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Tom Creedon Cup Final   02/03/2017

With the Tom Creedon Cup final taking place this Saturday at 3pm in The Castle Grounds now seems as good a time as ever to share some memories of Tom. The photo shows Tom leading the celebrations following Macroom's 1982 county final victory.

I would also like to thank Tom's team mate and friend Gus Kelleher for sharing his memories below:

I had the privilege of playing with Tom Creedon – or Thomas as he was known to us in Macroom – from minor to adult in the green and white of Macroom.
He first came to my attention when he secured his place on our minor team in 1970 even though he was only 16 years old. We got as far as the County final proper only to be defeated by a star-studded Nemo boasting such greats as Brian Murphy, Dinny Allen, Seamus Coughlan etc.. Tom more than held his own in this illustrious company letting everybody know that he was a special talent.
Later on, of course, he starred in the Cork Minor All-Ireland winning team of 1972, which also included clubmates Leo Goold and Tim ‘Bonzo’ O’Sullivan. It was a time of great optimism in Macroom GAA, following on the successful run of minor teams from 1968 onwards. Successive appearances in 4 County minor finals from 1969 to 1972 seemed to promise a great future for the club. Macroom , at that stage, held the record for most Senior county titles won, the last coming in 1962.
Tom was very much part of the story of Macroom GAA from the early 1970’s until his tragic death in 1983 at the age of 28.
Tom qualified as a civil engineer and his work took him all over the world. Eventually he procured a job with Ascon and was employed in the construction of Moneypoint Power Station one of the biggest construction projects of the 1970’s. By this stage he was married to Marion and they lived in Ennis where young Tom was born.
All this time Tom’s commitment to his home town team was total. He never missed a game, practice, league or championship unless physically hampered by illness or injury. Tom was a natural leader on and off the field and proved an inspiring captain who always led by example.
Two stories illustrate his unwavering loyalty to his home club.
Once, when Colman Corrigan, another Macroom great, was part of an All Ireland winning U-21 team which played Galway in Ennis in the replayed final, a general dispensation was given to Macroom players so they could go to Ennis to support Colman. We were due to play Nemo Rangers in our own pitch in a match of little consequence at the same time as the match in Ennis. However Tom, who was actually living in Ennis at the time, was the first man togged out in Macroom on that day! Tom Creedon always led by example!
Another time was when Macroom played St. Nick’s in the county Senior Championship of 1983. It was Macroom’s return to the bigtime after so many years in the wilderness. Tom had led this team to Intermediate success in 1982 and, combined with the talented players of the U21 team who also tasted county success in 1982, there was a feeling of great optimism within the club that Macroom, at last, had the makings of a team that could seriously challenge for honours at the highest level of Cork senior football. Players like Colman Corrigan, Eamonn Goold, Mickey Browne, Shan Moloney, Leo Goold, Tony ‘Saga’ O’Sullivan were stars among a group of very talented players. And Tom Creedon was the undoubted leader and inspiration of all of them.
Unfortunately in the lead up to this huge game Tom had a very serious knee injury and it was extremely doubtful if he would be able to participate. However what many people may not be aware of was the extraordinary determination Tom showed in making sure he togged out in Ovens that day. During the week leading up to the game he attended a physio in Ennis Hospital every day for a couple of hours and followed that up with a session in the evening with a ‘quack’ who used to treat greyhounds! Tom was prepared to do whatever it took to lead Macroom out for the championship. He duly led out his beloved team and Macroom, of course, had a successful return to the Senior ranks as they beat St. Nick’s by a few points
Alas! It was to be Tom’s last match with his club and the awful accident in May 1983 robbed his family of a wonderful husband, father, son and brother and robbed his club and town of one of its finest and noblest sons.
In his beautiful poem Munster Final, Bernard O’Donoghue eloquently evokes the classic image of our wonderful Thomas in action against the old enemy in Killarney:.

As for Tom Creedon, I can see him still,
His back arching casually to field and clear.
‘Glory Macroom! Good boy Tom Creedon!’
We’d be back next year to try our luck in Cork.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis!

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