Category: Archive

Texaco sports award winners announced

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mark Jones

DUBLIN — All-Ireland winners Michael Donnellan of Galway and Offaly’s Brian Whelahan, as well as the all-conquering Sonia O’Sullivan, will be among the recipients of the 1998 Texaco sports awards to be presented in Dublin next week.

Galway’s feat in winning the football championship for the first time since 1966 was undoubtedly a memorable team effort. However, Donnellan caught the eye with a series of outstanding displays.

Following in the footsteps of both his father and his grandfather, who also won All-Ireland medals, the 21-year-old Donnellan belied his youth by coming through as one of the Connacht county’s most composed players during their progress to a final victory over Kildare last September.

Whelahan may not have been as consistent throughout the summer, as Offaly lost both the Leinster hurling final and then their manager, Michael Babs Keating, but once the team hit top form in a dramatic three-game All-Ireland semifinal epic against Clare, Whelahan had returned to his imperious best.

Although suffering from flu in the All-Ireland final, Whelahan moved up the field from his customary defensive duties and scored a brilliant 1-6 to kill of Kilkenny’s chances. This is the Birr player’s second Texaco award.

Never miss an issue of The Irish Echo

Subscribe to one of our great value packages.

O’Sullivan, meanwhile, reestablished herself as one of the world’s leading athletes in 1998 with double successes at both the World Cross-Country Championships and then at the European Championships.

In March, she comfortably took a first world victory in the 4-kilometer cross-country race in Marrakesh, Morocco, and then created history the following day by capturing a second gold over the 8-kilometer distance.

That outstanding form translated itself onto the track and O’Sullivan completed another historic European double in Budapest, Hungary, in August, when she stormed to back-to-back wins in the 5,000- and 10,000-meter finals.

The soccer award, not surprisingly, went to Brian Kerr, who has continued his remarkable track record of nurturing Ireland’s underage talent. In 1997, Kerr had coached the Ireland Under 20 team to a creditable third place at the world championships, but in 1998, he capped that achievement in some style.

First, his Under 16 side won the European championship by beating Italy in the final and then Kerr masterminded another significant success when his Under 18 squad defeated Germany in a dramatic penalty shoot-out to also lift the European title.

Other awards went to Eddie Jordan, whose team made the long-awaited breakthrough with a Formula One victory in Belgium last August, to Sligo’s Mark Scanlon, who captured cycling’s World junior title, and to Darren Clarke, who finished in second place in the European Order of Merit, as well as moving up to 17th in the world golf rankings.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese