John Egan (Gaelic footballer)

For other people named John Egan, see John Egan (disambiguation).
John Egan
Personal information
Irish name Seán Mac Aogáin
Sport Gaelic football
Position Left corner-forward
Born (1952-06-13)13 June 1952
Sneem, County Kerry, Ireland
Died 8 April 2012(2012-04-08) (aged 59)
Bishopstown, Cork, Ireland
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Occupation Garda Síochána
Years Club
1970s-1980s Sneem
Years County Apps (scores)
1975-1984 Kerry 41 (14-59)
Inter-county titles
Munster titles 9
All-Irelands 6
All Stars 5

John Egan (13 June 1952 8 April 2012) was an Irish sportsperson.[1]

Egan was born in Tahilla (near Sneem), County Kerry. He played Gaelic football with his local club Sneem, his divisional side South Kerry and was a member of the Kerry senior inter-county team from 1975 until 1984.[2]


A prolific corner forward in the legendary Kerry County football team of the late 1970s and 1980s, he made his county senior debut against Tipperary in the 1975 All Ireland Championship,[3] and instantly marked his arrival onto the senior stage with two goals in the first round opener.[4]

The 1975 success marked the beginning of a golden era for the county. Successful Munster titles in 1976 and 1977 were followed by consecutive defeats to Dublin at the All-Ireland final and semi-final stages. However, in 1978, Egan scored in every round of the Championship, and Kerry went on to win again against Dublin in the final. The winning scoreline in that match of 5-11 to 0-9 failed to reflect Dublin's early dominance, which resulted in a rapid 5 point lead. An initially shellshocked Kerry were inspired by a crucial Egan goal against the run of play, and they progressed to win a famous victory. Egan was a key part of the Kerry team that won a record equalling 4 All-Ireland titles in a row from 1978-1981.[5]

Egan's outstanding individual footballing talents were recognised with the awarding of five GAA All Stars Awards in 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980 and 1982.[5]

His son, also John, plays association football and has been capped by the Republic of Ireland U19 national side.[6]


In a Sunday Independent column published on 7 March 2010, Páidí Ó Sé wrote: "All our best wishes go to my old colleague John Egan who, I'm told, is not well right now. John is 58 and, of course, captained the Kerry team that lost to Offaly in the 1982 five-in-a-row final. He has six All-Ireland medals, and my Dublin rivals in the 1970s always regard him as the finest of our Kerry team. Robbie Kelleher, who has adopted Ventry as his home from home, will join with me in wishing the very best to John, and a speedy recovery."[7]


On 8 April 2012, Egan died at the age of 59 at his home in Cork following recent heart surgery.[1][8] He is survived by his wife Mary, son John, and daughter Máirín.[9]

Gaelic Athletic Association president Christy Cooney paid tribute saying in a statement "John was an iconic footballer on arguably the most iconic team of all time and his undoubted skills and dedication were handsomely rewarded in an era that will be remembered fondly by Kerry supporters for evermore".[10]

Kerry legend Pat Spillane described him as "one of greatest corner-forwards ever in Gaelic football, one who never craved the spotlight, He was a gentle giant and a warrior".[11]

Former manager Mick O'Dwyer paid tribute by saying "There has never, at least in my understanding of Gaelic football, been a better inside forward than John Egan. I can't say he was the best, but I can say there was no-one better".[12]


  1. 1 2 Moran, Seán. "Kerry great John Egan passes away". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
  2. "Quiet hero played game like his life". Irish Independent. 9 April 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  3. Foley, Michael. "Caught in Time: Kerry win All-Ireland football title, 1975." The Sunday Times. December 29, 2002. Retrieved on September 26, 2010.
  4. Colm Keane - Gaelic Footballs Top 20 - RTÉ/Mainstream
  5. 1 2 Flynn, Niall. 36 and Counting...Kerry's Football History to 2009. Canada: Trafford, 2009.
  6. "Irwin shows a touch of class on U-19 debut". August 10, 2010. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  7. "Say it again, Sam -- Cork can prove me right this time". March 7, 2010. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  8. "One of the best ever, not just a county legend". Irish Independent. 9 April 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  9. "Kerry mourns legendary forward Egan". Irish Examiner. 8 April 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  10. "GAA chief Cooney pays tribute to 'iconic footballer' John Egan". the 9 April 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  11. "GAA in shock as Kerry's 'unsung hero' dies aged 59". Irish Independent. 9 April 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  12. "Wave of tributes for late Kerry legend Egan". 9 April 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
Preceded by
Jimmy Deenihan
Kerry Senior Football Captain
Succeeded by
Jack O'Shea
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