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Declan Bogue: Retiring McGlynn leaves a legacy as one of Donegal's all-time greats

Frank McGlynn
Frank McGlynn
Declan Bogue

By Declan Bogue

Despite his forceful presence and the huge energy and passion he brought on the football field, it was always a huge surprise to stand in front of Donegal player Frank McGlynn with a dictaphone in hand.

He has the softest voice you could ever hear. Perfect in his job as a teacher, but a nightmare to listen back to and transcribe.

Yesterday, a retirement statement from the Donegal county board brought down the curtain on his glorious career.

That he was still going at all is a marvel. McGlynn was one of those players that looked a fully-formed man with wife, house, children, garden and dogs from the first moment he played the game.

He went against the modern-day grain in that he married and had children when his county career was in full flow and at the end of almost every season since 2011, when he was a mere 25 years of age, there was speculation that he might retire.

In the game plan that Jim McGuinness devised to get the most out of his players, McGlynn was a major component. He could play a marking role, but once Donegal won turnover he would be in the thick of it, bombing forward with that huge engine and those fine motor skills that saw him play at a Milk Cup with Everton's youths alongside Wayne Rooney.

Few will forget his goal against Down in the Ulster final in 2012, arriving late, his timing and execution a hallmark of what he was good at. Donegal have had few players that could judge a game and what was required at any given time as McGlynn.

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A few years ago it looked like it was all over for him when he was taken off at half-time in a qualifier against Galway.

And yet he stuck at it and under Declan Bonner added two more Ulster titles to his handsome collection.

"I thank my parents and family for their constant support and encouragement," he said in the statement.

"And my wife Diane and my three children Harry, Gracie and Lucas, who have made many sacrifices to allow me to pursue an inter-county career."

If you get a chance, take the time to look up the clip of him being presented with some crystal by the Donegal county board after his 100th game for the county back in 2014. It was also his birthday that day and the rest of the Donegal team stood back and sang 'Happy Birthday' to him.

McGlynn grinned bashfully.

Belfast Telegraph


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