📌 Joe Martin RIP
An Charraig Mhór GFC would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family of Joe Martin our esteemed past player, past club Treasurer and Chairman. The Martin family name has been synonymous with our club since its inception with Joe’s father Packie a member of our first team in 1932 as well as a past Club President.
The ‘Carrickmore Tradition’ tells us that Joe was a new player on our senior team in 1958 and that he retired from senior football in 1974. His tenure as a player would overlap with a term as Chairman from 1970 – 1974. However, those bald facts belie a period of total commitment and dedication to the club that few can boast.
He represented the club on the historic juvenile team of 1955, a team which captured our first underage championship title. He would go on to be part of our minor championship teams in the following two years coming to the attention of the Tyrone mentors and therefore representing the county at this level. By 1958 he was playing senior football and would line out in the 1958 Senior Final but would taste bitter defeat to Clonoe O’Rahillys.
Joe would take part in seven county finals in total with wins in ‘61,’66,’69 and defeats in the aforementioned 1958 decider and subsequently ‘67,’71 and ‘74.
Probably most notable was that he would win all his Senior Championship Medals in the left corner back position making the number 4 jersey his own for over a decade. He was part of special group of players who in the 60’s revived our senior championship tradition after the barren decade of the 50’s.
Also special for him no doubt was the fact that he played for most of his career with three of his brothers – Mickael, Francis and Jim. In the ‘ 58 final defeat Joe would line out in his customary left corner with Fr Mickey at full-back. In ’61 win the two brothers again lined out in defence, Mickey moving out to wing half back on that occasion. In ’66 Joe and Mickey renewed their partnership in the last line of defence. Francie had graduated to the senior ranks playing in front of Joe at left half back. Young Jim was a panel member in ’66 but would go on to write his own chapter in 1969 when he would line out in defence with Joe and Francie. Fr Mickey of course had left for the Philippines after the ’66 final and was to miss out in ’69. As the new decade of the 70’s dawned there would be two more finals for Joe in ’71 and ’74. All four brothers would line out in defence for the ’71 final but Ardboe took the honours.
Joe was also a dedicated clubman having served as a committee member for most of his playing career and as Treasurer (1960-1962) and Chairman (1970-1974). His time in chair would see him oversee the opening of Pairc Colmcille on the 3rd of October 1971. He was one of a group of men in the club at that time who had the bravery, ambition and foresight to develop what we now have at the foot of the rock. His successor as Chairman, Seamus Woods, recalled that Joe was ‘hands on’ and recounted that in the Summer of ‘71 Joe, Packie Mc Gurk and himself spend many long days putting up the wire around the new field. Let’s remember that at the same time he was also playing senior football and chairing the club a level of dedication many speak of but few deliver. Joe was also involved in producing the first official history of our club in a special programme for the opening of Pairc Colmcille no doubt a first step to the publication of the ‘Carrickmore Tradition’ in 1982.
Although Joe’s official club involvement ended in 1974 he remained closely in touch with the club as a supporter seen mingling with the players and Carrickmore faithful after memorable wins in the 90’s and 00’s. His loyalty would continue as he returned to the parish to pay his respects at the funerals of his playing colleagues or their family members. He took great joy from attending the various celebrations over the year’s most notably the Clubs 50th Anniversary in 1982, at which he was a guest speaker, and more recently the 50th anniversaries of the ’61,’66 and ’69 championship wins. His love for the club transcended the generations and the players on the 1994 team may recall his words of encouragement following their defeat in that years’ county final and how his predictions came through in the following decade.
Of Joe ‘The Carrickmore Tradition’ states:
‘From 1958 until his retirement at the end of 1974 season, he was a sound, reliable and intelligent corner back. While other players may have been more in the limelight Joes’s contribution was as vital as any other in that period. Oliver Kerr recounted an incident which typified Joe the great corner back. ‘When people talk of the ’69 final they remembered the great scores which won the game for Carrickmore. Few remember Joe dispossessing Tommy Woods as he soloed towards the Carrickmore goals in the dying seconds of the game.’
His passing will be mourned by all who knew him but most especially by his immediate family. The club would like to pass on our deepest sympathy to Joe’s wife Marie, and his son’s Séamus, Sinéad, Declan, Ciaran and their families. We also keep in our thoughts his sister Teresa and brothers Fr. Mickey, Brendan, Kevin, Frank Jim and the extended Martin family.
Gavan Mc Elroy
on behalf of An Charraig Mhór GFC
1 The late Joe Martin – RIP
2 1955 Juvenile Championship winner Joe back 3rd from right back row
3 1958 Senior Championship Finalists
4 1966 The four Martin brothers with father Packie
5 1966 Senior Champions Joe front right
6 1966 Senior Championship Programme
7 1966 Frank Donnelly leads the post-match celebrations. Joe holds aloft the base of the O’Neill Cup as Fr Mickey is held aloft – Fr Mickey would travel to the USA enroute to the Philippines shortly after the iconic image was captured.
8 1966 Senior Champions post-match panel
9 1967 Senior Championship final
10 1969 Senior Champions Joe back 5th from left
11 Dungannon Observer post 1966 Final
12 ACL 1969 v Coalisland at Mountfield Joe front second from right
13 1961 Senior Champions
14 Training pre 1969 Final
15 1969 Dinner Dance. Joe seated front left.