Cork hurling and football legend Teddy McCarthy dies aged 57

He’s the only player to win All-Ireland titles in hurling and football in the same year

The sudden death has taken place of Teddy McCarthy in Cork at the age of 57. He is the only player to have won All-Ireland medals in both football and hurling in the same year, which he achieved in Cork’s double year of 1990.

He scored three points from centrefield in the defeat of Galway in the hurling final, a thrilling match won by Cork on the scoreline 5-15 to 2-21. Two weeks later, he was at wing forward when the county edged out Meath by 0-11 to 0-9 to record the first All-Ireland double in 90 years and on the centenary of when Cork first achieved the feat.

A boundlessly athletic player in both codes, playing in the middle third, he won two All-Ireland medals both in football, 1989 and ‘90, and in hurling, 1986 and ‘90.

He was the current vice-chair of the Sarsfields, his hurling club – he played football with Glanmire.


Prominent from an early age, he won three All-Ireland under-21 football medals with Cork between 1984 and ‘86. In the county’s breakthrough year in 1989 when under Billy Morgan, a first All-Ireland in 16 years was captured, Teddy McCarthy was Footballer of the Year.

He was brought unexpectedly into Cork’s hurling team for the 1986 All-Ireland final against Galway – for his championship debut – and won his first Celtic cross.

Teddy McCarthy also won national league medals in both football, 1989 with a win over Dublin, and hurling after a three-match epic against Wexford in 1993.

After the end of the his playing career, he managed Laois hurlers for a brief spell, was a selector with Cork hurlers and had a newspaper column in the Irish Daily Mail.

Nicky English, hurling analyst for The Irish Times, paid tribute to an opponent that he had played many times.

“One of the great players. Who is ever going to emulate that achievement? Especially now that dual players are so rare. I always admired his play and it was testament to him that in 1987 when Tipperary won a first Munster title in 16 years, Teddy was Man of the Match – that’s how good he was, to be outstanding in a match when Cork ended up well beaten.

“He was an exceptional player with phenomenal aerial ability. One of my favourite hurling pictures is of him in the 1993 league final, soaring over the Wexford midfield.

“He was a key player for the footballers and hurlers – a primary ball winner in both codes. His athleticism marked him out but he was a fine hurler, a really good hurler plus he was in a different league jumping off the ground.

“I spotted him when I was teaching, at a colleges match in Emly, playing for North Mon. You could tell his quality even then.

“It’s really sad news.”

His club Sarsfields posted on social media

“Teddy was our most famous of players and the only player to win All-Ireland inter-county hurling and football medals in the same season. Teddy was a true ambassador for our club and the GAA wider family.

“His passing has left a huge void for all our members both young and old and he will be hugely missed by all. The Club wishes to extend our deepest condolences to his wife Oonagh, sons Cian and Niall and daughter Sinead and other family members.”

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times