Advertisement

Tributes for GAA supporter Frank 'John 3:7' Hogan who spread message of hope from the terraces

The Limerick fan was well known to match-goers throughout the country.

Frank Hogan: 'He went to All-Ireland Finals with no ticket and never failed to get in.'
Frank Hogan: 'He went to All-Ireland Finals with no ticket and never failed to get in.'
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

TRIBUTES HAVE POURED in for Ireland’s most famous GAA supporter, Frank Hogan, who spread the gospel from the terraces, with his big, yellow ‘JOHN 3:7′ sign.

Mr Hogan, a born-again Christian, and who was the subject of a TG4 television documentary, was one of the most recognisable GAA supporters.

Hail, rain, or shine, the Tipperary native and his yellow sign were a familiar target of sports photojournalists and TV directors.

Hogan’s sign was a verse from the gospel of John — “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again’” — was a message of hope and forgiveness, explained his friend, Gerry Nugent.

Some ridiculed him, but most across all counties and sporting codes, held him in high esteem.

“He would have got terrible abuse at the start because people didn’t know what he was, but when people got to know him, they saw he was an incredible person and a man of powerful faith,” said Nugent.

“People called him ‘John’ because of the sign. He was an institution. He went to All-Ireland Finals with no ticket and never failed to get in.”

Mr Hogan and his wife Myrna previously had separated, and following this he “had a divine encounter, when his life was changed completely on reading a verse from the Bible”.

The couple later reunited, and Myrna was caring for him at their home in Castletroy right up to Frank’s passing last Saturday. His popularity among the wider GAA family, transcended all county lines.

“When Derry won the All-Ireland back in the 90s, he went up to Derry for the homecoming celebrations and he slept in his car. He used to have his dinner in my house and many other houses in Thurles. He was an absolute institution,” Nugent said.

“I spoke to the man managing Thurles stadium, David Morgan, and Morgan said she stopped Frank one day and said to him, ‘if you have any problem getting into Semple Stadium, you tell them to ring me’.”

frank-hogan-and-his-john-37-sign-on-display-in-croke-park-after-going-missing-last-week Hogan with the sign on display at Croke Park. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Although his roots were in Borrisokane, he was regarded as a staunch Limerick hurling supporter.

Gavin Cooney
Reports From Qatar

Get Gavin's exclusive writing and analysis from the 2022 Fifa World Cup

Become a Member

After moving to Shannonside with his parents when he was a child, he found a job as a tailor in McGoverns Menswear, William Street, a few yards his family’s restaurant Hogan’s on High Street.

Whenever a sliothar sailed between the posts, or a net was rattled, Hogan’s sign was almost always there staring back through the television camera lens. A heart attack kept him from hauling his sign to Croke Park for his beloved Limerick’s historic All Ireland hurtling final victory in 2018.

The team will now have their 16th man looking on from above, Nugent agreed. Hogan, 81, is also survived by his son Jason and daughter Natasha.

A Christian prayer service is to be held at midday tomorrow at Thompson’s Funeral Home, Limerick. Directly afterwards Mr Hogan will be laid to rest in Mount St Lawrence Extension Cemetery, Limerick.

About the author:

David Raleigh

Read next:

COMMENTS (13)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel