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Tipperary's Teak Tough Hurler Won 8 All Ireland Senior Hurling Medals On
The Field Of Play
John Doyle of Holycross, Co. Tipperary, born 1930, is renowned as probably the greatest and toughest corner back in the history of hurling. In a glittering inter - county career, that spanned three decades, the Tipp legend won eight All Ireland Senior Hurling medals, to share a unique record with Cork’s Christy Ring and the mighty midfield dynamo from Kilkenny, Frank Cummins.
When speaking about Ring’s eight medals, the modest Doyle stated there was a difference in Ring’s record and his own. He stated, that Ring won eight All Ireland’s for Cork, but Tipp won eight All Irelands for himself. Not quite true, but gaels understood his great modesty.
Wherever hurling is spoken, the name of John Doyle, is never omitted, when recalling the numerous giants of the ancient game of hurling. He emerged as a future star when he rose to prominence with his club, Holycross - Ballycahill, and made his minor debut with Tipperary, at the age of sixteen in 1946. Tipp lost to Dublin in that minor final, with John playing at right corner back. In 1947 he was rewarded with his first All Ireland medal, when the Premier county beat Galway, in the All Ireland Minor Hurling final, by eight goals.
Tipp’s senior selectors then made a historic decision in 1949, when bravely, but wisely choosing nineteen year old John for his baptism of senior championship hurling. John Doyle and Christy Ring won eight All Ireland Senior Hurling medals with the distinction of being on the starting fifteen in each final. He also won a remarkable eleven National Hurling League medals from 1949 to 1965. Inter county retirement, at thirty seven, terminated a glorious hurling career for the Holycross - Ballycahill hurler.
Ten appearances in Senior and two Minor All Ireland Hurling finals, is testament to the greatness of one of Tipperary’s greatest hurlers. His memorable duels with Christy Ring in Munster battles in the 50's decade, are always a subject of immense discussion, whilst his powerful long clearances from the heart of his own defence broke the spirit of many fine teams.
John Doyle was never substituted in his glorious career of 19 years and in partnership with colleagues, Michael Maher and Kieran Carey, the trio were the tightest marking full back line in the history of hurling.
Club: Holycross / Ballycahill
Inter-county career: 1946 /67
8 All Ireland Senior Hurling Medals: 1949/50/51/58/61/62/64/65
All Ireland Senior Hurling Runners - up: 1960
All Ireland Minor Hurling Medal: 1947
10 Munster Senior Hurling Medals: 1949/50/51/58/60/61/62/64/65/67 (contested 14 Munster Senior Finals)
11 National Hurling League Medals: 1949/50/51/54/55/57/59/60/61/64/65
6 Oireachtais Medals: 1949/60/61/63/64/65
8 Railway Cups: 1951/52/53/55/60/61/63/65
3 Tipperary Co. Senior Hurling Medals: 1948/51/54
Hurler of the Year: 1964
Hall of Fame: 1992
Team of the Century: 1984 (chosen at left corner back)
Team Of The Millennium: 2000
EIGHT ALL IRELAND SENIOR HURLING FINAL VICTORIES:
1st All Ireland Medal: Sunday 4th September 1949 Tipperary 3 - 11 Laois 0 - 3 * Played at left corner back
2nd All Ireland Medal: Sunday 3rd September 1950 Tipperary 1 - 9 Kilkenny 1 - 8 * Played at left corner back
3rd All Ireland Medal: Sunday 2nd September 1951 Tipperary 7 - 7 Wexford 3 - 9 * Played at left corner back
4th All Ireland Medal: Sunday 7th September 1958 Tipperary 4 - 9 Galway 2 - 5 * Played at left half back
5th All Ireland Medal: Sunday 3rd September 1961 Tipperary 0 - 16 Dublin 1 - 12 * Played at left half back
6th All Ireland Medal: Sunday 2nd September 1962 Tipperary 3 -10 Wexford 2 - 11 * Played at right corner back
7th All Ireland Medal: Sunday 6th September 1964 Tipperary 5 - 13 Kilkenny 2 - 8 * Played at right corner back
8th All Ireland Medal: Sunday 5 th September 1965 Tipperary 2 -16 Wexford 0 - 10 *Played at right corner back
Derry J.F. Doody