Sean Purcell and Frank Stockwell
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Centre Half Forward,
Seán Purcell (Galway & Tuam Stars) "The Master" as he was referred to as in his native Galway, Seán Purcell was one of the most versatile footballers of his generation and described by many as a player very much ahead of his time. Following early success with St. Jarlaths College in his home town of Tuam, Purcell made his inter-county debut in 1948. It was not until 1954 that he won his first Connacht title and for the following seven years, Purcell was key in a further five provincial successes. Purcell's lone All Ireland came in 1956 when he starred in the Tribesmen's victory over Cork. During his senior career, Purcell lined out at many positions including full back yet it was in the half-forward line that he excelled. A feature of Purcell's career was his partnership with fellow Tuam forward Frank Stockwell. The duo became affectionately known as "The Terrible Twins" because they worked almost instinctively off each other.
He won an All-Ireland colleges medal with St Jarlath’s, Tuam in 1946, and in his career with the Tuam Stars Club he won ten County Championship titles. He won one All-Ireland senior football medal with Galway, in 1956, and captained the team which lost to Kerry in the 1959 final.
He won three Railway Cup medals with Connacht, in 1951, 1957 and in 1958, when he was captain.
Although an extremely versatile player, he is widely regarded as one of the game’s greatest ever centre-half forwards and was elected in that position on the GAA/An Post ‘Team of the Millennium’.
One of the greatest footballers of all time, and one half of the "Terrible Twins", along with Frank Stockwell. He helped Galway to seven Connacht titles between 1954 and 1963, and played at centre-forward on the All-Ireland winning team of 1956. The native of Tuam had an almost telepathic relationship with Stockwell, and they often combined to deadly effect.
He has been described as the complete footballer, with a superb turn of speed and great ball control. A natural footballer, he could play in any position, and could always be relied upon to do something special if his side were in trouble.
Despite the fact that he was not the biggest of players, he caused endless trouble, and his combination with Stockwell was the undoing of many a defense. Jack Mangan, the Galway captain in 1956, said of the pair, "They did not even have to look for each other on the field, they knew one another's play that well"
Sean Purcell won three Railway Cups with Connacht, and was selected on the Team of the Century and the Team of the Millennium.