ALL TIME GREATS

REVEALED: Tipperary All Time Greats finalists announced

Michael Heverin

Reporter:

Michael Heverin

Email:

michael.heverin@nationalist.ie

Tipperary All Time Greats finalists announced

What an epic battle is in store to decide Tipperary's All Time Great – pitting the county's best ever hurler against its very top singer.

It's a contest to whet the appetite of Tipperary people all over the world – Jimmy Doyle vs Frank Patterson.

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The two men represent all that's best in the Premier County. Both have passed to their eternal reward but their names have legendary status and they are still renowned far and wide.

And it's entirely appropriate that a county famed in sport and music should be represented by its two finest ambassadors in their chosen field.

And to reach the final of this absorbing contest, that has captured the imagination of Tipperary people at home and abroad, they had to overcome considerable obstacles from the very first round when sixteen of Tipperary's finest entered the fray.

In the semi-finals they faced a huge struggle from two Tipperary men from an earlier generations whose own contribution had been immense.

Frank Patterson edged out Charles J. Kickham, patriot and poet, author of Knocknagow, advocate for the 'little village' and revered in Mullinahone and farther afield.

Jimmy Doyle out-polled Tomas MacDonagh, one of the 1916 Rising leaders whose name will always be remembered in Tipperary after sacrificing his life for Irish freedom.

Now it's down to the final two – Patterson vs Doyle, Clonmel vs Thurles, music vs sport.

Who it will be is down to your vote. You will decide on Tipperary's All Time Great.

And what a choice you have.

Frank Patterson is known from his native Clonmel to New York as one of the very great tenors.

From his earliest days with his local parish choir and St Mary's Choral Society, he went on to achieve a worldwide reputation.

He moved to Dublin in 1961, enrolling at the National Academy of Theatre and Allied Arts. He won scholarships to study in London, Paris and the Netherlands.

His first record was My Dear Native Land. He won a reputation as a singer of Handel, Mozart, and Bach oratorios and German, Italian and French song.

He then moved to the US and gave an outdoor performance in Washington before an audience of 60,000 and performed sell-out concerts from London's Royal Albert Hall to New York's Carnegie Hall, and at the White House for presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. He recorded over 30 albums.

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Jimmy Doyle never strayed as far from his native Thurles but his reputation as Tipperary's greatest hurler and one of the best that the game has known went far beyond his home town.

He first played competitive hurling while at school in Thurles CBS and arrived on the inter-county scene at the age of fourteen when he first linked up with the Tipperary minor team.

He made his senior debut in the 1957–58 National League. Doyle went on to play a key part for Tipperary during a hugely successful era for the team, and won six All-Ireland medals, nine Munster medals and seven National Hurling League medals.

An All-Ireland runner-up on three occasions, Doyle also captained the team to All-Ireland victory in 1962 and 1965. He was named on both the Team of the Century and the Team of the Millennium.

So get voting now for either of these two giants of Tipperary, men who earned fame and renown for their native place. It promises to be epic.