In the history of Ballymacnab Round Towers GFC and before there has been numerous and exceptional players to have dawned the jersey:
1940’s: Paddy Loughran, Frank McCone, Paddy “the Smith” Toner
1950’s: Joe O’Hare, Frank O’Toole, Seamus McKenna, Arthur Boyle, Seamus McKenna, Joe Halpin, Johnny Beagan, Thomas O’Hare, John Fegan, Gerry Feighan
1960’s: Hugh McKernan, Paddy McKernan
1970’s: Mickey O’Hare, Packie Nugent, Brendan McCone
1980’s: John Kelly, John Gray, Brendan McKee, Brian Gray
Any many others, too numerous to mention.
Our records of an “Official” Player of the Year begin in 1986. In 1993 it was with sadness that James Gray, one of our former players of the 1970s, was killed at the hands of loyalists. His family kindly donated a cup in his memory to the club and this cup is awarded to our Senior Player of the Year each year.
1986 – Gerard McClelland
Gerard Played for the club in the late 70’s through to the 80’s. He played most of his football either at centre half back or midfield. Before his honour in 1986 he collected Division IV and Division III League medals in 1980 and 1982 and represented Armagh U-21’s. Throughout his playing days he was also a valued and dedicated Committee member and continued after his playing days, serving as Secretary from 1990-1998 and Chairman 1999-2000.
1987 – Noel Martin
1988 & 1992 – Neil McKee
has the distinction of being the first player to have received this
ward twice. Neil has been a long servant to the club having played
senior football in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. He began his career at a
midfielder before reverting to his more renowned position of full back.
He collected Division IV and Division III League medals in his career
and captained the side in the 1994 Junior Final. Throughout his playing
days he was a dedicated servant on the Committee and this continued
after his playing days, serving as Secretary in 2005-2009.
1989 – Barry Murphy
Barry played senior football for the club in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and collected a Division IV League medal in 1992 also played in the 1993 and 1994 Junior Final defeats. Renowned for his athleticism and pace he played most of his football at midfield and occasionally centre half forward.
1990 – John Murdoch
John deservedly collected the award in 1990. He was a regular on the team in the late 1980’s, early 1990’s. John made the corner back position his own during this time and is remembered for his man marking ability.
1991 – Myles McGeown
Myles played the majority of his football at full forward, scoring 1-2 in the 1984 Junior Final. After a short time spent in America and England he returned to the Nab in 1990. He collected a Division IV league medal in 1992 but was meet with disappointment the following year with the defeat in the Junior Final the following year and was part of the management team in 1994. He was renowned for his craftiness and intelligent play and was the torture of manys a full back.
1993 – Liam King
Liam transferred to the club from
Keady in 1993 and although only played towards the end of his career he is
regarded as one of the best to have played for the club in his generation.
Despite the disappointment of Junior Final defeats in 1993 and 1994 Liam got
his just rewards in 1999 when he played full back in the Junior winning side.
An inspirational point in that final was a pivotal moment in that game.
Adequately adaptable to any position in defence, he also played the occasional
game at midfield and even as a goalkeeper. Since his retirement he has been
involved at underage coaching.
John transferred to the club from
St.Patrick’s Donagh, Co.Fermanagh in 1983 and was a tremendous servant
throughout his playing days. He continued playing senior football up until 2002
and afterwards played a number of years on the reserve side. Like many of his
peers he had disappointment in two Championship Final defeats in 1984 and 1994
but was fortunate to play at full forward on the 1999 Junior Championship
winning side. He played every position ‘up the middle’ but his best position
was at midfield and was noted for his strength and high fielding ability. John
also served as Chairman in 2000-2001.
Kevin made his senior debute at a
young age in 1987 and continued playing for the seniors up until 2005. He
played midfield in the 1999 Junior Final and was the regular midfielder
throughout his career. A hard worker within the sides he played on and he has
continued this since his retirement serving on the committee and managing the
U-16 side that won the Mid Armagh Championship in 2007. In 2010 he was
Assistant Senior Manger, guiding that team to the ACL Division II title and the
Senior Co.Final a year later.
Paddy began his senior career at a
young age having come through the underage ranks. His played the majority of
his time at midfield or corner back. Renowned for his strength and
determination, Paddy’s career was cut short when he was forced to retire at and
early age due to a back injury and was a lost to the club in the following
years. He has however kept his involvement with the club by coaching at
2000 – Damian Gribben
Damian became only the second player to have collected the award more than once. His early years at senior level saw him play in the forward line and lined out at right half forward in the 1994. However, his best position was on the full back line due to his fitness, speed and reading of the game. He played at left corner back on the 1999 Junior Championship side and full back for a number of years following and was a member of the All-Ireland Junior 7’s winning team in 2000.
1998 – Gary Donnelly
Gary would be noted as one of the best to have played for the club in the last 25 years. An exciting underage player, it wasn’t long before he was making a name for himself in the senior ranks. In played in the 1993 and 1994 Junior Final defeats but his greatest honour came in 1999 when he captained the Club to its first Championship victory. Sadly from Gary point his involvement in that final was minimal due to an injury in the Semi-Final when he gave an inspirational display. He played minor football for Armagh and collected an UMFC medal in 1994. Sadly Gary never recovered from a serious knee injury and was forced to retire in 2004 at the age of 28. Although small in stature, his natural ability and braveness made up for any lack of height he had.
1999 – Philip McCone
Philip graduated on to the senior
ranks in 1998 will still playing football at minor level. He instantly held
down a starting position on the half back line. He put in a man of the match
performance in the Junior Final of 1999 and captained the side that won the
All-Ireland Junior 7’s in 2000. After collecting a Division III League medal in
2005 he went on to play at center half back in the 2006 Intermediate winning
team and holds the destination along with James Gray to be the only plays to
start in both of the clubs Championship winning teams. He also represented Armagh at U-21 level. He played his last senior game for
the club in 2007 when work commitments saw him transfer to Neasden Gaels (London), were he
collected a Senior Championship medal in 2010.
2001 & 2007– Brian McCone
In 2007 Brian joined Neil McKee and Damian Gribben with the honour of having been awarded this award twice. Brian McCone came up through the underage ranks of the club and made is senior debut in 2000 at the age of 16. He was a member of the side that won the All-Ireland Junior 7’s of that year and since his debut has been the Nab’s top scorer and chief marksman every year since. He collected an ACL Division III medal in 2005, an Intermediate medal in 2006 and in 2007 he finished the year with an impressive tally of 4-74. An all round quality player and reliable free taker. In 2010 collected a Division II League medal and was a leading figure on the side that reached the Senior Co.Final in 2011.
2002 – Seamus McArdle
Seamus made his senior debut in the late 1990’s and in 1999 took his place at right half forward on the historic Championship win. Equally adaptable at playing on the half back line and was a player who give his all on the playing field. He also collected an ACL Division III medal in 2005 before he retired due to work commitments.
2003 – Aidan Sutton
Although a native of Pearse Ogs, Aidan transferred to the club in 2002 and proved to be a popular player both on and off the field. He came to the club at an important time as the majority of the team of that year were only progressing out of minor ranks and Aidan gave great leadership and quality to the side. Unfortunately Aidan’s years were cut short with the Nab in 2003 when a serious injury in the Intermediate Championship Semi-Final against Maghery retired him from the game. For those two years, Aidan played full back for the club. There is no doubt only for the injury he would have played on with the Nab for a few more years.
2004 – Dwayne McParland
Like many of his peers Dwayne
progressed onto the senior squad in the early 2000’s. He has been the regular
full back for the Nab since 2004. Noted for his strength and commitment, Dwayne
plays the game as a traditional full back. He collected an ACL Division III
League medal in 2005 and played full back in the Intermediate side of 2006. In
2008 Dwayne was club captain and collected a Division II League medal in 2010
and played full back in the Senior Co.Final in 2011.
