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Armagh Reunion Of '53 Squad

04 September 2003

04 September 2003

While the massive media hype is rightfully focused on the country's premier game and the impending final between defending All Ireland champions and pretenders to the throne, Tyrone, Armagh club, Maghery have organised a novel fiftieth year reunion for the 1953 team that lost the All Ireland final that year to Kerry.

Motivators behind the reunion are Maghery chairman, John Robinson and 1953 fullback, Jack Bratten. Surviving players and family members of deceased team players will be invited to attend a function to be held at the Ferryside Inn.

Brian Seely, centre half forward recalls some memories from that era when he points out that the side took the unusual step of getting together for collective training.

"After we beat Roscommon in the semi-final a request was made to each of the players' employers, seeking permission for their release from work so that they could be based in Maghery for two weeks of squad training. We stayed in Mackels Hotel (but is now named the Ferryside Inn). It was a great Armagh team that year. Eamonn McMahon was goalkeeper of such distinction that he went on to play for Glasgow Celtic who at that time had the great Jock Stein as their centre half back".

According to Jack Bratten, this is probably the last opportunity of bringing the 1953 squad together again. There will be a Mass for deceased members to being the day at 11.30 a.m. on Sunday followed by a function at the Ferryside Inn.

Jimmy Smyth, captain of the 1977 Armagh side will introduce the players to the crowd at the interval of minor football final between Harps and Silverbridge and the junior final between Clonmore and Annaghmore.

In an interesting twist, Clonmore's manager is Joe Mallon who featured at right back for Tyrone in the 1986 All Ireland SFC final against Kerry. Decaln Fox and Bill Devlin former Armagh senior players are managing Annaghmore.


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