FORMER FOOTBALL STARS DIES

by ehistoryadmin on February 12, 2016

 

LEINSTER LEADER 20 APRIL 1963

Late Mr. A. Fitzpatrick

FORMER FOOTBALL STARS DIES

Mr. Augustine Fitzpatrick, St. Michael’s Terrace, Naas, who died suddenly in Dublin on Tuesday night, was a Kildare football star of former years, at the time “when the Lily Whites had reached the zenith of ability and popularity.”

He first came to the county senior side in 1926 when Kildare began a run of unprecedented – and since unequalled – successes. A team substitute for the All-Ireland final against the Kingdom County that year, he gained his place on the number one fifteen for the replay and he was to hold his position, left full-back, for almost a decade.

He was one of the great team that won the All-Ireland title twice, without a change in personnel in 1927 and ’28 and thus gained his proudest possessions – two All-Ireland medals.

From 1927 to ’31 Kildare were Leinster champions and he played a big part in bringing each of those five provincial titles to the county. He played with Kildare up to about 1935, the year of Kildare’s last All-Ireland appearance.

He won numerous senior county medals with Naas, who powered by himself and several other county players, had then the leading senior side in the county.

After retirement from active participation in the game, he continued unstinted support of his Club and for some years past had been its Chairman. He was the moving force behind many of the improvements carried out on the Club’s grounds, the Father Brennan Memorial Park.

During the War of Independence he took an active part in the effort to gain Ireland’s freedom and was once interned by the British Forces.

He spent several years in England during World War II, but returned to Naas to continue his carpentry trade. He was renowned as a master of his craft and there are many fine examples of his work not alone in Naas but over a large area.

A sportsman and gentleman on and off the field, Gus, as he was known to all, will be missed by a tremendously large circle of friends, all of whom mourn his passing.

Surviving relatives include his wife, Annie; three sons, Andrew, Michael and Augustine; Daughters, Mary and Concepta; brothers and sisters.

The remains were removed to the Church of Our Lady and St. David on Wednesday evening. The cortege was met at the outskirts of the town by a large concourse and by a Guard of Honour from Naas G.F.C. who escorted the tricolour draped coffin to the Church. Rev. S. Swwayne, C.C., officiated.

The funeral was to St. Corban’s Cemetery, Naas, on Thursday.

 

An appreciation by Paul Russell,

Kerry 1923 – 1933

He is gone. Gus Fitzpatrick has left us – but I will always remember him.

Yes. I go back to Memories Lane, to 1926, when first we met in Barry’s Hotel, Dublin, before an All-Ierland final.

He had great comrades then, for Gus was “Jack of all trades”. A great, unselfish, devil-may-care footballer, friendly, but fair and unrelenting on the field, took knocks and gave them, but laughed when all was over-win or lose.

All down the years I knew him, when our football days had gone; he loved to talk of them, to play again and kick every ball. He enjoyed it, as did I.

I remember so well my few years in Naas – plodding the beat – and watch Gus as he walked up town. He saw everyone and spoke to few, just the grand old simple nod of token.

Too, I had the privilege of playing with his Club team, Naas, and every game was a pleasure to him; he enjoyed them and never had the hard or harsh word for those who made mistakes on the field.

Never Questioned

          He loved Gaelic football. He admired those who played it tough but fair. Never in my years did I see him question a referee. That was Gus.

He did much for his country too. And now he is gone.

In answer to the Greatest Referee of All, he is in Heaven with Joe Loughlin, Jack Higgins, Tom Keogh, Matt Goff, Frank Malone, Joe Rafferty, Paul Doyle, Larry Cribben of Kildare; Joe Barrett, Phil Sullivan, Jackie Ryan, D.O’Connor, Bill Landers, Jack Murphy and Eamon Fitzgerald of Kerry- there to play all the past games, as he do here on earth.

May the sod rest lightly on one of the most unassuming and sincere Gaels that I have had the honour to call a friend.

 

 

 

 

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