Image: Ardnaree Sarsfields website
Like the rest of you, I was saddened to learn earlier on today of the death of Joe Corcoran, who has passed away at the age of 77.
An Ardnaree Sarsfields clubman, Joe represented his county from 1958 until 1974. He made his inter-county debut in a League fixture against Sligo in November 1958 – scoring five points – and he then made his first championship appearance, against the same opposition, the following June.
Joe went on to play for Mayo a total of 94 times in League and championship, with his final appearance coming in March 1974 in a League match at MacHale Park against Tyrone. He scored that day too.
Scoring was Joe Corcoran’s stock in trade. Over the course of his long inter-county career – during which he won two Connacht championship medals, a National League medal and a Railway Cup medal – he racked up a total of 20 goals and 358 points in those 94 competitive outings. That record stood for decades and it wasn’t bettered until 2012 when Conor Mortimer’s haul finally surpassed it.
But the man they called Jinkin’ Joe wasn’t just about scoring. A naturally gifted forward, accurate off both feet, he was a man that punters flocked to see in an era when glamour, though rarely seen, could flash brilliantly when it did. And it did when Joe was in his pomp.
I only have a fuzzy recollection of him myself, a problem, in truth, that afflicts much of my store of childhood memories. But I do recall his name being spoken with awe and how, when we all loaded up to head off to a big match, we knew full well that Joe Corcoran was one of the big names on the bill.
Sincere condolences to his family and friends on their sad loss. May this great servant of football within the county rest in peace.