Offaly legend Greg Hughes passes away

May 16, 2014

Offaly captain Frank Higgins is followed by Greg Hughes, Peter Daly and Sean Brereton before the 1962 clash with Kildare in Croke Park
The death has occurred of Offaly football great Greg Hughes.

Aged 75, Hughes was a key figure in the Faithful County's emergence as a football power in the 1960s and was one of the finest full backs of that era. The Cloghan native was part of the Offaly team that won the county's maiden Leinster SFC title in 1960. He went on to win three more Leinster SFC medals and a coveted All-Ireland medal in 1971.

Greg also lined out for St. Rynagh's in their Offaly SFC final loss to St. Patrick's during 1959. He had made his senior debut for Offaly as a corner back in 1958 before making the number three jersey his own the following year.

Hughes' career really took off in 1960 when he helped Offaly to an historic Leinster SFC final victory over Louth. His late brother Pasty was among the substitutes that day. Offaly retained their provincial crown the following year, but went on to lose the All-Ireland final to Down by a point in front of a record crowd of over 90,000.

Greg had to wait until 1969 to add his third Leinster medal following victory over Kildare in the final. The Faithful beat Cavan after a replay in the All-Ireland semi-final before once tasting defeat against Kerry in the final.

In 1971, Greg picked up a fourth Leinster medal and finally got his hands on an All-Ireland medal as a panel member when Galway were defeated in the All-Ireland final.

In addition, Hughes won three Railway Cups with Leinster, one as captain in 1962. After his playing days were over, he managed Offaly U21s to a Leinster title in 1986 and later managed the senior team.

At club level, he guided his beloved St. Rynagh's to an Offaly SFC 'B' success in 1988. Greg also resided in Kells, Co Meath for a number of years and was a vital part of the local and very successful Gaeil Colmcille side of the late 60s.

He was inducted into the Offaly Hall of Fame in 2010.

During the 1960s, early 70s Offaly possessed some of the toughest defenders in the GAA. But Greg Hughes was a footballer first and foremost where skill was the all important factor.

A moment's silence is expected to be observed in memory of the legendary Cloghan man before Offaly's Leinster MFC and SFC games against Westmeath and Longford this weekend.

May he rest in peace.

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