- Jack Mahon
Infobox GAA player
sport = Gaelic football
name = Jack Mahon
county = Galway
province = Connacht
clposition = Centre-Back
clubs = Dunmore McHales
clyears = 1947-1962
clcounty = 3
counties = Galway
icposition = Centre-Back
icyears = 1951-1961
icprovince = 6
icallireland = 1
A native of Dunmore, where his father was a National School teacher, Jack Mahon had a distinguished career as a player, at the highest level.
He first made a mark as a young player, winning a County Minor title with
Dunmore McHalesin 1949 and a Connacht Colleges championship with St. Jarlath's College, Tuam, in 1950. It was at a time when there was no All-Ireland Colleges championship played, so he did not get the opportunity to follow up on the Tuam school’s Hogan Cup triumph of 1947, inspired by his close friend Sean Purcell.
Jack won the first of three County Senior championships in 1953, with a
Dunmore McHalesteam captained by his 19-year-old brother Brian, who has since lived in Tuam. Jack’s other two Galway S.F.C. medal were won in 1961 (ending the Tuam’s Stars’ seven in-a-row) and 1963.
It was a dream come true for Jack when he was selected on the Galway senior football team in 1951. He played on until 1961, winning an All-Ireland medal in 1956, a National League medal in 1957, as captain, and six Connacht championships including five in a row from 1956 to 1960 - he was one of four players who lined out in all five finals; the others were Sean Purcell,
Mattie McDonaghand Joe Young.
He won Railway Cup medals with Connacht in 1957 and ’58 and also in ’58 he played at centre half-back on the Combined Universities team which defeated the Rest of Ireland. His team-mates included Sean Purcell and they were in opposition to some of their best friends,
Frank Stockwell, Tom "Pook" Dillon, Mick Greally, John Nallen and Packy McGarty.
Following Mahon's retirement from senior fotball in 1961, Jack went into Football administration, serving as Galway Football Board chairman in the 1980s, as P.R.O. since, and last year he was given an honourary position: President of the County GAA Board. He earned fame as a writer and sports historian, having written a total of 19 books about Gaelic football and sport in general. His "History of Gaelic Football" is considered to be one of the most comprehensive accounts of the story of the game, while his most recent book, called "Memories", was launched at the beginning of the month.
Jack Mahon died on
October 23, 2005after a long illness. The death Jack Mahon followed the very sad passing of his 1956 All-Ireland team-mates Sean Purcell and Mattie McDonagh - all within seven months. Galway Football Board Chairman Pat Egan said that if there was one quality that ’said it all’ about Jack Mahon it was his spirit. "Even in this last game Jack was involved in - and one he wasn’t going to win - he never gave up and wrote his last book during that period"
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