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Peter Canavan Names His Greatest Half-Forward Line Of The All-Star Era

Peter Canavan Names His Greatest Half-Forward Line Of The All-Star Era

This year is the 50th anniversary of the PwC All-Stars. To mark the milestone, we've convened two expert panels and given them the unenviable task of picking their 15 for 50 - the All-Star team of the All-Stars!

Last week, Anthony Daly, Liam Sheedy, and Anthony Nash chose the greatest All-Star hurling team ever.

The greatest All-Star football team of the last 50 years was chosen by Tyrone great Peter Canavan, Armagh legend Oisín McConville, and Galway All-Ireland winning manager John O'Mahony. The full football team will be unveiled on Friday.

For his half-forward line, Peter Canavan said there was one "automatic" choice: Eight-time Kerry All-Ireland winner Pat Spillane.

peter canavan 15 for 50 football all-star half-forward line
23 July 1989; Pat Spillane of Kerry in action against Anthony Davis of Cork during the Munster Senior Football Championship Final match between Kerry and Cork at Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney, Kerry. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

"For those that don't remember Pat Spillane playing, he was up and down the pitch," said Canavan.

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"He set the mould for the modern wing half-forward in the 1980s. He was tackling, chasing, winning ball, fetching his own ball, and kicking massive points when Kerry most needed them. That's why he's got nine All-Stars. Pat would probably be the first to tell you that he's got nine All-Stars."

The contenders for Canavan's other wing-forward spot included Tyrone teammate Brian Dooher, Kerry great Maurice Fitzgerald, Dublin's Paul Flynn and two-time Footballer of the Year, Trevor Giles of Meath.

Canavan opted for the Meathman.

"Would Meath have won those All-Irelands without him? Absolutely not," said Canavan.

"He brought a cleverness, a thought process to the game, he was able to win his own ball, set up the inside men time and time again with precision passes. He was a score taker, a finisher."

Canavan named Down's Greg Blaney and Dublin's Ciaran Kilkenny as options for the centre-forward spot, but chose Cork great Larry Tompkins.

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"A natural centre-half forward to me was Larry Tompkins," said Canavan.

"He had the ability to do everything, pushed himself through the pain barrier. Would Cork have won those All-Irelands without Larry Tompkins? Categorically, definitely not. He was unmarkable for a few years. His free-taking, scores from play, points in those All-Ireland finals."

See Also: Who Is The All-Star Midfield Duo Of The Last 50 Years?

peter canavan 15 for 50 football all-star half-forward line

PJ Browne
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