The sad news was confirmed earlier today of the death yesterday of Paddy Prendergast, who was the last surviving member of the Mayo team that secured back-to-back All-Ireland Championship titles in 1950 and 1951. He was 95 years of age.
A native of Ballintubber, Paddy Prendergast first played inter-county football with Donegal, as he was stationed as a Garda in Dungloe at the time. He made his debut in the Green and Red in his customary full-back position in the Connacht SFC against Leitrim in June 1948, a match played in Sligo.
Paddy went on to make 57 Senior appearances for the county – 27 of them in the Championship – in an inter-county career that lasted until 1956. Most of these were at full-back in which position he played with such distinction, including in the All-Ireland final wins over Louth in 1950 and Meath in 1951. He also played in the ‘big wind’ final of 1948 when the county lost out by a single point in controversial circumstances to Cavan.
Paddy moved to Tralee in the Sixties and he lived there for the remainder of his long life. With his passing, Dr Mick Loftus – the former President of the GAA – is the sole surviving member of the 1950/1 panel.
Condolences to Paddy’s family and friends on their sad bereavement. May this giant of football in Mayo rest in peace.