Obituary: Jerry Walsh

Jeremiah Charles Walsh, rugby footballer, born Cork 3 November 1938, Ireland international (26 caps) 1960-67, British Isles tour 1966, died Innishannon Cork 28 September 1992.

IRISH rugby heroes tend to be writ large and Jerry Walsh was one such, generally regarded as Ireland's greatest centre-threequarter even though he cut short his international career when, at 28, he was still in his prime.

Centres may, as a general rule, be divided into two categories: the jinking will o' the wisp that most obviously reflects the sprightliness of the Irish temperament, and the big, bustling stopper. Walsh was among the latter, possibly the finest defensive centre in the world in the mid-Sixties and for a couple of magical years forming a perfectly complementary partnership with Kevin Flynn.

Flynn the Dubliner was a rapier, Walsh the Corkman a bludgeon, and they played together for Ireland on 10 occasions. Flynn's international career spanned 15 years and Walsh's might have done, too, had he wished it.

Walsh was Cork-born and there he stayed for much of his life, attending Presentation Brothers' College, an eminent rugby academy which has produced many a fine player. He studied medicine at the city's university college and went on to play for the notable Cork club Sunday's Well.

He won his first cap against Scotland in 1960 and, although he took a while to become an automatic selection, his biting tackling and powerful running became characteristics of Ireland's rugby in an era when success was familiarly hard to achieve. Their best record in the Five Nations' Championship during the Walsh years was only 50-50.

Walsh's grandest achievements came towards the end of his international days. He was selected for the 1966 British Isles tour to Australia and New Zealand but had to return home early after a family bereavement. He was in the Munster provincial side who beat Australia later in the year and in 1967 played a notable part in Ireland's historic defeat of Australia in Sydney. This was the first time any of the home countries had won an international match in the southern hemisphere, an accomplishment put into still more flattering perspective by the subsequent travails down under of England, Scotland, Wales and inevitably Ireland.

That Walsh's prowess was mainly defensive was shown by his scoring record: it was not until his 26th appearance that he managed a try for Ireland. But the occasion, that famous victory at Sydney Cricket Ground, could scarcely have been bettered. With that he retired, in order better to pursue his career as a doctor.

(Photograph omitted)

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone