NEW CHAIRMAN Martin Coleman has certainly got his year off to a flying start. Last week was victory over the Dubs in their own Parnell Park, this week the hurlers also get off to a winning start in the Kehoe Cup and in between another fabulous night in the Arklow Bay Hotel when all the 'goodies' of 2012 were handed out and a new name was added to the Hall of Fame recipients.
And starting with that Hall of Fame winner, Liam O'Loughlin was certainly a very very popular choice.
The Aughrim/Annacurra man has been part of almost everything that moved on the GAA scene in Wicklow over the past 50 years.
He started his inter-county hurling career when he was smuggled out of St Peter's College to play in a Minor match in 1966.
Since then he has played hurling and football for Wicklow, Annacurra and Aughrim at every conceivable level, winning his own share of medals and trophies along the way.
In administration he reached the pinnacle when he was elected chairman of the county board in 1986.
He is a great promoter of Scór and Scór na nÓg and a regular competitor at the Senior events. Our congratulations to Liam, to his wife Alice and his extended family.
Congratulations also to Casey O'Brien and his troops on a good win over Down.
The men from the Mournes are never easy to beat and what made this an extra special win was the fact that Casey was fielding what could be described as a new look team.
They were certainly fired up and showed a great hunger and determination to win.
In addition their fitness level looked very good for this time of year, probably a tribute to new trainer Trevor Doyle.
However we won't get carried away just yet.
We are still only in January and there is a long and hard year ahead for everybody.
Where are they now?
When applied to the team in last week's edition of this paper that is an easy question to answer.
All of the fine players that made up the team in that picture are long since gone to their eternal reward.
While we believe that we can pinpoint the team and even the occasion we do genuinely need someone to name the players in the order in which they appear in the picture.
This, we believe is the Wicklow team beaten by Carlow in the Leinster Junior football championship final of 1933.
Little enough has been written about that team but they do deserve their place in history because they were the team that started the comeback that won us back our place in Senior football after we had languished for years in the Junior grade.
I am not sure where I got the picture but I do have it for quite a long time - but without the names.
However it is just possible that there is a copy, with names attached, hanging on a wall in a back room or locked away in a cupboard somewhere.
Have a look in the attic or in an old scrap book and if you find anything get in touch.
Why do we say that this team, who finished without a medal, deserve their place in history?
The answer that question we have to go back a little further in history. For roughly 20 years from around 1915 or '16 to 1936 Wicklow had slipped down to be graded Junior in Leinster and took little or no part in Senior football.
C.M. Byrne, in his first history of the GAA in Wicklow claims the comeback started around 1929 with the election of Fr Hanton as county chairman.
It continued with the election of Jack Kenny of Arklow as secretary but his real kick off point appeared to be 1931.
That year some great Wicklow born footballers like Mick Keating, Coolboy, Jim Dalton, Kiltegan; Jim Coffey, Rathnew and William Hillard, Carnew, (both in the army); John Farrell, a Valleymount man playing with Portrane; Peter Nolan, Baltinglass, who was playing his club football with Sean McDermott's in Dublin and another army man Mattie Roche declared for Wicklow.
They lost to Dublin in the first round that year; things appeared to fall apart again and all or most of the men who had come home went back again to their adopted counties.
Men who played in that final and who must be in the picture included - Joe Deering (extreme right middle row), Mick Byrne (Rathdangan) (centre of middle row); Jack Hilliard and Bob Elliott (Carnew); John Farrell (Baltiboys), Jack Ebbs and a man called Grimes (Bray Emmets), Mattie Roche (Army Metro), R. Doyle (Erin's Hope), Pat Sutton (Tuckmill), Jim Kelly, Bill Doran and Ned Byrne (Kilcoole); Mick Reilly (Annacurra) and Louis Dillon (Tuckmill).
That 1933 Leinster Junior final was played in Enniscorthy on August 13 and was reported to be one of the great finals of that era.
Strangely enough it got scant mention in the first history of Wicklow GAA, published in 1935, just two years later. C.M. Byrne, who compiled that history along with 'Wicklow People' journalist P.J. Noonan gave it a few lines with no team or details.
He wrote: “The I933 final is too fresh in our memories to waste space recalling but I think all of us who were in Enniscorthy on that August day can still feel our pulses throbbing with the excitement of that final”.
The final score was Carlow 5-3; Wicklow 4- 5 and I think you will agree that not many matches now produce nine goals.
The winning goal was scored, according to reports, with the last kick of the game by Paddy shine, later to become Fr Paddy Shine and is celebrated in Carlow to this day. Joe Deering, Ned Byrne and Bill Doran were Wicklow's top scores with Mattie Roche, Mick Byrne and Mick Reilly also got on the score sheet.
Two Carnew men got very special mention for the part they played in 1933.
One was the county secretary of the day John Doyle; the other was Bob McCrea, one of the best known DublinWicklow men of the day.
Others listed among the tributes included Matt Byrne, Baltinglass; Laoisborn Dan Dunne, Newtown, Malachy Brennan, a former captain of the Bray Emmets team fron Roundwood; Mick Timmins, Baltinglass and a young fellow from Rathdangan, Peter Whelan.
One of the things we have always been good at was making excuses for our faults and failings so I feel that no story on Wicklow football would be complete without some sort of explanation as to why we lost that 1933 final.
For one thing Joe Keenan, a great goalkeeper from Roundwood, missed that final so perhaps that could explain why Carlow got five goals;
Tommy Connell, a great footballer from Grangecon who had played against Wexford and Louth in earlier rounds, had returned to Australia while Tom Brien from Annacurra was also missing.
