Death of Dublin football legend Anton O'Toole

May 17, 2019

The late Anton O'Toole. ©INPHO/Donall Farmer.

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.


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