2005 – Sean Hughes
Sean transferred to the club in 2005 after moving to the area with his family. He played his underage football with Harps but immediately fitted in well with his now club. Sean was an instant success collecting this award in his first season and has been the Nab’s Number 1 since joining. An excellent goalkeeper and was probably the first player in the club to be a recognised keeper. Along with his award he also collected an ACL Division III League medal in 2005, an Intermediate medal in 2006 and captained the Division II League winners in 2010 and in the Senior Co.Final in 2011. There is no doubt that the Nab’s hands our safe in Sean’s control.
2006 – Chris Loughran
Chris progressed to the senior ranks in 2000 and immediately was an instant success and from 2001 has held down a place, usually at right full back. He collected an ACL Division III League medal in 2005, Division II in 2010 and played at right full back on the Intermediate side of 2006 and in the Senior Co.Final in 2011. His naturally speed, sharpness and man marking makes him a forwards nightmare and usually is assigned the job of marking the oppositions most dangerous forward but he thrives in these situations and deals with them admirably. Chris also helps at coaching at underage and managed the U-16 side that won the Mid Armagh Championship in 2007.
2008 – Joe Gribben
Although only 26 when collecting this award, it seems Joe has been around for along time. He was still only a minor when he was part of the panel that won the Junior Championship in 1999 and by 2006 was an established player on the team, playing at left half forward on the side and one of a few to have two Championship medals with the club. He also played at No.12 in the Co.Senior Final 2011. He collected an ACL Division III medal in 2005and Division II in 2010. Equally adoptable at half back, Joe is one of those players who never lets you down and holds an incredible record of missing very few training sessions down through the years.
2009 – Ryan Kennedy
An easy choice for player of the year in 2009 was Ryan Kennedy as he stood head & shoulders above his peers that year. In only his second season on the senior squad his lighting pace and scoring ability was the torture of manys a full back. He also represented Armagh U-21’s in 2009 and is looked upon one of our stars for the forcible future. He also collected an ACL Division II medal in 2010 and played Left Full Forward in the Senior Co.Final in 2011.
2010 – Gavin McParland
When Gavin collected his award in 2010 he & his sibling Dwayne became the first brothers to collect this award. From the first time Gavin appeared in the maroon colours at an early age, everyone recognised that there was something special about his talents. Drafted into the Senior ranks in the 2007 Ulster Intermediate campaign at the age of 15, just showed what admiration was held for him. He was a pivotal member of the U-16 team who won the Mid Armagh Championship and in 2008 represented Armagh Minors. 2009 was a special year for Gavin when he played left corner forward on the successful Armagh Minor team that won the All-Ireland, scoring two remembered goals in the Semi-Final. He continued this form into 2010 and his inspirational scorers and leadership, even at an early age, guided the seniors to the ACL Division II title and Division II Player of the Year. He played full forward on in the 2011 Senior Co.Final and his rewards saw him drafted into the county senior ranks in 2010.
2011 – Pauric Gribben
An easy choice for Player of the Year as Pauric was an inspirational in leading the team in their first season in the top flight and to the clubs first appearance in a Senior County Final, playing Midfield on that occasion. Easily adaptable in the forward line he collected a tally of 4-18 in 2011 season. Noted for his great athleticism and fielding ability he progressed to the senior team through the underage ranks, collecting ACL Division III and II medals and played full forward on the 2006 Intermediate Championship winning team
2012 – Ruairí Gribben
Ruairí ensured that the James Gray Memorial Cup remained in the Gribben household when he received the honour the year after his brother Pauric. Ruairí made the full back position his own this season and played with great distention throughout the year, keeping most of his opponents scoreless throughout the year/. Ruairí made his debut on the senior team in 2007 at the tender age of 16 and collected an ACL Division II medal in 2010 and was a member of the panel who reached the Senior County Final the following year. With his strength and ability there is no doubt he shall remain an important player within in the club in the year to come.
2013 – Damien McGeown
Dee McGeown was part of a successful underage team that have been the backbone to the must successful period in the Clubs history. Dee represented Armagh Minors in the Championship in 2004 and two years later was a second half substitute in the Intermediate Final, scoring a point in the process. He played full forward in the Ulster Club Final. In 2013 he played most of the year at right half forward, scoring 0-14 although easily adaptable at the midfield berth.