David Bernie came of age with a masterclass display in the 1968 All Ireland Final vs Tipperary. Although he was over 21 years old on the occasion, he played like a man many years older. He had the ideal temperament laced with excellent hurling skills.
He possessed movements of grandeur, marvellous control on the ball and was a beautiful striker left or right. He was supreme and stylish and was poetry in motion in his movements. He ran the game in a magic way and his versatility as a hurler was replicated by his marvels in later years. He also was a footballer of real class and mastered both codes with grandeur and panache. He was never found wanting in either code. David was an innovative tactician and could see things happening seconds before anyone even noticed.
He was born in 1947 and was educated at Ferns N.S. and St. Peter’s College, Wexford.
His boyhood hero was like so many more – Nickey Rackard R.I.P..
The greatest goalie he has seen in hurling was – Ollie Walsh (Kilkenny) R.I.P. and in Wexford, the two best goalie’s he has seen were – Pat Nolan (Oylegate) and Damien Fitzhenry.
In football, three of the greatest goalie’s he has seen were – Johnny Culloty (Kerry), Johnny Geraghty (Galway) and Paddy Cullen (Dublin).
He played with Ferns from 1967 to 1990. He also played with Ballyhogue for a few years.
The greatest hurler he has ever seen was – Eddie Keher (Kilkenny).
The greatest footballer he has seen was – Mattie Forde (Wexford).
The two best dual players he has seen in Wexford were – Jack Berry (St. Anne’s) R.I.P. and George O’Connor (St. Martin’s).
The four most difficult opponents he encountered at club level in hurling were – Oliver Cullen, Andy English, Mick Jacob Snr. and Paddy Sullivan (Shamrocks).
The Ferns hurlers that really impressed David over the years were – Brendan Morris, Sean English R.I.P., Michael Kennedy, Paddy Bernie (Brother), Tommy Hawkins and Oliver Gough – when he played with them.
The best game of hurling he has seen was – Kilkenny vs Tipperary – in the 2014 All Ireland Semi-Final in a drawn game.
In football, the 1977 All Ireland Senior Football Semi-Final between – Kerry vs Dublin – was a real classic.
Some great hurlers he has seen down through the years were – Bobby Rackard R.I.P., Nickey Rackard R.I.P., Eddie Keher, Jimmy Doyle R.I.P., Mick Roche R.I.P. and Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny & great Half Back).
In Wexford, he selects – Tony Doran, Martin Quigley, Larry O’Gorman and Adrian Fenlon – as tops.
Great footballers he has seen were – Matt Connor (Offaly), Mick O’Connell (Kerry), Dermot Earley Snr. (Roscommon) R.I.P., Brian Mullins (Offaly) and Mattie Forde (Wexford).
In Wexford, along with – Mattie Forde – other brillant players in David’s opinion were – Patrick Leacy, Jack Berry R.I.P., Andy Merrigan R.I.P. and Mick Carty (Castletown).
One of the best club teams he has seen in Wexford hurling were – Buffers Alley, and in Wexford football, he selects – Castletown.
David played Juvenile, Minor, and U’21 in both codes for Ferns.
With Wexford, he won Leinster medals, All Ireland medals, Walsh Cup National League medals, Oireachtas medals, and Railway Cup medals.
He was a selector with Ferns, Hurler Of The Year in 1970 and won a Powers Gold Label Award too.
David’s father – Mick Bernie R.I.P. – spent his whole life involved in G.A.A. affairs.