|Football Position:||Centre half forward|
|Hurling Position:||Centre half forward|
|Born||Kircubbin County Down,|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
Carryduff (F) |
|League titles||1||2 (Div 3)|
Greg Blaney is an Irish former dual player who played Gaelic football and hurling for Down in the 1980s and 1990s.He was one of the all-time greats both tough and classy as a hurler and footballer.He was a tough man and a truly great dual player. He is chiefly remembered as a footballer. He was part of the Down team that won the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in 1991 and 1994. Blaney also won three Ulster Senior Football Championships and a National League title with Down. He also had a distinguished underage career with the county - winning Ulster Minor, Ulster Under 21 and All-Ireland Under 21 Football Championship medals. He also won three All Star awards during his career.
In football he usually played at centre half forward. He was a brilliant reader of the game. He was renowned for his vision, ball-winning and play-making abilities. His excellent passing skills set up countless chances for team-mates. His understanding with Down corner forward Mickey Linden has been described as "near telepathic". It has been said that he made the Down "attack tick with his shrewd play and inventiveness". Blaney was also able to score himself.
Blaney is a legend in Down GAA circles, and is known as one of the county's best ever footballers. In 2009 to mark the 125th anniversary of the Gaelic Athletic Association he was named by The Irish News as one of the all-time best 125 footballers from Ulster.
He has six brothers and one sister.He comes from a family steeped in Gaelic Games through generations.He is married with six children and currently lives in Belfast.
Blaney's club is Ballycran and he played club football for a period with Carryduff as Ballycran hadn't a football team.He won many underage honours with Ballycran including a Feile na nGael Hurling and played in the National Feile in Limerick .He won numerous Down Senior Hurling Championships alongside his brothers and childhood friends.Ballycran started a football team winning Down ACFL Division 4 and progressing into Division 3 .It was as a Ballycran footballer that he won the All-Ireland in 1991 with Down. With Carryduff, his first year playing for the club's Senior team was 1978, aged just 15. He helped the club win the Down Junior Football Championship in 1986.
Blaney was known as one of Down's best ever underage players. Blaney played for the Down Minor team for three years and won the Ulster Minor Football Championship with them in 1977 & 1979. In 1979 at the age of just 16, he was part of the Down Under 21 team that won the Ulster Under 21 and All-Ireland Under 21 Football Championships.
Blaney joined the Down Senior panel in 1981. That year, while only 18 years old, he won his first Ulster Senior Football Championship medal with the county. Two years later he helped Down win the National Football League. He also received an All Star award for his performances that year. Blaney and Down reached the 1986 Ulster final, but were beaten by Tyrone.
In 1991 Down again won the Ulster Championship, beating Donegal in the decider. Down defeated Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final, before beating Meath in the All-Ireland final. The success was Down's first All-Ireland Senior Football Championship title since 1968. Blaney also won a second All Star that year.
Blaney won a third Ulster Championship medal with Down in 1994 - overcoming Tyrone comfortably in the decider. Victories over Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final and Dublin in the final gave Blaney another All-Ireland Senior medal. Once again he was honoured for hs performances that year with an All Star.
Blaney lined out in another Ulster final two years later, but Down lost to Tyrone. He retired from inter-county football in 1997. Blaney is 1 of a couple of players that have won Ulster Senior Hurling and Football
Blaney's honours while at St. Colman's include helping the school win three MacRory Cups (1978, 1979 and 1981). In 1978 they went on to reach the Hogan Cup final, but were beaten by St. Jarlath's College, Tuam.In 1949 St Colman’s were captained by Greg's father Sean Blaney, who also captained them to their second success in 1950, a feat only equalled by Dermot McNicholl (1983 and 1984).In the 1981 final the captain of the winning St Colman’s team was none other than Greg Blaney, son of Sean. Sean and Greg are the only father / son combination to captain winning MacRory Cup teams. Despite being just a fresher, Blaney was top-scorer when Queens University Belfast won the Sigerson Cup in 1982. He also won the Ryan Cup on two occasions with QUB (1984 and 1985). In 1999 he was named a 'Sporting Great' of the university. He also a patron of QUB's GAA academy.
Blaney's club is Ballycran and he played club football for a period with Carryduff as Ballycran hadn't a football team.He won many underage honours with Ballycran including a Feile na nGael Hurling and played in the National Feile in Limerick .He won numerous Down Senior Hurling Championships alongside his brothers and childhood friends.Ballycran started a football team winning Down ACFL Division 4 and progressing into Division 3 .It was as a Ballycran footballer that he won the All-Ireland in 1991 with Down. Blaney played in Antrim Senior Hurling League Division 1 with Ballycran in an era where no quarter was given or asked against teams such as Cushendall, Loughgiel, Ballycastle and fierce local rivals Ballygalget and Portaferry.These games were not for the faint hearted and great preparation for the Aussies in the Compromise Rules where Blaney excelled .
Blaney represented Down hurlers at Minor, Under 21 and Senior level. In 1978 he won an Ulster Minor Hurling Championship medal with the county.
He was part of the Down side that won the 1992 Ulster Senior Hurling Championship - the county's first since 1941.
Blaney has a deep knowledge of football and has served as a selector with the Down Senior football team, when former team-mate Paddy O'Rourke was manager. He was appointed to the role in July 2002. In 2003 Down reached the Ulster final, where they faced Tyrone. The game was a thriller and finished a high-scoring draw.Tyrone however won the replay comfortably.Blaney is a fitness fanatic, a keen handballer and has been competing in triathlons for the past number of years.On 9 January 2012 Blaney was appointed manager of his local club where he resides and the club of his children, Antrim Division 1 side St Brigids Belfast. St Brigids GAC is a new club having been just formed in 1998 and has been going from strength to strength.
There are 7 available Down All County Senior League Medals Available - 3 In Hurling and 4 in football.Blaney has a record number of league medals, probably this never will be equalled . Blaney has won them all except a Division 1 ACFL.He has won -
- Down ACHL Division 1 Hurling League
- Down ACHL Division 2 Hurling League
- Down ACHL Division 3 Hurling League
- Down Junior Football Championship (1) 1986
- Down AFL Division 4 Football League (1) 1990
- Down AFL Division 3 Football League (1) 1980
- Down AFL Division 2 Football League (1) 198?
- Ulster Senior Club Hurling Championship (1) 1993
- Down Senior Hurling Championship (8) 1980 1984 1985 1986 1987 1993 1994 1995
- All-Ireland Senior Football Championship (2) 1991 1994
- National Football League Division 1 (1) 1983
- National Football League Division 2 (2) 1982 1988
- Ulster Senior Football Championship (3) 1981 1991 1994
- Dr McKenna Cup (4) 1987 1989 1992 1996
- Ulster Senior Hurling Championship (1) 1992
- National Hurling League Division 3 (2) 1987 1989
- All-Ireland Under-21 Football Championship (1) 1979
- Ulster Under-21 Football Championship (1) 1979
- Ulster Under-21 Hurling Championship (1) 1983
- Railway Cup (6) 1983 1984 1989 1991 1992 1995
- International Rules (1) 1986
- All Star (3) 1983 1991 1994
- Irish News Ulster All-Stars (1) 1996
- "Ulster's 125 - The province's 125 best footballers since 1884". The Irish News. 20 March 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
- McSherry, Ronan (5 June 2008). "Mourne great Blaney recalls some past Red Hand tussles". The Strabane Chronicle. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
- "Ulster's 125 - Down shortlist". The Irish News. February 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
- "Dream team for Down?". BBC Sport Online. 10 June 2002. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
- "Greg Blaney becomes new Down selector". Down GAA website. 10 July 2002. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
- "QUB Hall of Fame". Queens University Belfast GAA website. 2000. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
- "A Short Club History". Carryduff GAC website. Archived from the original on 4 October 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
- "A Landmark Year – 75th Anniversary of the GAA at Queen's". Queens University Belfast GAA website. 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2009.