New book celebrates 1966 All-Ireland U-21 winning team

Proceeds to Western Alzheimers, Roscommon

It could be a good omen for Roscommon U-20s on Sunday…even if it’s not, it’s a timely tribute to the county’s first ever All-Ireland U-21 football success!

I refer to a beautiful new book which has just been published. The colourful publication is a celebration of Roscommon’s All-Ireland U-21 victory in 1966, and thus marks the 55th anniversary of that famous win. (In 1978, Roscommon won a second All-Ireland U-21 title. Sunday’s date with Offaly in the U-20 final represents an opportunity to win a third All-Ireland title at the corresponding grade).

This timely 88-page salute to a pioneering Roscommon team has been compiled by one of the men involved on that historic day. Paul Mockler (St. Croan’s) lined out at centre half-back in the final against Kildare.

Paul, who is based in Co. Clare, came up with the idea for the book, and went on to bring the project to fruition. Proceeds from the sale of the book will go towards Western Alzheimers, Goff Street, Roscommon.

Paul told the Roscommon People: “I just thought it would be nice to acknowledge those players, indeed all who were involved. I was based in Templemore at the time, and hardly knew any of the players! Ironically, it was through reunions in later years that I got to know them…and what a lovely group of men they were and are. Six of the players have gone to their eternal reward, and I really wanted to do this for them, for their memory”.

Paul received huge assistance from well-known GAA administrator Mick Rock from Elphin. Mick interviewed surviving members of the Roscommon panel, and their recollections form the backbone to this terrific book. Deceased players are also profiled.

In his introduction, Paul says: “This book is a celebration of ‘Seal Aoibhinn dar Saol’….‘Happy times in our life’”. Paul goes on to pay tribute to his playing colleagues, the team management and the legacy they created between them. He also thanks everyone who assisted in any way with the production of the book.

On their way to All-Ireland U-21 glory in 1966, Roscommon defeated Galway, Leitrim and Mayo (to win Connacht); Donegal in the All-Ireland semi-final; and Kildare in the final (2-10 to 1-12).

This beautiful publication features interviews, press cuttings and some fabulous photographs. It’s a fantastic record of a great Roscommon football triumph, a book that will be cherished and enjoyed by current generations, and one that will serve to remind future generations of a history-making Roscommon team.