Tributes have been flowing in for Dublin football great Anton O'Toole who has passed away after an illness.
Nicknamed 'The Blue Panther', the 68-year-old was one of the stars of the Dublin All-Ireland winning sides managed by Kevin Heffernan in the 1970s and 1980s. The Templeogue Synge Street clubman lifted the Sam Maguire Cup on four occasions - 1974, '76, '77 and '83.
The lenghty stride, the unusual solo run, the ball often reaching head high off his left foot, so strong and if anything looking a little awkward . But when Anton O Toole gained possession along the side line about fifty to sixty yards out and bore in on the opposing goal, there was no stopping him.
After making his debut in 1972, O'Toole lined out at corner forward when a rejuvenated Dublin defeated Galway in the All-Ireland final. The game is best remembered for Paddy Cullen's penalty save from Liam Sammon.
With Anton at right half forward, playmaker Tony Hanahoe on the forty and the steely strong David Hickey in the number 12 shirt, this trio formed one of the greatest half forward lines in GAA history during the mid seventies.
Dublin and an emerging Kerry team went on to enjoy one of the greatest rivalries the GAA has ever seen in the years that followed. O'Toole won his second All-Ireland medal at the Kingdom's expense in 1976 and was also on the winning side 12 months later when Armagh were comfortably defeated in the decider.
Anton's last All-Ireland win came in 1983 when a new-look Dublin defeated Galway in the final, despite having three players sent off. He retired after the Dubs were beaten by Kerry in the Centenary final of 1984.
Despite being in ill health for some time, O'Toole was pictured with Diarmuid Connolly and Mossy Quinn at Croke Park for Dublin's Allianz League victory over Galway in February. A real sportsman
Funeral arrangements have yet to be released.
Moments like this happen too rarely. You couldn’t write it..— Brian Fenton (@BrianFenton08) May 17, 2019
A father of the city, Anton O'Toole, passed away.— Roy Curtis (@RoyCurtis68) May 17, 2019
A hero who became a fast friend, a wise and kind big brother.
That apple-cheeked smile, like his deeds, will live forever.
The Blue Panther, he was Dublin in the rare oul' times.
Rest easy Tooler. You are loved.@Hill16Army#GAA
I was very fortunate to have met Anton O'Toole lots of times over the last few years. Like the rest of the lads from the 70's, he was a gentleman. They helped shape the culture of today's @DubGAAOfficial team and Anton was a huge part of helping shape that #RIPTheBluePanther 💙— EamonFennell (@EamonFennell) May 17, 2019
It is with sadness this morning that we report the passing of the great Anton O’Toole . Our condolences to his family and all his many friends from all of us at TSS. More to follow ... pic.twitter.com/R7wHXeJ5sP— Templeogue Synge St (@Tempsyngest) May 17, 2019