Incidentally Carlow's man of the match was Tom 'Drakes' Walker, a player well known in West Wicklow.
The 1888 title was shared!
A call this week from an Avoca man, now living in Dublin, Paddy Ivers to confirm that we were right when we said that the Wicklow SFC title of 1888 was shared.
He checked it in a book of official records he found in Easons and right enough Annacurra and Clare shared the Wicklow SFC that year.
Paddy says he reads the 'Corner' every week and enjoys the stories and pictures from times past.
Where were thee in 33?
As we have just established there is not many around that can remember the happenings of 80 years ago, but we do know one man, Paddy Byrne of Moyne, who has a very clear memory of football in that year, at least when it comes to football around Askinagap, Moyne and Ballymanus.
The 'Billies' had made their first big breakthrough when they won the Intermediate championship in 1932 and were going hell for leather for a Senior crown.
Thanks to Paddy's great memory we are able to tell you that on April 9 1933 Ballymanus beat Carnew by 1-2 to 0-2 at Aughrim in the first round of the SFC.
However nothing was straightforward in football at the time (has anything changed?).
At a Board meeting it was claimed that the Ballymanus goal was disallowed and the match was re-fixed.
The ' Billies' won again in the replay and met Roundwood in the semi-final. Thus started one of the longest sagas in the history of championship football in Wicklow.
That first match ended in a draw - Ballymanus 1-3; Roundwood 0-6. The replay took place in Aughrim in October and again finished in a draw.
The third match took place in Ashford early in 1934 and while it was another humdinger it failed to finish so on April 15, more than a year later, the fourth and final match in the saga took place at Novara Road Bray.
Roundwood finally won out; it was the end of that road for the ' Billies' but the men from the highest village in Ireland saw no more action either.
Blessington had won their way to the final but after sitting idle for the better part of a year found that they could not muster a team and had to give a walk over in the final.
Where were thee in '93
Fast forward to a day in Athboy in March '93.
Playing for Wicklow in a NHL match were Jimmy Kelly; Brian Gleeson, Declan Byrne, Tom Byrne; Colin Byrne, Casey O'Brien, M.A. O'Neill; Nigel Byrne, Ned Cremin; David (Bill) Bury, Sean Byrne, Danny Curran; Don Hyland, Vincent Munroe and Jonathan O'Neill. John Henderson was the manager and Denis Kilbride and Tommy Munroe came on as subs. SFL - Rathnew 1-9; Tinahely 1-8 Rathnew made it through to the final of the SFL with a hard earned win over Tinahely at Rathnew. Rathnew scorers: Mark Doyle 1-3; Trevor Doyle 0-4; Bobby Murphy and Derek Hollingsworth 0-1 each. Tinahely: Coleman Byrne 1-1; Mickey Murray, Rory B. Stokes and Nicky Murphy 0-2 each; Bernard Kinsella 0-1. Baltinglass 2-16; Dunlavin 0-8 Table toppers Baltinglass made it through to the final as well with a big win over Dunlavin.
Scorers for Balto were - Liam Horgan 1-3; Robert McHugh 0-6; Bryan Kilcoyne 0-3; John O'Keeffe 1-0); Raymond Danne 0-2; Tommy Murphy and Sean O'Brien 0-1 each. Dunlavin: Mick Murtagh and Thomas English 0-3 each; Joe Kennedy and Seamus Miley 0-1 each. Norton steps down Off the playing field in February of '93 one of the big headlines was the retirement of great Baltinglass player, trainer and selector Tony Norton.
The 'end of an era' the paper called it, pointing out that “teenager Tony scored the goal that scuttled the hopes of Ark- low Geraldines in the SFC final of 1963 and brought Balto their second title in the grade”.
For the next 30 years Tony was never far from the centre of the action.
A picture of Tony on the same page had the caption - 'Tony's proudest moment' and showed him holding the All-Ireland Cup aloft in the dressing room after Baltinglass had beaten the Roscommon champions in the club championship final on St Patricks day 1990.
Presentation to Dixie
The Lacken GAA Club made a special presentation to one of its longest serving members Peter Carroll at their AGM last week.
'Dixie' as he was affectionately known to friend and foe alike played on the first Lacken team in 1970 but before that he had played for Kilbride and also got a presentation from that club as a member of the team that won the first SFC in 1962.
Peter has been unwell recently so as well as sending him our congratulations we also wish him a speedy recovery.
80 years young Congratulations to Eamon on his 80th birthday.
Our greatest living All-Ireland winning hurler was honoured by family, neighbours, friends and even the President of the GAA was there to wish him well.
A great occasion for a great man.
Congratulations to one of Wicklow's young referees Anthony Nolan who got his biggest honour to date when he was chosen to referee the semi-final of the O'Byrne Cup between Dublin and Louth.
Only a few weeks ago Anthony picked up an award for his part in refereeing the Leinster MFC final.
Actually Anthony was the linesman that day but had to take over when the referee on the day, Damien Brazil, suffered an injury coming up to half time.
But that appearance in a Leinster final, short as it may have been, earned the Baltinglass clubman his rightful place in history.
Liam McCarthy in Kiltegan!
Our Kilkenny friends brought up the Liam McCarthy Cup to add spice to the juvenile presentation night in St Tegan's Hall, Kiltegan.
A huge crown turned out to see the boys and girls collect their trophies and medals for 2012.
A topical picture for the week that’s in it. If you can name the team and the men in it then contact Peter on 087 6907589 or email email@example.com.