Tyrone's legendary Frankie Donnelly passes away

March 16, 2007
Frankie Donnelly, rated one of the top forwards in Ulster during his illustrious career and top scorer in the Red Hands back to back Ulster SFC winning sides of 1956 and 1957, has passed away at the age of 73. Frankie's long playing career spanned four decades, from the 'forties to the 'seventies, during which time he became on of the most skillful and accurate forwards in the history of the game. The late Frankie still holds the record for the highest individual scoring feat in an inter-county game - Dr. Lagan Cup game against near-neighbours when he finished the game with a personal tally of 4-11. He made his inter-county debut as a 17 year-old debutant against Down, and made his mark in that game by scoring the winning point. He won a JFC All-Ireland title with Tyrone in 1968. He also played regularly on the Ulster Railway Cup side - 1957, '58, '61, '63 and 1964 - winning two Railway Cup medals in the process. He also represented Ireland in a game against the Combined Universities during his career. On the club scene with his native club Carrickmore he won four SFC titles - 1949, 1961, '66 and '69. He was just 16 years of age when he helped Carrickmore win the 1949 title, and by that stage he had a couple of seasons at senior football under his belt. Indeed, his 24-year playing career started in 1947, lasting until his retirement in 1971 - some record of playing and loyalty to one club. When he finished playing, Frankie turned his hand to team-management and he guided Carrickmore to a Tyrone title in 1977. He was appointed Club President in 2005. Frankie Donnelly was a revered name in Tyrone football down the years, during which he gained legendary status similar to that which accompanied Frank McGuigan and Peter Canavan in later eras.

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