John Browne played the game of hurling with style and class. From 1965 to 1985, he was the Rapparees club cornerback.
He always seemed to be playing a keen, competitive, tidy game, feeding the ball with scholarly care to his forwards. His balance and consistent alertness was noteworthy. He seldom went for a ball without gaining possession cleanly. His approach to hurling seemed to borrow heavily from chess and he always seemed to be a move or two ahead of his opponent. In terms of elegance, class, interventions, intelligence, and style, he was superb.
His commitment to the Rapparees club was superb and he seemed to be programmed to do everything he could to keep the club to the forefront. He was assured, composed and endured any amount of punishment in his 17 years of playing with his beloved club.
He was born in 1948 and was educated at Marshalstown N.S. and Enniscorthy C.B.S..
His boyhood hero was – Padge Kehoe R.I.P..
Two of the best goalie’s he has seen in hurling were – Pat Nolan (Oylegate) and Damien Fitzhenry.
In football, he selects – Brendan Duffin (Gusserane O’Rahilly’s) – as a special player, along with Martin Furlong (Offaly).
He first played with the Rapparees in 1968 and last played with them in 1985.
One of the greatest games of hurling he has seen was – Kilkenny vs Tipperary – in the 2014 All Ireland Hurling drawn final.
In football, the last game between – Meath vs Dublin – in the 1991 Leinster Senior Football final.
When playing hurling, the most difficult opponents he came up against were – Tony Doran, Mick Butler, and John Quigley.
The Rapparees hurlers that were very impressive in John’s opinion were – Christy Keogh R.I.P., Lar Rigley R.I.P., Matt Browne, Michael Maher, and Ger Collins.
The two best dual players he has seen in Wexford were – George O’Connor (St. Martin’s) and Martin Quigley (Rathnure).
The best club team he has seen in hurling was the – Rathnure team – in the early 70’s, winning 4 Co. titles in a row.
In football, the – Duffry Rovers team – in the late 80’s and most of the 90’s were the best club team he has seen.
The greatest footballers he has seen were – Mick O’Connell (Kerry), Brian Mullins (Offaly), Tony McTague (Offaly), Peter Canavan (Tyrone) and Diarmuid Connolly (Dublin).
In Wexford, he selects – Martin Quigley, Mick Carty, Liam Fardy, Ciaran Lyng and Mattie Forde – as being outstanding.
The greatest of them all was – Brian Mullins.
The greatest hurler he has seen was – Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny).
The greatest hurlers he has seen in Wexford in the last 40 years were – Tony Doran, Martin Quigley, Christy Keogh R.I.P. and Damien Fitzhenry (goalie).
The two best full-backs he has seen in hurling were – Nick O’Donnell R.I.P. and Pa Dillon (Kilkenny) R.I.P..
The two best midfielders he has seen in hurling were – Michael Fennelly (Kilkenny) and Frank Cummins (Kilkenny).
The two best full forwards he has seen in hurling were – Tony Doran (Wexford) and Ray Cummins (Cork).
John played Juvenile hurling and Minor hurling with the Boys Club and U’21 hurling with the Shamrocks.
He was also Secretary and Chairman of the Rapparees for a number of years.
The most exciting game of hurling that he played in was the 1978 Co. Senior Hurling Final vs Rathnure. It was also a game that John had his finest game.
The most disappointing game was losing the 1976 Co. Final to Buffers Alley.
He won – 2 Co. Senior Hurling medals during his career – 1 in 1969 with the Shamrocks and 1 in 1978 with the Rapparees.