Sean Treacy's London

Founded 1958

United Kingdom

The Sudden Death of John Cormack, One of Sean Treacys Greatest Gaels.

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It was with the greatest shock & sadness to learn that we had lost one of our greatest Gael’s in the club’s 66-year history, with the passing of our good friend & Club President John Cormack.

It has been an extremely tough time on the Cormack family, as John’s passing comes only 6 weeks after the death of his beloved wife Mary. On behalf of everyone involved with the Sean Treacys Hurling club, the Club Committee extend our deepest sympathy, our thoughts and our prayers to the Cormack family at this extremely difficult time.

John’s love of the game, his willingness to always provide support and his unwavering service and devotion to Sean Treacys will leave a huge void in all our lives. And above all else, we will just miss a really good friend.

John left his native Rosegreen in Tipperary in the early 1970’s to live and work in London. In 1975 at the age of 21, John joined Sean Treacys Hurling Club and immediately made a massive impact on the field, with stand-out performances which made him a player to be reckoned with. In 1977, John received the London Player of the Year Award, which was a significant achievement considering he was an Intermediate Player competing against Senior Players for the same award. In 1980 John was part of the Sean Treacys team that won the London Intermediate Championship, again being selected as player of the year for outstanding performance.

As any player aspires to, there is no greater joy than winning a Senior Title. In 1984, aged 30, John played on the Sean Treacys team that won their first London Senior hurling title. Three of John’s brothers, Jim, Eamon and Paul were also part of that team. It must have been an extremely proud day for the entire Cormack family. In 1991, at 37 years of age, John was still going strong, winning another London Senior Title with Sean Treacys, with that team progressing to meet his native Tipperary arch-rivals, Cashel King Cormacs GAA Club, in the quarter final of the All-Ireland Club Series. Motivation would have been at an all-time high. John’s younger nephew Michael played with the 1991 team, with his father Tom, John’s brother, also involved in the management of that team.

Following his Player of the Year Award in 1977, John was called into the London Senior Hurling Panel in 1978 and hurled with London up until 1986. John won 9 provincial medals with London and won the GAA’s first All-Ireland B Championship in 1985, when London beat Meath in the final by 1-08 to 1-06 at St Loman’s Park, Trim. London also reached the All-Ireland B final in John’s final year with the team in 1986 but were beaten Kerry by 3-11 to 1-10 in Ruislip. John generally played at right half forward and was remembered as a talented and industrious player. He was always looking for the ball, regardless of whether London were 20 points down or 20 points up. Although many of us would have never seen John play, knowing him as we do, it’s exactly what we would have expected.

By 1997, John had finished playing, and was involved in the management of the Sean Treacys team which were struggling for numbers at the time given the cyclical nature of London hurling. Having finished as a player, he would still tog out to make up the numbers required to field a team. Whatever it took, whatever was required, it was never beyond John’s capabilities. The hard work & dedication to the club were rewarded when Sean Treacys were back in the 1998 Co Senior Final with John’s son-in-law, the late Timmy Moloney captaining that Team. Sean Treacys were beaten in the 1998 final by Brothers Pearse, but it is the resilience when things got tough that is so synonymous with John. The man would simply never let you down.

John’s impact wasn’t limited to just the adult ranks at Sean Treacys. He was also involved in setting up a very successful underage Minor Team with his good friends Sean Maguire, Michael Maher & Brian Kavanagh. In 2002, that team won the minor hurling championship captained by his son Sean, who came on in the Senior Final the same day when Sean Treacys beat Robert Emmets. A player winning two county medals in a single day, another proud day for the Cormack family.

In 2010 John managed the Senior Team who were beaten by Kilburn Gaels in the Co Senior Hurling Final, which was probably his last official involvement in the management of the team. And although no longer officially involved, John was always at training, never missed a game and was always a constant support to everyone involved in the club from that time up until his sudden & untimely death.

John had served as Club Chairman and his unbelievable contribution to fundraising for Sean Treacys over the years is something that simply cannot go unmentioned. In the toughest of times, when the club struggled for players and people to help run the club, John would single handedly organise a golf classic or other fundraising event to help run the club for the coming year. His steadfast determination to put his shoulder to the wheel to help the club at times of adversity was simply unbelievable.

John wasn’t just one of Sean Treacys greatest Gaels, he was also absolutely devoted to his family, a character and a great great friend. He had a mischievous sense of humour, and a story is recounted of an aging Sean Treacys player telling John he was retiring, with John telling him it was probably just as well, he wasn’t much good anyway. He was of course pulling the players leg, but that is how we all know and loved John. And lest we forget, a man who could show up in minus four degree weather wearing only a polo shirt and carrying an umbrella, with a Nokia 3210 in the top pocket. John was good humoured, good craic and above all a great friend. You could ask John for anything, and he would absolutely do it for you, no questions asked. It’s the memories we’ll never forget.

Cuchulainn’s Son is a hurling song written about one of the true legends of the game. And although not written about a Tipperary man, the words below would appear to be equally as appropriate for one Legend as they are for another.

The last parade was sad and slow,
The last oration spoken low,
And as on green fields long ago,
The Diamonds stood beside you.

Old friends they flanked you side by side,
And the tears they shed were tears of pride,
An ash tree toppled when you died,
And scattered seeds at random.

There is no doubt that Treacys has lost one of our greatest Gaels.

God Bless you John, we will all miss you dearly.

Ar dheist Dé go raibh a anam dilis.

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