John Bennett- Bannow/Ballymitty

John Bennett, who resides in Annestown, was a true and respected Gael for all of his life in the Bannow-Ballymitty G.A.A. club.

He was born in 1941 and was educated at Ballymitty N.S..

His two boyhood heroes were – Bill “Spider” Kelly (Ballymitty) R.I.P. and Ned Wheeler (Wexford Fame).

John, for many years, was a dedicated and committed member of the Bannow-Balllymitty club. In an official capacity, he was supreme. He worked tirelessly and with grandeur and was never found wanting in any role he took upon himself for his beloved club. He was always to the forefront when anything important for his beloved club came on the scene. He would like to recognize the hard work of his fellow officers in the club and the local supporters in the Parish. John at all times made sure that all aspects of the club were effectively and officially run.

He was a Chairman of the New Ross District from 1994 to 2004. He also served two terms as Bannow-Ballymitty Chairman.

In 2010, he was presented with a Supreme Annual Award in the Horse and Hound from the New Ross District.

The three best full-backs he has seen in football were – Paddy McCormack (Offaly), John O’Keeffe (Kerry) and Noel Tierney (Galway).

The three best midfielders he has seen were – Mick O’Connell (Kerry), Jack O’Shea (Kerry) and Brian Mullins (Dublin).

The three best full forwards he has seen were – Eoin “Bomber” Liston, Peter Canavan (Tyrone) and Jimmy Keaveney (Dublin).

Mick O’Connell (Kerry) – was the greatest player he has ever seen.

The two best full-backs he has seen in hurling were – Nick O’Donnell (Wexford) R.I.P. and Pat Hartigan (Limerick).

The two best midfielders he has seen in hurling were – Ned Wheeler (Wexford) and Frank Cummins (Kilkenny).

The two best full forwards he has seen were – Nickey Rackard R.I.P and Tony Doran.

One of the best goalie’s he has seen in football was – Martin Furlong (Offaly). In hurling, he selects – Ollie Walsh (Kilkenny) R.I.P..

The three best dual players he has seen in Wexford were – Paddy Kehoe (Gusserane) R.I.P., Phil Wilson (Ballyhogue) and Finny Campbell (Ballymitty).

The best game of football he has seen was between – Dublin vs Kerry – in the 1977 All Ireland Semi-Final.

In hurling, the game between – Tipperary vs Wexford – in the 1962 All Ireland Senior Hurling Final, was great.

Some great duals he has seen over the years were – Tony Doran vs Dan Quigley, Tony Wall vs Padge Kehoe R.I.P., Oliver McGrath vs Kieran Carey and Bobby Rackard R.I.P. vs Christy Ring R.I.P..

The greatest football team he has seen over the years were the – Kerry team – from 1975 to 1986. A fine team arrived on the scene with the great – Jack McCutcheon – at the helm.

The team was – Coragh Ramblers – who went onto Co. Junior football success in 1956 with victory over Cloughbawn. The star performers in this encounter in John’s opinion were – Mick Molloy, Francis Cullen, Peter Tobin R.I.P., Jim McCormack, Aidan McCormack, Jim Byrne, Rich Howlin and Finny Campbell (goalie).

Great men in keeping Ballymitty in the limelight in John’s opinion over many years were, just to name a few – Jim Ferguson R.I.P., Joe Wallace R.I.P., Jack Harper, Mick Harper, Frank Codd R.I.P., Rich Howlin, Tom Murphy (Kilcavin), Andy White R.I.P., Ted White R.I.P., Larry Fanning, the Neville’s and many more.

In 1969, under the banner – St. Mary’s, Bannow – they won the Co. Junior Football title, with a fine team that included stars like – Tomás Murphy, Dick Tobin, Finny Campbell, Francis Cullen, Watty French, Dermot Roche R.I.P and Mick Harper (Capt.).

Great footballers from the Parish that stood out in John’s opinion were – Jim McCormack R.I.P., Aidan McCormack R.I.P., Paddy Waters R.I.P., Bill “Spider” Kelly R.I.P., Francis Cullen, Watty French, Mick Harpur, Finny Campbell, Jack Neville, Dermot Roche R.I.P. and Mosie White.

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