National Forum

The Frank Mcguigan Final

(Oldest Posts First)

The story in Hogan Stand about Frank McGuigan in the 1984 Ulster Final omits the crucial fact that all 11 points he scored that day came from play. This is what made his feat so remarkable - it is not unusual for a free-taker to rack up a score like that but in 40 years of following GAA, I cannot remember anyone else getting 11 scores from from play in a significant game. (If I remember correctly, he scored 7 with his right foot and 4 with his left). The great Matt Connor scored 2-9 against Kerry in the 1989 semi-final but I'm sure a good few of those points came from frees. It was tragic that these two legends had their careers ended in serious car crashes within a few months of each other.

Gaillimh_Abu (Galway) - Posts: 810 - 17/07/2020 17:08:32    2284336

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Replying To Gaillimh_Abu:  "The story in Hogan Stand about Frank McGuigan in the 1984 Ulster Final omits the crucial fact that all 11 points he scored that day came from play. This is what made his feat so remarkable - it is not unusual for a free-taker to rack up a score like that but in 40 years of following GAA, I cannot remember anyone else getting 11 scores from from play in a significant game. (If I remember correctly, he scored 7 with his right foot and 4 with his left). The great Matt Connor scored 2-9 against Kerry in the 1989 semi-final but I'm sure a good few of those points came from frees. It was tragic that these two legends had their careers ended in serious car crashes within a few months of each other."
Though before my time, I was brought up on stories of Frank. I'm sure he actually scored 5 from his right, 5 from his left and one with his fist!

Ed (UK) - Posts: 150 - 18/07/2020 09:47:48    2284390

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Replying To Ed:  "Though before my time, I was brought up on stories of Frank. I'm sure he actually scored 5 from his right, 5 from his left and one with his fist!"
Don't forget the header

lilypad (Kildare) - Posts: 1237 - 18/07/2020 18:17:14    2284439

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Tyrone's best player ever. Canavan next, Iggy Jones next.
Looking back, Frank was so poorly looked after, but that was the 70s for you.

essmac (Tyrone) - Posts: 717 - 18/07/2020 22:22:44    2284449

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Replying To essmac:  "Tyrone's best player ever. Canavan next, Iggy Jones next.
Looking back, Frank was so poorly looked after, but that was the 70s for you."
He wasn't involved in the 86 final was he? I take it he had finished before that? I didn't see much of him but if you're saying he was better than Canavan who I think is in the top 5 footballers ever then he must have been some player.

Ulsterman (Antrim) - Posts: 9235 - 19/07/2020 00:58:27    2284460

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I might have imagined it but I think I heard Peter Canavan saying that Frank Mcguigan was his hero growing up. Probably on a podcast interview.

GreenandRed (Mayo) - Posts: 5707 - 19/07/2020 11:00:21    2284483

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Replying To Ulsterman:  "He wasn't involved in the 86 final was he? I take it he had finished before that? I didn't see much of him but if you're saying he was better than Canavan who I think is in the top 5 footballers ever then he must have been some player."
You are correct-he was not involved in that final -the one where McCabe (who played for a period in Meath) tried to play his own game and forgot that he was meant to mark Spillane. Not sure of the time-line with regards to the accident and his earlier time in the States. What put him apart from many players was his ability to excel in midfield and in forward play (being so skillful and appearing not to be under pressure even when being pulled and dragged).

browncows (Meath) - Posts: 2141 - 19/07/2020 12:02:21    2284484

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Replying To browncows:  "You are correct-he was not involved in that final -the one where McCabe (who played for a period in Meath) tried to play his own game and forgot that he was meant to mark Spillane. Not sure of the time-line with regards to the accident and his earlier time in the States. What put him apart from many players was his ability to excel in midfield and in forward play (being so skillful and appearing not to be under pressure even when being pulled and dragged)."
If Mc Guigan had been fit in 1986 the result may well have been different. Matt Connor and himself were both ureal footballers.

tireoghainabu (Tyrone) - Posts: 83 - 19/07/2020 17:05:29    2284518

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I remember that Ulster Final, McGuigan was on fire that year, a fine player who served Tyrone for years...Dublin beat them in the semi final after in 84....I remember fighting between the fans on hill 16...Micheal O'Hehir said on the radio "oh, there is trouble on the hill"....pity his car accident came so soon after in 1984 (his allstar that he rejected) and he was surely a huge loss considering Tyrone had Kerry on the rack in that game, and missed a penalty (well got a point from it I think as opposed to a goal)when they were 6 points up at that stage...one of the greatest be it a chequered career with imigration for 6 years upto 1983...

