Bertie Cunningham RIP

Fri 20th Jan

Bertie Cunningham RIP

Gaels throughout Meath have been saddened with the news of the passing of 1960’s legend Bertie Cunningham, who was centre-half-back on the team that won the Sam Maguire Cup in 1967.

His death comes just a month after the passing of the captain of the team, Peter Darby.

Bertie was one of Meath’s brightest stars throughout that era and became the first player from the county to be honoured with the ‘Footballer of the Year’ award in 1967. He produced one of his finest displays in the All-Ireland final against Cork.

21-10-07. Navan O’Mahony’s v Seneschalstown – Commons Hardware Meath SFC Final at Pairc Tailteann.
Presentation to the Meath All-Ireland Winning SFC Team of 1967.
Brendan Dempsey (Left), C’Man. Meath GAA Co. Board making a presentation to Bertie Cunningham.
Photo: John Quirke.
©John Quirke Photography, Unit 17, Blackcastle Shopping Cte.
Navan. Co. Meath. 046-9079044 / 087-2579454.

He was also the first Meath man to feature on All-Ireland-winning Minor and Senior teams.

He was corner-back on the team that won the All-Ireland MFC for the first time in 1957 by beating Armagh in the final. Their victory in the Leinster Championship was also a ‘first’.

He made his Senior championship debut against Longford in Mullingar in 1960, as did his brother Christy. but Meath lost by a point.

He won the first of his 4 Leinster SFC medals in 1964, the others were in 1966, 1967 and 1970.

The 1967 All-Ireland success led to the trip to Australia in 1968 where he played a leading role in the team’s 5 victories.

19-08-22. Handing over of the original film reels from the Meath 1968 All-Ireland winning squad tour of Australia to Meath GAA.
L to R: Peter Byrne, Paddy Jordan, Ballinlough and Bertie Cunningham, Ballivor.
Photo: John Quirke / www.quirke.ie
©John Quirke Photography, 16 Proudstown Road, Navan. Co. Meath. (info@quirke.ie / 046-9028461 / 087-2579454).

Bertie was back at corner-back for the 1970 championship which saw the team stage a famous comeback in the Leinster final against Offaly but they were beaten by Kerry in the All-Ireland final.

At club level, Bertie was a stalwart on his native Ballivor team of the 1960’s and he was rewarded with the Intermediate Championship success of 1971.

In 2007, Coiste na Mí honoured Bertie for his achievements when inducting the Ballivor clubman into the Meath GAA Hall of Fame.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

Posted in: General News / Nuacht Ginearálta

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