Best of luck, Billy Joe

As you’ll no doubt have seen already from various media reports today, it’s been confirmed that Billy Joe Padden has transferred from Belmullet to Armagh club Carrickcruppen and it appears all but certain that he’ll also switch playing allegiance to the Orchard County.  If he does, then there’s every chance that he could be action against us when we host Armagh in the league at McHale Park on the 13th of March.  In anticipation of such an occurrence, the Mayo News have, somewhat pointlessly, done a photoshop job on what he might look like in an Armagh jersey.

While Billy Joe was never destined to become the kind of folk hero within Mayo GAA circles that his father so clearly was, he has nevertheless had a distinguished inter-county career in the green and red.  As Dan said in the comments today – a point I made myself here on the site some time ago – it was to Billy Joe’s detriment that he proved to be so versatile.  While this adaptability led to his being asked to occupy virtually every position on the Mayo team bar goalkeeper at some point or other down the years it also meant that he was never given the chance to nail down any one position on the first fifteen.  It’s certainly true that we failed to get the best out of Billy Joe, for the simple reason that he was never really given the kind of role within the team that would have seen his talents being used to the full.

Paddy O’Rourke  is now likely to get the chance to deploy the Belmullet man to greater effect and there’s little doubt but that he’ll be viewed as a good addition to the Northeners’ ranks.  Billy Joe deserves our heartfelt thanks for all the effort he has put in down the years in the county’s colours and our best wishes as he sets off to embark on a new chapter in his gaelic football career.

In other news (with thanks to Mayo Mick who posted this info in the comments earlier on), our FBD clash with Leitrim that fell foul of the weather yesterday has now been refixed for the original venue, Ballinamore, on Sunday, 30th January with throw-in set for 2 pm.  I might still get to see some FBD action this year so.

15 thoughts on “Best of luck, Billy Joe

  1. A big thanks to Billy for his efforts for Belmullet and Mayo, if he got a Euro for every mile he has travelled to training and matches he’d be a millionaire. A dedicated GAA man through and through and a thoroughly nice fella, best of luck Billy hope it all goes well and look forward to seeing you in Orange!

  2. Indeed – the best of luck to him. The problem Billy Joe always had in Mayo is that he is always living in his fathers shadow. Because he was the son of one of the most famous Mayo players ever he was always expected to fill those boots – well he was anyways by a lot of supporters on the ‘ditch’.
    And when that didn’t happen (as aboviously it wouldn’t – becasue Billy Joe is not Willy Joe) I believe things were said – maybe in whispers etc. but you still have to live with it.
    Personally I see him either as a attacking wing back or a wing forward. And I wish him the best in Armagh. He might in fact suit that team becasue he is not afraid to get stuck in – a trait that suits Armagh as well.

  3. I dont agree with you jpm, after his first couple of years people knew he wasnt his father (and thats meant in a negative way). His issue was that he was far too accomodating and basically too nice a guy at time. The powers that be should have known better and not f*cked him around so much but he always felt it was an honour to play for his county (or club) and did whatever he was asked to.
    If he does declare an interest for the Orchardmen and manages to get on the panel we might yet be wondering how he got away, a la Mr Costelleo this summer from some quarters.
    In reality the driving he was doing to continue to play for Belmullet and Mayo was unreasonable, he wanted to stay with the Mullet until the Comhortas and what a great way to finish it out that was.

  4. There is no way Billy Joe could keep driving up and down. The best of luck to him. He owes Mayo nothing. He did his very best and thats all you can ask of anyone wearing the red and green.

  5. Sons will always be compared to their fathers – whether we like it or not – that’s the way of the world. Having watched Mayo umpteen times over the years I can honestly say that not one of Billie Joe’s performances stand out. Yes he has put the hard work in and given long service but let us not get carried away with eulogising him as he is about to depart the scene. It may well be that he will do a good job for Armagh and I wish him the best of luck. Many of the comments here go on about how he was such a “loyal servant” but does that “loyalty” go out the window once you turn your back on your county and especially your club. I would like to hear the views of others – including Willie Joe and On the Road about these loyal servants that move on. I dont wish to be too hard on Billie Joe – I know him personally – a sound fellow but I still have my doubts about players who change colours in the twilight of their careers. Home is where the heart is – – – what do you think Willie Joe ? ? ! ! !

  6. To my mind, Billy Joe’s loyalty to club and county can’t really be questioned, given all the years he has given to the cause and all the mileage he’s covered in doing so down the years. The fact that he’s now living in Newry and working in Naas makes his decision to switch perfectly understandable. Home will always be where the heart is, for sure, but, living and working on the other side of the country, BJ can’t reasonably be faulted at this point in his career for making football fit into his life rather than the other way around. At least this way, he should see more of the place he now calls home on a regular basis during the football season.

    As regards memorable performances, I’d point to the 2006 All-Ireland final. I know he was eventually subbed that day (as, equally bizarrely, Kevin O’Neill was too) but he was one of the few on the team who gave it everything that day and he was also our only player to score a point from play in that final.

  7. Samuel Maguire . You have your deep thinking cap on. I agree with Willie Joes analysis. Heroic in the final of 2006 , it was strange to see him and O Neill taken off.
    How you rate him depends on what you expected from him. Had he been called Joe Bloggs we would have seen a solid inter county player. I certainly rate him as excellent and equally I rate the managers that oversaw his inter county career as not being able to extract the best from him.
    They moved him all over the place, full back, centre back, mid, half forward etc. Imagine McGarrity doing a tour like that, imagine Kilcoyne being shunted all over the place.

    If he has any bit of luck with Armagh , we may see exactly what a lot of people seem to have missed with BJ. Back to bed for me, I have the flu and a sick stomach.

  8. PS. Let nobody doubt his club loyalty. Any man who returned from Galway and Belfast in his prime years to play intermediate football for Belmullet is the epitome of loyalty. Any married man who works in Kildare, lives in Newry Co Down and travelled to Belmullet until last September for club matchs is the perfect example of the loyal clubman. Billy Joe didnt turn his back on his club, common sense kicked in . I wish him only the best.

  9. Yes I take on board fully the valid points made by my two esteemed colleagues – – that’s what good healthy debate is all about. I’m sorry to hear you are in the horizontal position “on the road” – -you must have the lap-top under the pillow. If you dont show signs of improvement soon I’ll bring you over a bottle of the “quare stuff” – – you can either drink it or rub it in – -whichever – -it will put a bit of pep back in your step.

  10. Billy Joe’s commitment cannot come into question for one
    second. I challenge anyone to find someone on this island who put
    in more of a commitment for club and/or county in the past 12
    months. It was entirely unreasonable to expect him to continue
    doing so. I remember Billy Joe scoring the winning point (from a 60
    metre plus free) for North Mayo in a Mayo SFC quarter-final circa
    2001 in Bangor and then being flown by helicopter to play for NUIG
    in the Galway championship that evening. It was so exotic! When he
    was in Queens, his commitment never waned and when I heard last
    year from a very reliable source that Billy was working in Naas and
    living in Newry and still playing for his native club and county, I
    didn’t believe it. I asked others close to the squad and they
    confirmed it. Fare well Billy Joe, may the game be as good to you
    as you have been to it.

  11. Good luck to him but am disappointed, surely he could have played club ball up there but still lined out for mayo? Sad to lose a good player and won’t wish Armagh any success that might come at our own detriment.

    Grumpy today , I know 🙂

  12. Good luck to him.A hard trier but never good enough for top class inter county football.I wish him well.

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