Fairplayalways (Offaly) - Posts: 363 - 19/07/2020 23:17:45    2284574

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Replying To Ulsterman:  "He wasn't involved in the 86 final was he? I take it he had finished before that? I didn't see much of him but if you're saying he was better than Canavan who I think is in the top 5 footballers ever then he must have been some player."
70s, early 80s - training was generic and haphazard, hydration was often alcohol-based, nutrition laughable, hatchet-men could cut lumps out of you and no free, etc. Same as Rugby of that era tbh. McGuigan was a modest youth; everywhere he went, drink was pushed on him by "well-wishers". I sometimes wonder what he'd have been like had he been conditioned and looked after to the standards of e.g. the current Tyrone team. On top of that, his best years were gone to us as he was in New York for years and was already past his best in 84. So in terms of fulfilled potential, nowhere near lots of other Tyrone players, including of course his own sons. Brian was a very different type of player, but he perhaps came closest to his Dad's level of innate ability.

However, again showing my age here, for me, a very close run thing, but out of Tyrone players I'd always give the nod to the man from Ardboe (and I'm from the other side of the County). Won nothing compared to Canavan, not really a leader like Canavan, but Frank was a natural. He just had it. Anyone lucky enough to see Frank McGuigan at his long-haired '70s peak won't forget - that soaring hanging leap at midfield when he always managed to hang in the air for longer than any other midfielder about him; mesmerising feints and dummies deriving from superb balance and massive physical strength (putting men on their rear ends without him having to lay a hand on them), kick-passing, vision, accuracy, both feet, calmness and grace (always a gentleman, despite being under the most cynical of attention and pressure), courage and pace, this 6-foot plus Maradona of the GAA had it all and there's never been a Tyrone player like him. With Frank in the side, team tactics amounted to little more than "Give it to McGuigan".

essmac (Tyrone) - Posts: 717 - 21/07/2020 09:42:40    2284707

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Replying To essmac:  "70s, early 80s - training was generic and haphazard, hydration was often alcohol-based, nutrition laughable, hatchet-men could cut lumps out of you and no free, etc. Same as Rugby of that era tbh. McGuigan was a modest youth; everywhere he went, drink was pushed on him by "well-wishers". I sometimes wonder what he'd have been like had he been conditioned and looked after to the standards of e.g. the current Tyrone team. On top of that, his best years were gone to us as he was in New York for years and was already past his best in 84. So in terms of fulfilled potential, nowhere near lots of other Tyrone players, including of course his own sons. Brian was a very different type of player, but he perhaps came closest to his Dad's level of innate ability.

However, again showing my age here, for me, a very close run thing, but out of Tyrone players I'd always give the nod to the man from Ardboe (and I'm from the other side of the County). Won nothing compared to Canavan, not really a leader like Canavan, but Frank was a natural. He just had it. Anyone lucky enough to see Frank McGuigan at his long-haired '70s peak won't forget - that soaring hanging leap at midfield when he always managed to hang in the air for longer than any other midfielder about him; mesmerising feints and dummies deriving from superb balance and massive physical strength (putting men on their rear ends without him having to lay a hand on them), kick-passing, vision, accuracy, both feet, calmness and grace (always a gentleman, despite being under the most cynical of attention and pressure), courage and pace, this 6-foot plus Maradona of the GAA had it all and there's never been a Tyrone player like him. With Frank in the side, team tactics amounted to little more than "Give it to McGuigan"."
Great post. I was brought up listening to the 'older folk' telling us how good he was. Still know every word of the song as it was put on cassette as we went to games in the late 80s/ early 90s as kids and then in later years when the 'beer bus' was headed for Clones or Croke Park. For me though, Canavan was the greatest. His leadership was unreal from a very early stage. He could do anything with a ball and could change a game in a flash. His love Centre of gravity and ability to take men on was unreal.

Ed (UK) - Posts: 150 - 21/07/2020 16:12:12    2284768

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What was remarkable about that era was the amount of players who travelled back from America to play big games and we're expected to play well. Down won the Ulster title in 1981 with a great young team and were drawn at home to Tyrone in 1982. Over flew McGuigan for the game and smashed home a late goal to give Tyrone a famous win in Newcastle. I think this was his greatest moment in a Tyrone shirt.

Byanthon (Tyrone) - Posts: 1640 - 22/07/2020 19:32:04    2284904

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