decider of 1975. Later that year he received a coveted All Star award.
In a sparkling inter county management career MK took charge of the Meath seniors, guided the minors and under 21's to a number of Leinster trophies and had success managing both the Westmeath and Cavan seniors.