Final member of last Mayo team to win All-Ireland dies

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Final Member Of Last Mayo Team To Win All-Ireland Dies
Paddy Prendergast won the Sam Maguire cup with Mayo in 1950 and 1951. Photo: Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus.
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The final member of the Mayo starting team who last won an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship has died at the age of 95.

The death of Paddy Prendergast, a full-back on the 1951 Mayo starting team, was confirmed on Sunday morning, according to the Western People.

A native of Ballintubber, Mr Prendergast won the Sam Maguire cup with Mayo in 1950 and 1951.

The former Garda lived most of his adult in Tralee after being transferred there in the 1960s.

Nicknamed as Mayo’s ‘Ballet’ full-back, Mr Prendergast had already played senior football for three years with Donegal, where he was originally stationed in Dungloe, before he joined his native county team.

'Great footballers'

In his first year playing for Mayo, the team reached the final of the 1948 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship where they were narrowly beaten by Cavan.

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Following intense training that saw the team live together in a three-storey house in Ballina for two weeks at a time so that they could train together, the side saw victory over Louth in 1950.

They then successfully defended their title twelve months later against Meath.

In 2017, Mr Prendergast said: “I think we had a great team, I don’t include myself in that but we had great footballers.

“Padraig Carney, Eamon Mongey, Tom Langan and these, you know,” he told the Irish Independent.

“We probably should’ve won at least four during that period because we were deprived of the first one with the game cut short and a gale behind us, with Peter Quinn’s point not allowed – and no re-taking of the penalty after a blatant foul. These things happen, you know.”

Mr Prendergast was the last living member of the 1951 Mayo starting team. One member of the county’s panel, former GAA president Dr Mick Loftus, was a substitute on the side and lives today in his native Crossmolina.

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