SEAN Cavanagh has been hailed as a ‘great Gaelic star’ by Ulster GAA secretary Brian McAvoy in his annual report to the Ulster Convention.
Paying tribute to the former Tyrone star, who hung up his boots (with the county) last season, McAvoy will tell Gaels in his speech this Friday night at the Villa Rose Hotel in Ballybofey that Cavanagh’s performances have lit up the playing fields of Ireland over many years.
Noting that Cavanagh’s 89 championship appearances for Tyrone was a record for an outfield player the Ulster secretary praised his stellar career.
“Since bursting onto the scene in 2002 he has enthralled us with his exploits up, down and across the playing pitches of Ireland,” he said.
“From his initial championship outing in a drawn encounter against Armagh in Clones in 2002 (his first of many great battles against his neighbours from across the River Blackwater and where he scored his first championship goal) to his last encounter against Dublin in Croke Park in the All-Ireland semi- final Sean Cavanagh gave his all for his beloved county.”
Flagging up Cavanagh’s burgeoning CV, which includes three All-Ireland and six Ulster senior medals, McAvoy states that the former Footballer of the Year, is also among that elite band of Gaelic footballers who have captained their country in the International Rules series against Australia.
“He is undoubtedly one of the greatest exponents of the game in Ulster and while he may have been disappointed in missing out on one last All-Ireland final appearance he can take great joy in the fact that he captained Tyrone to back-to-back Ulster titles in his final two seasons and more so in that he has left a legacy which will hopefully inspire generations of young players for many years to come.”