Kerry Footballer Set A Distinctive Record Unlikely To Be Repeated
Miko Doyle, Austin Stacks, Tralee, Co. Kerry. Born 8th April 1911 – Died 29th September 1980
Trawling through the Golden Memories of gaelic football in days goneby one historic story of a Kerry footballer who won four All Ireland senior football medals before he celebrated his 21st birthday is certainly worthy of incorporation in the All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Gallery.
Austin Stacks are a Tralee, Co. Kerry, G.A.A. club who are steeped in gaelic football folklore but so also is one of their All Time greats, the legendary Miko Doyle. Miko played with Kerry for a 10 years span, 1929 to 1939 and set a remarkable record, unknown to the majority of contemporary gaelic games fans. His record is unlikely to be equaled or broken in the current or future climates of inter county football.
Miko Doyles maiden voyage in the green/gold jersey with Kerry was in 1928 as a junior player and the amazing ability he demonstrated came to the attention of the senior selectors and promotion to the senior team came in 1929. Kerry had a powerhouse team from 1929 to 1932 and won 4 All Ireland senior football titles in a row beating Kildare, Monaghan, Kildare again and Mayo respectively in the finals. It was the unavailability of another Kerry player, Din Joe Bailey, that opened the door for Miko in the Munster final when Clare were the opponents.
Four All Ireland senior football medals and still not 21 was a huge talking issue in 1932 all over Ireland. No player had managed such a major feat since the foundation of gaelic football in an organised manner at the 1884 historic founding of the Gaelic Athletic Association at Thurles, Co. Tipperary. The name of Miko Doyle would forever be enshrined in the history vaults of gaelic football.
Kerry had a 5 year wait before Sam Maguire returned to the Kingdom and with Miko Doyle as captain, the men in green/gold reigned supreme against Cavan in the 1937 All Ireland final, winning 4 – 4 to 1 – 7. Miko had won a Kerry senior football medal as captain of Austin Stacks in 1936 and took his rightful place as Kerry captain in 1937.
The 1937 journey to Sam Maguire was an eventful year with Kerry playing an unusual seven matches before claiming their 12th All Ireland title. The year 1937 was also the Golden Jubilee of the All Ireland senior football championships.
The details of the 1937 Kerry/Cavan final in our history books state this final was very robust with players lying flat on their backs many times and at one point it was feared the match would be abandoned as up to seven Cavan players were lying injured. In a grand duel between the legendary Cavan player Jim Smith (also incorporated in our gallery herein) and 26 years old Miko Doyle, Smith was forced out of the final with a nasty facial injury.
The confrontations between Smith and Doyle were so intense that in the aftermath of the final, which Doyle played the full hour, the Kerryman fell ill several hours after the match concluded and was admitted to a Dublin hospital where he remained for a few days. The effects of Doyle’s hospitalisation resulted in the Kerry captain missing the victorious homecoming ceremonies.
The Kerry legend scored 2- 1 against old enemy Cork in the Munster final of 1938 and made his exit from inter county football in 1939 against Tipperary in the Munster championship. He announced his retirement following Kerry’s defeat of Galway in the 1939 All Ireland final but alas the great Kerry footballer was absent from the Kingdom line out after the Munster final.
Playing Career Summary: Major Honours
5 All Ireland Senior Football Medals
3 National Football League Medals
10 Munster Senior Football Medals
5 County Senior Football Medals
4 County Senior Hurling Medals
With a huge reputation as an All Ireland winning captain and the holder of a record 4 senior medals before his 21st birthday, Miko Doyle took off for New York in his early 50’s before finally settling in Dublin in 1976.
The death of Miko Doyle in 1980, at just 69 years old, marked one of the largest ever funerals seen in his native Tralee and thousands of Kerry fans lined the streets as his cortege made its way to his final resting ground at Rath Cemetry.
Gone, almost forgotten but now the Golden Memories of the legendary Miko Doyle will be preserved and promoted around the globe at www.scoreboardmemories.com - The Irish Home Of All Ireland Hall Of Fame Onine Gallery
Derry JF Doody