Tipperary hurling legend and winner of eight All-Ireland senior medals,John Doyle passed to his eternal reward yesterday, Wednesday, after a brave battle with illness over the last few months.
The Holycross Ballycahill man who was due to celebrate his 81st birthday in February died peacefully at the Thurles Community Hospital of the Assumption in the presence of family and friends who had gathered over Christmas as his condition deteriorated. Widely regarded as one of the greatest ever Tipperary hurlers, Doyle won All-Ireland medals in three separate decades and played for his native Holycross Ballycahill in four decades from the 40's to the 70's. His status as one of the all-time greats is self-evident with his haul of eight senior All-Ireland medals won on the field of play remaining a record which he jointly holds with Christy Ring. Doyle was also the first hurler to win ten Munster Championship titles, a record which was later equalled by Jimmy Barry-Murphy. His tally of 11National Hurling League medals is a record which has never been equalled and he held the record for most championship appearances (54) by a Tipperary player until overtaken last season by Brendan Cummins.
Survived by his wife Anne, John Doyle was also the recipient of many awards and honours off the field. In 1964 his hurling prowess earned him the prestigious Texaco Hurler of the Year award. He was later honoured in 1984 when he was named, by popular opinion, in the left corner-back position on the GAA Hurling Team of the Century. He was named in the right corner-back position on the GAA Hurling Team of the Millennium in 1999 while a decade later in 2009 he was named in the Sunday Tribune's list of the 125 Most Influential People In GAA History
More coverage on this story in next week's Tipperary Star - Full page 28 However, he was subsequently elected to Seanad ireann on the Agricultural Panel where served until 1973 when he lost his seat.
His sons Michael and Johnny both represented Tipperary with distinction also on and off the field of play. Michael, is a former Tipperary senior hurling Manager, while Johnny is a former Chairman of the Mid Tipperary GAA Board. Both won county senior hurling medals with Holycross Ballycahill in 1990 also while John Doyle's grandchildren have also worn the blue and gold as well as the green and white of Holycross Ballycahill, and the red and yellow of Moycarkey Borris.
John Doyle's legacy lives on in his native parish with the naming of the fabulous new centre at St Michael's GAA Grounds in his honour - the John Doyle Centre is a fitting tribute to a legend who is known throughout all of the hurling world.
As we go to press, details of John Doyle's funeral arrangements were unavailable.
John Doyle is survived by his wife Anne (nee Reidy), his sons Johnny and Michael, daughters Collete, Margaret, Anne Marie, Sandra and Liz, grandchildren, relatives and friends to whom sympathy is tendered.
Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.
The late John Doyle who died on Wednesday.