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Innishannon man Mick Curtin honoured for his 30 years of service to Cork senior football team

May 22nd, 2023 9:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

Innishannon man Mick Curtin honoured for his 30 years of service to Cork senior football team Image
Mick Curtin (left) receives a presentation from his assistant Denis McSweeney (Carbery Rangers) to mark Mick's 30 years of service to the Cork footballers.

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BY JOHNNY CAROLAN

THIRTY years and eight different managers with one All-Ireland and ten Munster titles – Mick Curtin has seen a lot in his time as logistics man with the Cork senior football team.

The Innishannon native’s service was recently recognised with a presentation from Billy Morgan at a panel training session at MTU Cork. The card given to him read, ‘Cork without Mick Curtin would be like God without his angels.’

2010 All-Ireland winner Daniel Goulding was one of the many players to cross Mick’s path over the three decades and he recalls an ever-presence that was happy to stay in the background.

‘He is always there,’ he says, ‘and he goes totally unnoticed, which is an impressive thing in its own right.

‘In my time, he would do anything for you – the majority of the time, you wouldn’t even have to ask. When you were playing a club championship match, he’d be at the gate afterwards with your protein shake.

‘It’s mad when you think of it, you mightn’t have seen Mick in a few weeks since the national league ended and you went back to your club and next thing he’s at your game with your recovery drink. And that was only for me – I presume he did it with everyone.

‘It just shows that he’s so selfless, always thinking about the players. It’s an incredible thing.

‘It’s hard to describe him but he’s nearly saintly, always there and doing the right thing.’

Mick’s time with the team has encompassed nine different managerial reigns – Billy Morgan twice, Larry Tompkins, Conor Counihan, Brian Cuthbert, Peadar Healy, Ronan McCarthy, Keith Ricken and now John Cleary.

Remaining in situ for such a long period would require either lots of work or, in the case of the tireless postman, perfect execution of the role.

‘Mick’s capacity to do work and be prepared, with such attention to detail, meant no manager could have a problem with him,’ Goulding says.

‘He was just always on top of things. I remember back in the day, there was a time where we didn’t even wash our own gear and you’d come to every training and whichever gear we were meant to be wearing was ready for you to go.

‘Mick must have been getting to training at 3 or 4 o’clock to get all of that organised, having been up early to do the post.

‘Whoever was first there, you could be guaranteed that Mick would have been there an hour or two before them.’

This message from the Cork football team to Mick Curtin says it all.

Such dedication never went unnoticed by the players, who held him in the highest regard.

‘Nearly every player’s wedding that I’ve been to, Mick has been there,’ Goulding says.

‘He’s just held in such high regard and he’s a great friend. There’ll always be a Christmas card and then he’ll randomly shoot you a text asking how you’re getting on and wishing you the best for championship.

‘That’s fine if you think about it for one person but Mick has dealt with hundreds of people over the last 30 years. I’ve no doubt he’s on to a lot of people still and it just shows how conscientious and caring he is.

‘Whether it was the good days or the bad days, you didn’t know with Mick. He was always just encouraging you and keeping positive. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Mick say anything negative.

‘It’s always been about the task at hand and looking to the future, ‘We’ll sort it the next day.’ It’s an attitude that, if we could have all taken it on, you mightn’t have had to worry about half the things you did worry about.’

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