Enda Colleran

Enda Colleran

Enda Colleran (May 1942 - April 8, 2004) was a famous Irish sports person who played Gaelic football for Mountbellew and County Galway in the 1960s.

Enda Colleran is considered one of the outstanding players of Gaelic football in the 20th Century.

A native of Moylough, Colleran enjoyed a hugely successful GAA career, having first come to prominence in 1960 when he won a Hogan Cup medal with St. Jarlath’s College, Tuam. Later that year, he played at right half back on the Galway minor team that captured the All-Ireland title.

He also enjoyed success in both the Sigerson Cup and National League competitions.

Colleran joined the senior team in the mid 1960s and was a key player on the teams three-in-a-row in 1964, 1965 and 1966. Colleran was part of an elite group of seven players to captain his county to double All-Ireland successes and, in 1967, became only the fourth Galway player to captain a Railway Cup winning side with Connacht.

Following the end of his playing career Colleran worked as a selector and later a manager of Galway. He managed the side to victory in the Connacht Championship in 1976. He also had a career as an analyst on RTÉs The Sunday Game and as a teacher in Colaiste Einde in Salthill, Galway.

He was honoured by the GAA by being named on the "Team of the Century" and the "Team of the Millennium". He was also given the same honour on the Galway Team Of The Millenium as well.

Enda Colleran died suddenly at his home in Barna on April 8, 2004 aged 61. GAA President Sean Kelly led the tributes, saying that "All in the GAA are saddened at the untimely and early death of a great GAA man and the massive grievous loss to a great sporting family" He expressed his condolences on behalf of everybody in the GAA to the family, friends and team-mates of the Galway footballing legend. The Taoiseach at the time, Bertie Ahern said he was "deeply saddened and shocked on learning of the sudden death of such an outstanding player." Hundreds of mourners gathered in Barna on Sunday 11th April to pay their respects to Colleran who was laid to rest in Rahoon cemetery.

In April 2006, Former team-mates, opponents and friends of Colleran celebrated his life with a special tribute weekend in his native Moylough.

The highpoint of the Enda Colleran Weekend, which took place on the weekend April 28-30, was the unveiling by current GAA president Nickey Brennan of a life-size bronze statue of Mr Colleran in Moylough. The statue was sculpted by Mr Colleran’s former pupil John Coll.

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