Meath legend and 'the man in the cap'

Wed, Oct 12, 2011, 01:00

GAELIC FOOTBALL DEATH OF PETER McDERMOTT:MEATH LEGEND Peter McDermott, who passed away yesterday at the age of 93, had the distinction of being on two Meath All-Ireland SFC-winning teams as well as refereeing two Sam Maguire Cup deciders.

Famously known as “the man in the cap”, he was the star left-corner forward when the county claimed the title for the first time with a final victory over treble-chasing Cavan in 1949 and was the team captain when hot-favourites Kerry were defeated in 1954.

In between the Navan O’Mahony’s clubman handled the Kerry versus Armagh final in 1953 and also was in charge of the title tie between Galway and Cork in ’56. He is also the only man to referee an All-Ireland final both before and after winning one.

In an intercounty career spanning from 1940 to ’55 he was on six Leinster-winning teams, a county record which was out on its own until being equalled by Martin O’Connell in 1996. McDermott’s 51 championship appearances stood as a Meath best until being eventually surpassed by Colm O’Rourke in 1992.

Remarkably, McDermott also held the position of county secretary when captaining Meath to All-Ireland glory in 1954. Being on two National League-winning teams and picking up two Railway Cups were other playing achievements.

After hanging up his boots, he made his mark as a coach, being in charge of Meath’s All-Ireland-winning team in 1967, having acted as an adviser when Down made the historic breakthrough in 1960.

Meath’s 1967-winning squad made the groundbreaking trip to Australia for a series of games against Aussie Rules teams the following spring and when the first compromise rules games took place in 1984, McDermott was manager of the Irish team.

He was an honorary president of the Meath County Board for a number of years before his passing.