Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport

GAA: John keeping it in the family

By John Campbell

Published 10/10/2007

Antrim county board chairman John McSparran fulfilled a very pleasant task just recently when he presented a trophy to his own club captain Robert Paul Laverty.

Cushendun's triumph in the Antrim Intermediate Hurling Championship final over St Paul's (4-11 to 1-10) certainly had considerable resonance for the wider McSparran family.

Three of John's brothers - Brendan, Paddy and Paul - were in the side while his father is the club president.

It's 15 years since Cushendun last claimed the Intermediate title and John is particularly delighted that several members of that side are still doing the business for the club where it matters most - out on the park.

"I think it is a tribute to the loyalty and commitment of these players that they are still wearing the jersey with pride. Their experience has paid dividends. They are certainly doing their bit to keep the hurling flag flying where the population is dwindling because of the inability of young people to get planning permission for homes," says John McSparran.

It was in 2000 that Cushendun were last in the decider but they made no mistake this time. Just 24 hours before attending his home club's stunning success, John had been at the Special Congress vigorously leading Antrim's opposition to the HDC proposals for the new-look All Ireland Championship.

"Cushendall's win certainly helped to erase some of the stress occasioned by the debating chamber," smiles John.

Belfast Telegraph

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph