Offaly mourn All-Ireland midfielder Ryan

March 06, 2012

The Offaly team that defeated Roscommon in the 1961 All Ireland semi final. Front l-r: Sean Brereton, Charlie Wrenn, Harry Donnelly, Willie Nolan, John Egan, Mick Brady, Tommy Greene. Back l-r: Greg Hughes, Peter Daly, Paddy McCormack, Mick Casey, Phil O'Reilly, Donie Hanlon, Sean Ryan, Tommy Cullen.
Offaly GAA is in mourning following the passing of county legend Sean Ryan.

Sean lined out at midfield on the Offaly team that went under to Down in the 1961 All-Ireland senior football final played in front of a record crowd at Croke Park.

In his youth, he excelled at St Mel's College, where he won two Leinster Colleges medals, earning a call-up for the Longford minors in 1957.

He subsequently featured with St Monica's in London, where he was employed with Aer Lingus.

Sean Ryan, the man fom Doon in west Offaly joined the county panel upon his return and in the 1960 Leinster semi-final it was reported that "Sean Ryan completely covered 'Snitchy' Ferguson".

He lined out at midfield in the 1961 Leinster decider against Dublin in Portlaoise and partnered by the experienced Sean Brereton from Bracknagh,outshone no less a duo than Des Foley and Mickey Whelan.

In the All-Ireland semi-final, the Seans likewise bossed the midfield sector against Roscommon, a supremacy which played a major part in Offaly's victory.

Despite narrowly and unluckily losing the All-Ireland final to the Mournemen, Sean Ryan,who also starred as a corner back for the Faithful was one of the key players in the 1961 Grounds Final victory over Down a month later.

Played in front of 30,000 people in Croke Park, Offaly gained a measure of revenge for their All-Ireland defeat to the Ulster men.

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