Irish rugby legend Karl Mullen dies

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Irish rugby legend Karl Mullen, who captained the team that won Ireland's first Grand Slam, has died at the age of 83.

Dr Mullen led Ireland's undefeated Five Nations campaign in 1948, a feat that remained unequalled for 61 years, until Declan Kidney's men won their own Grand Slam earlier this year.

He also captained the British and Irish Lions on their tour to Australia and New Zealand in 1950.

Irish Rugby Union president John Lyons said: "I would like to express my personal sorrow and that of the Irish Rugby Football Union on the sad passing of Karl Mullen.

"He was one of the great heroes of Irish rugby, and leaves a lasting legacy for his contributions as a renowned hooker for Old Belvedere, Leinster, Ireland and the Lions, and also for his input after his distinguished playing days as a committed and enthusiastic administrator of the game.

"I had the privilege of playing for Bective Rangers against Karl, and I witnessed at first hand his great leadership and skills on the rugby field. I extend the sympathies of Irish rugby to his family."

Mullen was educated at Belvedere College and UCD and won 25 Irish caps as hooker in the 1940s and 1950s.