- Johnny Clifford
Infobox GAA player
sport = Hurling
name = Johnny Clifford
fullname = Johnny Clifford
placeofbirth = Cork
countryofbirth = Ireland
county = Cork
province = Munster
club = Glen Rovers
clposition = Forward
counties = Cork
icposition = Forward
icyears = 1950s
icprovince = 1
icallireland = 1
Johnny Clifford (1934-2007) was an Irish sportsperson. He played
hurlingwith his local club Glen Rovers and with the Cork senior inter-county team in the 1950s. He later served as manager of the team in the 1980s and 1990s.
Clifford first started playing
hurlingwith his local Fair Hill in the North Parish Leagues in the 1940s. After much success at under-age levels here he subsequently joined the famous Glen Rovers club. Clifford won his first two senior county titles in 1953 and 1954 before later winning several more in the late 1950s.
Clifford first came to prominence as a hurler in the early 1950s as a member of the Cork minor
hurlingteam. At the age of seventeen he was captain of the team in 1951 when Cork won the Munster title for the first time in ten years. Cork later defeated Galway in the minor championship decider giving Clifford an All-Ireland medal. Clifford subsequently joined the Cork senior hurling team and became one of the stars of the three-in-a-row team in the 1950s. He won his only senior Munster title in 1954 following victory over Tipperary in the provincial final. Cork later played Wexford in the All-Ireland final ona day when Christy Ringwashoping to win a record eighth All-Ireland medal. Cork were winning by two points with the game in the final stages, however, Wexford were fighting back. With time running out the sliothar broke and was heading towards the sideline. Clifford chased after it, pulled on it left-handed and it ended up in the back of the net. With that Cork sealed the victory and Clifford captured his sole senior All-Ireland medal.
In retirement from playing Clifford continued to have a keen interest in hurling as a selector and coach. He coached a number of clubs in Cork before being appointed manager of the Cork senior hurling team in 1983. That year Cork won a second consecutive Munster title following a victory over Waterford. Clifford's side, however, were later defeated by arch-rivals Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final. He resigned after this defeat and took charge of the Cork minor hurlers, with whom he won both Munster and All-Ireland titles in 1985. The following year Clifford was back at the helm of the Cork senior hurling team and guided the team to a fifth consecutive Munster title. Cork later played Galway in the All-Ireland final, however, in spite of being underdogs victory went to 'the Rebels'. He continued as manager without success until 1988 and returned for a third unnsuccessful stint at the helm in the mid-1990s.
Johnny Clifford died on
October 19, 2007after a brief illness.
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