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Tooreen legend wins Club Stars award

Sport

BAND OF BROTHERS Tooreen heroes from the 1980s and 1990s. Pictured from left: Martin Trench, Vincent Henry, John Cunnane, John Joe Hoban, Seamus Caulfield and Club Stars award winner Joe Henry.

Ger Flanagan

LEGENDARY Mayo hurler Joe Henry will be presented with the ‘Hurling Recognition’ award at The Mayo News/O’Neills Club Stars banquet on Friday, January 19 next.
Henry, who hurled with the famous Tooreen Hurling Club, was chosen for the prestigious accolade in recognition of his long and distinguished career.
The Castlerea-based teacher will be presented with his award at the 13th annual Mayo News/O’Neills Club Stars (in association with AIB) later this month at Knockranny House Hotel, Westport.
All the proceeds from the night are being donated to the 2017 Club Stars charity partner, Enable Ireland.
Henry – who won the last of his 24 Mayo Senior Hurling titles in 2000 (the first coming in 1972) – is widely regarded as Mayo’s finest and most famous hurler and carved a niche in the hurling lore of this land; winning three Railway Cup medals, two National Hurling League medals, went on two All Star trips as a replacement (1979 and 1986) and also represented the Rest of Ireland in 1979 against the reigning All-Ireland champions, Kilkenny.
The Castlerea CS PE Teacher first picked up a hurl at the tender age of five-years-old, and with the absence of organised underage hurling in Mayo at the time, flourished when he enrolled in St Mary’s College, Galway, hurling alongside future Galway legend Joe Connolly.
Studying Physical Education in Thomond College, Limerick thrusted Henry into a hurling atmosphere, playing alongside the likes of Rory Kinsella (Wexford), Paddy Kelly (Limerick) and Colm Honan (Clare).
There, he chalked down a huge score from centre-forward against Maynooth in the Colleges Hurling League final, while being marked by Galway centre-back Seán Silke.
Other noteworthy performances include scoring all 1-7 of Tooreen’s total in the Connacht Senior Club final defeat to Ardrahan in 1978; scoring 4-12 of Tooreen’s 5-21 in the 1986 County Final victory over North Mayo; and scoring 3-3 as Mayo recorded a famous National League win away to Waterford in 1985.
His performances for Tooreen, Mayo and then Connacht in the Railway Cup resulted in many approaches being made to seek his transfer to a Galway club, and hence the Galway team.
Also a talented football player, Henry won one Mayo SFC with Shamrocks in 1977, coming on in the second half and scoring the match winning goal – an hour after lining out for Tooreen in the Mayo SHC Final!
Married to Martina – a former Roscommon camogie star –  Joe has three children, Laura, Joseph and Michael, all of whom should be very proud of their father’s achievements!

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