Tony Doran was born in Boolavogue, County Wexford in 1946. He was educated locally and first started playing hurling in the Nicky Rackard Under-14 League. Doran later joined the famous Buffer's Alley club where his skills were nurtured and developed further. In 1955 he made his first trip to Croke Park to see Nick O'Donnell lead Wexford to victory in the All-Ireland final. These great All-Ireland triumphs of the 1950s inspired Doran and he soon began playing for Wexford himself.
Doran played his club hurling with Buffer's Alley club in Wexford. He had much success with the club, winning numerous Wexford SHC and Leinster titles, as well as an All-Ireland club title in 1989. Doran continued playing with the club until 1993, when he retired after a county junior hurling final at the age of 47.
By the early 1960s Doran was playing minor hurling with his native county. He won an All-Ireland medal in 1963, following a great win over Limerick. Two years later in 1965 Doran had graduated onto the under-21 side. That year he won another All-Ireland medal after a defeat of Tipperary. In 1968 Doran made his senior debut with Wexford. He subsequently won his first Leinster title, before later playing in the All-Ireland final against Tipperary. The game itself is remembered as one of the great reversals in hurling history as Wexford were behind by 8-points at half-time. Doran scored two goals in the second-half to clinch victory for Wexford and to claim his first senior All-Ireland medal. Poaching goals was his forte, his modus operandi was to soar high, catch the sliother and head for goal, which inevitably resulted in a net-shaker or a free.
Two years later in 1970 Doran won his second Leinster title, however, a few weeks later victory went to Cork in a high-scoring, 80-minute All-Ireland final. For the next five years Kilkenny and Wexford met every year in the Leinster final, however, Wexford lost all five finals. In 1976 Wexford finally got the better of Kilkenny and Doran claimed his third Leinster title. In the All-Ireland final, however, Cork were victorious over Wexford once again. In spite of this, Doran’s performance throughout the championship earned him the accolade of Texaco Hurler of the Year. In 1977 Doran captured his fourth provincial title, however, Cork once again accounted for Wexford in the All-Ireland final.
Doran continued hurling with Wexford into the 1980s, however, by this stage Offaly had emerged as a new team to challenge Kilkenny. He never won another Leinster title with Wexford, and retired from inter-county hurling following the loss of the 1984 Leinster final to Offaly.
In the 1970s Doran played alongside his Kilkenny opponents on the Leinster Railway Cup team. He played in the forward line between 1971 and 1975 when Leinster won a record five Railway Cup titles in-a-row. Doran won further Railway Cup medals in 1977 and 1979.
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