John McNamara Any Craic Magazine.
Jerry Hurley played for Pres, College and Sundays Well RFC but became famous for a match he did
not actually play in.
What are your early memories of rugby.
I returned from Essex in 1962 as my father inherited a farm outside Ballinahassig. We had to find an
English speaking school and set up an interview with Brother Angelo the Headmaster of Pres. We
noticed a lot of rugby trophies but were skeptical as we were die hard soccer fans being Londoners.
My brother started rugby first and gave me some back garden training in tackling I got the technique
right and impressed my new rugby playing peers in Pres. I was appointed Vice Captain of Pres
Juniors. We had a great cup run beating Rockwell in Cashel with Eammon DE Valera in the crowd, we
won the cup after a final replay against St Munchins I captained the Seniors from full back but we
When did you get your first Senior break.
I started playing Minor and Junior for UCC but got called into the Senior squad due to Injuries.
College skipper Tommy Barrett got a red card in our Cup match against Young Munster, my
memories of that game included wearing nailed on boots and making a try scoring break but being
blown up for a forward pass.
What were the highlights of your career.
We went on tour to Canada with College(Pat Parfrey was captain).I was sharing with Christy
Cantillon and we had two glasses of whisky on our lockers as Prof Fahy did the night time checks. He
said well done for being in bed and asked could he come back and join us for one after the checks.
We made the Munster Senior Cup final but our coach Dr Leahy had to do some surgery on me as I
had damaged ribs to get me on the pitch for the final against Dolphin. We won the Cup but I could
not enjoy the celebrations as I was in agony after the operation particularly as Phil O Callaghan
enquired “how are your ribs “as he scrummaged hard all afternoon. I finished College and joined the
Well as I promised them I would always join them, I got a letter to say I had secured a trial for
Munster and ran three miles every evening. This extra fitness paid off as I struck two against the
head from Pat Whelan who acknowledged I had been training hard .I was selected on the bench for
the 1978 game against the All Blacks and became famous for being part of a game I did not play in. I
was blocked out for Ireland by Leinsters Cantrell and Munster by Pat Whelan. My biggest highlight
was coaching Navan who won the Ireland under eighteen clubs and my son emerged from this team
but later played professionally with Munster rather than Leinster.
Who was your most difficult opponent and who did you enjoy playing with.
Ginger McLoughlin of Shannon Munster and Ireland was my toughest opponent .I loved playing with
Jim Sheehan Second row from Bandon, Christy Cantillon and Garrett Fitzgerald in UCC were great
forwards. I loved playing with Smoky Joe and Ned O Neill two great props in the Well.
Have you been involved since you stopped playing.
I am currently back in Cork after forty years in Leinster and following Sundays Well in Ail 2c with my
son Dennis Hurley coach this season.