Former Ardboe and Tyrone captain Patsy Forbes is currently immersed in a rigorous personal training programme — at the age of 78.
Forbes, one of the most charismatic figures in Ulster GAA circles, sustained a groin injury when competing in the over 75 100 metres event at the 2018 Irish Championships event in Dublin but never contemplated putting away his athletics vest for good. Instead, during his recovery period, he has been taken an even stronger interest in GAA affairs and is patiently awaiting a resumption of on the field action.
“I’m training three days every week with Dessie Ryan, another Ardboe stalwart, who is 80 and as fresh as a daisy, would you believe,” smiles Forbes. “He’s a GAA fanatic like me, a man who was ahead of his time in terms of his coaching ability.”
It was in 1968 that Forbes captained Ardboe to the Tyrone senior championship title during a decade in which he was a regular in the Red Hands line-up.
Seven years ago he participated in the 100 metres and 200 metres events in the Over 70 World Athletics Championship event in Turin and is keen to return to the global stage.
“The injury was a bit of a setback but I’m not letting it get me down. Dessie and I are pounding up the miles and I’m looking forward to returning to competitive action,” he admits. “In the meantime I would like to see Tyrone win the Ulster Championship again and make a good stab at the All-Ireland title. I have been following them all my life and I would love to see the side claim more success.”