Seán Doherty (Gaelic footballer)

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Seán Doherty
Personal information
Irish name Seán Ó Dochartaigh
Sport Gaelic football
Position Full-back
Born Wicklow, Ireland
Nickname The Doc
Years Club
Ballyboden Wanderers
Ballyboden St Enda's
Years County
Inter-county titles
Leinster titles 5
All-Irelands 3
All Stars 1

Seán Doherty (born 1946 in Wicklow, Ireland) is a former Gaelic football manager and player. He played football with his local club Ballyboden Wanderers, Ballyboden St Enda's and St Anne's and was a senior member of the Dublin county team throughout the 1970s. Doherty captained Dublin to the All-Ireland title in 1974. He later served as joint-manager of the team with Gerry McCaul and Tony Hempenstall for one season in 1989.

Playing career[edit]


Doherty played his club football with a selection of clubs throughout the 1960s and 1970s; however, it was with Ballyboden Wanderers/Ballyboden St Enda's that he enjoyed his greatest successes.

He first came to prominence with Ballyboden Wanderers when he captained the 1968 Dublin Junior Football championship winning team. The following season Ballyboden Wanderers joined forces with Rathfarnham St Enda's to become Ballyboden St Enda's. He went on to play in the county intermediate championship in the 1970s. In 1971 he won his 1st Intermediate championship, before adding a 2nd to his collection three years later in 1974.

In later years Doherty served as player-manager with Tallaght-based club St Anne's.


Doherty first came to prominence on the inter-county scene as a senior member of the Dublin county team in the early 1970s. It was the beginning of a resurgence for 'the Dubs' who had been in the doldrums for much of the previous decade.

In 1974 Doherty was captain when he played in his first Leinster final in the senior grade. Archrivals Meath set out to stop 'the Dubs' claiming a first provincial title since 1965. A new look Dublin under the stewardship of Kevin Heffernan made no mistake in securing a 1-14 to 1-9 victory.[1] It was Doherty's first Leinster winners' medal in the senior grade. Dublin later surprisingly defeated All-Ireland title-holders Cork in the semi-final, thus booking a place in the All-Ireland final against Galway. The men from the west, who had been beaten in two of the previous three championship deciders, took a 1-4 to 0-5 lead at half-time, however, the real turning point of the game came in the 52nd minute. Galway were awarded a penalty which Liam Sammon stepped up to take. Goalkeeper Paddy Cullen made no mistake and saved the shot. 'The Dub's' later went on to take the lead as Galway collapsed. A 0-14 to 1-6 score line resulted in a first All-Ireland winners' medal for Doherty and a first for Dublin in eleven years.[2] He capped off the year by collecting his only All-Star award.

Dublin proved that their success in 1974 was not a flash-in-the-pan by retaining the Leinster title in 1975 after an enormous 3-13 to 0-8 defeat of Kildare.[3] Doherty's side were the red-hot favourites going into the All-Ireland final against the youngest Kerry teams of all-time. On a rain-soaked day John Egan and substitute Ger O'Driscoll scored two goals for Kerry and 'the Dubs' were ambushed by 2-12 to 0-11.[4] It was a bitter defeat for a Dublin team that had expected so much.

Dublin continued their dominance in 1976. After securing the National League title 'the Dubs' dominated the provincial championship once again.[5] A narrow 2-8 to 1-9 defeat of Meath gave Doherty a third consecutive Leinster winners' medal.[3] Once again it was Kerry who provided the opposition, as one of the great rivalries of football entered a new chapter. Both sides were hoping for success, however, new 'Dub' Kevin Moran was causing havoc with the Kerry defence. Immediately after the game started he careered through the Kerry half-back and full-back lines, however, his shot at goal went wide. This set the pace for the rest of the match. John McCarthy finished a five-man move to score Dublin's first goal of the day. A converted penalty by Jimmy Keaveney was followed by a third goal from Brian Mullins.[6] A 3-8 to 0-10 score line gave Dublin the title and gave Doherty a second All-Ireland winners' medal.

The 1977 Leinster final was a replay of the previous year with the result being the same. Meath provided some stiff opposition but fell short, eventually losing the game by 1-9 to 0-8.[3] It was Doherty's fourth consecutive Leinster title. Dublin later took on Kerry for the third consecutive year, however, this time it was in the All-Ireland semi-final. In one of the greatest games of football ever-played 'the Dubs' triumphed and booked a final apot against Armagh. An eight-goal thriller ensued, with Jimmy Keaveney scored the first of the day after just ninety seconds. He ended the day with a record 2-6 from play. Bobby Doyle soon followed with the first of his two goals while John McCarthy got a fifth. Armagh were awarded two penalties, however, the northerners spurned some golden goal-scoring opportunities. A huge 5-12 to 3-6 victory gave Dublin a second consecutive title and gave Doherty a third All-Ireland winners' medal in four years.[7]

1978 saw Doherty add a second National League title to his collection.[8] A fifth consecutive Leinster winners' medal soon followed as Dublin accounted for Kildare.[3] The eleven point victory in this game made Doherty's side the favourites to secure a remarkable third All-Ireland title in-a-row. While the game should have been an historic occasion, a rout ensued. The game is chiefly remembered for Mikey Sheehy's sensational goal. A free was awarded and the Kerry forward lobbed the ball over the head of Paddy Cullen, who was caught off his line arguing with the referee. New full-forward Eoin Liston entered the record books as he scored a hat-trick of goals. Pat Spillane played all over the field, including goalkeeper after Charlie Nelligan was sent off. At the full-time whistle Kerry were the winners by 5-11 to 0-9.[7] Doherty retired from inter-county football following this defeat.


  1. ^ Donegan, Des (2005). The Complete Handbook of Gaelic Games. DBA Publications. p. 142.
  2. ^ Corry, Eoghan (2005). The GAA Book of Lists. Hodder Headline Ireland. p. 403.
  3. ^ a b c d The Complete Handbook of Gaelic Games p. 142
  4. ^ The GAA Book of Lists p. 403
  5. ^ The GAA Book of Lists p. 179
  6. ^ The GAA Book of Lists pp. 403-404
  7. ^ a b The GAA Book of Lists p. 404
  8. ^ The Complete Handbook of Gaelic Games p. 179
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Dublin Senior Football Captain
Succeeded by
Tony Hanahoe
Preceded by
Kevin Heffernan
Dublin Senior Football Manager
(jointly with Brian Mullins & Robbie Kelleher)

Succeeded by
Gerry McCaul
Preceded by
Billy Morgan
All-Ireland Senior Football
winning captain

Succeeded by
Mickey 'Ned' O'Sullivan