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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 3 March 2021

'We are very happy and very proud of my Dad' - Memorial unveiled for Kerry football great

Egan won six All-Irelands during the 1970s and 1980s alongside five All-Stars Awards.

ON SATURDAY EVENING John Egan, one of Gaelic football’s greatest ever players, was recognised for his outstanding achievements which included six All-Ireland titles with Kerry during a playing career which spanned almost a decade.

Egan also won five All-Star awards in 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980 and 1982 on top of 11 Munster titles and four National Football Leagues.

A life sized statue of Egan was unveiled in his honour in his native Sneem by a quintet of GAA icons including Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, his former Kerry manager Mick O’Dwyer, Niall Cahalane and Jimmy Deenihan.

The memorial was sculpted by Valentia artist Alan Hall and is positioned in South Square facing Sneem Sportsfield.

His son John Egan Junior, who is a footballer at Championship club Brentford, paid tribute to his father following the statue’s unveiling in Snreem on Saturday evening.

“It’s a huge honour. We are very happy and very proud of my dad. To be honoured with a statue in your home town is very special. You see the turnout here in Sneem and everyone is so happy to be here for my dad. We are very proud and very honoured to be here,” Egan told Radio Kerry.

Mick Holden and John Egan 23/9/1984 Mick Holden and John Egan during the 1984 All-Ireland Championship. Source: INPHO

“I never watched him play live but whenever I went training with him one on one, he would still be swinging them over from all angles, even as he got older and wasn’t playing anymore. I knew how class he was but it was only as I got older, around 15 or 16 that I really started to take in what he had achieved.

“When you are young he is just your dad. But it was probably when I was 15 or 16 and trying to kick on in my own career that I realised how good he really was.

“It’s as you get older you realise how special he was to the people of Kerry and to the people of Sneem. It’s a really special feeling but first and foremost he was my dad and I was lucky to have him as my dad.”

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About the author:

Aaron Gallagher

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