Antrim’s 1989 All-Ireland final manager Jim Nelson has passed away

GAA stalwart also led Loughgiel to a senior club national title

 

In 1989 Antrim competed in their first All-Ireland final in almost half a decade, at the time they were in the midst of a period in which they would compete in Division one of of the National Hurling League for eight years, glorious years indeed. Their manager at the time, Antrim GAA stalwart Jim Nelson, has sadly passed away.

The St Paul’s GAC Belfast club man famously led his native county to what was then, and still is today, only their second ever All-Ireland final appearance. Despite trailing by just a point at the interval his team came up against a Nicky English inspired Tipperary team, with English setting a scoring record for a single player in the modern era with a tally of 2-12 in that final.

All-Ireland glory did follow for Nelson though when he led Antrim club Loughgiel to the senior club title in 2011, defeating Offaly champions Coolderry in the final. Only a second ever club hurling triumph for an Ulster county.

In 2009 he received an award from the Ulster Council in recognition of his contribution to hurling, and three years later he would step in to take over the Antrim senior hurlers once more. 25 years on from his first stint at the helm he returned after Jerry Wallace had vacated the position.

Nelson’s home club announced on Monday that “it is with great sadness to inform all members and friends that the great Jim Nelson passed away overnight. May he rest in peace.”

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

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