BY KIERAN McCARTHY
THE late Kerry footballer Pat Griffin left a lasting impression on and off the field in Clonakilty, says Clonakilty GAA Club Chairman Ger McCarthy.
Two-time All-Ireland winning Kerry footballer Griffin passed away on Tuesday, and tributes have poured in for a man who was regarded as ‘the best footballer of his generation.’
The talented centre forward won All-Irelands in 1969 and 1970, and in the seventies he moved to Clonakilty when he was stationed in the West Cork town as a Garda. There, he lined out with Clonakilty and stayed involved with the club well beyond his playing days, with his sons, Padraig and Mark, also involved with Clon GAA.
On Clonakilty’s Facebook page, they shared a message that said: ‘Pat was a huge part of our club, a player, coach, selector, manager and a longstanding and loyal supporter.
‘He will be hugely missed by us all.’
Club chairman Ger McCarthy has echoed those sentiments.
‘Pat was an absolute gentleman, a really nice guy. Before the concept of community guards came in, Pat was that in Clonakilty. He was the go-to guy for a lot of people, he was a very approachable man.
‘He is best known for his football but in Clonakilty Pat would be held in very high regard, as an individual and member of the community, along with being an outstanding footballer.
‘When he started playing for Clon, it was junior football and he won a South West in 1977. He was a star performer in his prime and when he transferred to Clon that was towards the end of his senior days, but his talent was there for all to see. An incredible footballer.
‘Pat was a very popular man in Clonakilty, he was involved in training teams from underage up to U21, and held a lot of other roles too. He’ll be missed by everyone.’
The Glenbeigh native played in five All-Ireland finals with Kerry and he captained the team that lost to Down in the 1968 final while he retired from inter-county football in 1972.