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Denis Coughlan - One Of Cork's Greatest Dual Players
Recognised as one of gaelic games greatest sportsmen and a brilliant athlete, Cork dual player, Denis Coughlan, enjoyed a very successful career that most aspiring young men in the 21st century would dearly love to emulate. Born in 1945, Denis is a great Cork sportsman hugely appreciated by fans who saw him perform at the highest levels for Cork, for many years.
His hurling club was the famous Glen Rovers of Cork and he played football with the sister club, St. Nicholas. Success did not arrive early for Denis and he discovered any kind of medal at under age was not going to rest on his sideboard. His first major inter county honour was a Munster Junior football title in 1964 and he went on to win that All Ireland title also. He played both codes at the top level and came up against many of the legends he so admired as a young boy going to North Monastery School, just a short distance from his Blackpool home on Cork’s Northside.
In football parlance Denis was a majestic midfielder, who played alongside Denis Long, when an all conquering Cork senior football team swept the boards in 1973, when Sam came home for the first time since 1945. He had suffered an All Ireland final defeat in 1967 when Meath beat Cork. His football inter county career spanned from 1964 to 1974.
By 1975 Denis had abandoned inter county football to concentrate on his first passion of hurling and with a 1970 All Ireland senior medal already garnered, the years were rolling by with a lot of mileage on board. That major career decision was handsomely rewarded as he went on to become a key component of Cork’s famous three in a row All Ireland senior hurling champion teams from 1976 to 1978. Denis also became the Texaco Hurler of the Year for 1977 and his four All Stars were other testaments to his hurling profile.
A midfielder for much of his career, he also played regularly in defence to anchor many great Cork teams. When his career was entering the twilight period, he suffered a major illness in 1979 and after a prolonged period of hospitalisation and surgery, the Cork dual player battled hard to make a full recovery.
For a player of such high standing in gaelic folklore, he had many glorious triumphs and one that particularly pleased the Corkman, was the defeat of Tipperay in the1968 Munster senior hurling final. Cork were enduring a nightmare famine against Tipp since 1956 and 1968 was to become a milestone for many famous Cork players of that era.
Glen Rovers were a powerful influence on Denis and he played in an era when the legendary Christy Ring was all around the Blackpool based club and Denis would later line out on the same Glen team as his boyhood idol.
All Ireland Roll Of Honour
Senior Hurling: 1970/76/77/78
Senior Football: 1973
Under 21 Hurling: 1966
Junior Football: 1964
Senior Club Hurling: 19773/77
Munster Roll Of Honour
Senior Football: 1966/ 67/71/73/74
Senior Hurling: 1969/70/74/75/76/77/78/79
Under 21 Hurling: 1966
Senior Club Hurling: 1973; 1977
National League Honours:
Hurling 1980; Football 1981
Railway Cup: Football:1972
Cork Co. Senior Honours:
Hurling: (5) 1964/66/67/69/76
Hurling All Star Awards: (4)
Texaco Hurler of the Year: 1977
Derry JF Doody