Jimmy Murray dies, aged 90

 

GAA President Nickey Brennan has led the tributes to Jimmy Murray, who captained Roscommon to their only two All-Ireland senior football titles, and whose death occurred yesterday.

Murray, who was in his 90th year, played at centre half forward on the Roscommon team that won the two-in-a-row in 1943 and 1944, and was one of only six men in the history of the GAA to lift the Sam Maguire Cup on two occasions.

Brennan said Murray was "not just one of the greatest Gaelic football players of all time, he was also amongst the greatest gentlemen in sport, respected and revered where people discussed man versus man in the playing arena. Men like Paddy Bawn Brosnan spoke of the small, skilful and inspiring captain with respect and admiration, a man who always weaved athletic magic when his county needed it most."

He added that Murray's passing "cast a cloud over the GAA nationally, but his memory will live on and those who were fortunate enough to have seen him play, or to have known him, are left with an indelible impression of greatness of deed and kindness of spirit."

Roscommon GAA chairman Michael McGuire said "all Roscommon people are saddened by Jimmy's death".

He added: "Jimmy was our most famous son ever since he led Roscommon to the ultimate glory in 1943 and 1944. He was an iconic figure in the GAA here in Roscommon, and he embodied all that was good about Roscommon football and the GAA in general.

"We were all very proud of him and every Roscommon team since, up to the present day, has tried to emulate what Jimmy and his team-mates achieved. He was an inspirational man. Our first concern is for his family, who have suffered the greatest loss of all."

Murray lived in Knockroghery, Co Roscommon, where he ran a popular public house, and which became a famous stopping-off point for GAA fans. Just last October, the victorious Roscommon minor football teammade a special stop to visit him.

"We had a very touching moment there with Jimmy," said McGuire.

Huge crowds are expected in his native Knockroghery over the coming days for the funeral ceremonies. Murray is survived by sons John, Michael and Jimmy, daughters Susan and Mary, grandchildren, and a large extended family.