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'He Drove To Cork With No Windscreen. That's The Sort Of Boy He Was'

'He Drove To Cork With No Windscreen. That's The Sort Of Boy He Was'
By PJ Browne Updated

On BBC Sport Northern Ireland's GAA Social podcast this week, Graham Geraghty was asked to choose the three toughest defenders he faced during an inter-county football career which lasted nearly 20 years. Number two on the two-time All-Ireland winning Meathman's list was Cork's Noel O'Leary. The defender spent 14 years playing for Cork, winning an All-Ireland minor title in 2000 and a senior one 10 years later.

"Let's put it this way, if you didn't come off without a few bruises on you, you weren't in a game," said Geraghty.

"You'd meet him off the field and he's so quiet. He was tough, the physicality, and he could play ball as well.

"He just gets in the zone. He doesn't even say hello to you."

Geraghty and McConville on Noel O'Leary toughness

Former Armagh footballer Oisin McCoville interjected to call the selection of O'Leary a "great shout" and also to tell his Noel O'Leary story.

"Noel O'Leary, he was working in Dublin," said McConville.


"He was picking two boys up for training. They were on the Naas dual carriageway and a stone came up from a lorry in front, hit the windscreen and the windscreen shattered. He stopped the car on the side of the road, pushed the windscreen out [while] pulled over on the side of the road.

"The two boys were in the car, and he drove to Cork with no windscreen. The two boys were lying down in the back of the car. That's the sort of boy he was.

"He marked me a couple of times. He was a tough bit of stuff."


Geraghty chose Dublin's Paul Curran as the toughest defender he faced with Mayo's Pat Holmes at number three. McConville named Kerryman Seamus Moynihan as the best he faced followed by Derry's Sean Marty Lockhart and Tyrone's Conor Gormley.

Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

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