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Saturday July 04, 2020

From the Dubs’ ball boy to World Cup winning captain

courtesy of RTE

Eoin Morgan with the Cricket World Cup trophy

Cricket World Cup winning captain Eoin Morgan used to kick the balls back to Dublin’s footballers at training as they got ready for their 1995 All-Ireland win.

Morgan was born and bred in Rush, north county Dublin, and he played cricket for Ireland before he made the switch to England more than ten years ago.

Eoin’s father Joe was, and still is, head groundsman at Trinity College’s sports ground in Santry and the family used to live onsite.

The Boys in Blue, hurling and football, trained there on-and-off for more than a decade and Joe’s sports-mad kids were regulars observers at the sessions.

“They were always around,” said Paul Clarke, who was part of the Dubs side that won Sam Maguire in ’95, when they beat Tyrone after a controversial final at Croke Park.

In subsequent years Clarke became a friend of the Morgan family through his work in the emergency services at Dublin Airport.

He said: “I’m always following how Joe and Eoin are doing. It’s great to see him reach international recognition, travelling the world and being recognised at the highest level.”

Morgan shows his football skills at Ireland training at the 2008 Cricket World Cup
Morgan is 32 years old and he would have only been eight back in 1995. While he might have been a Dubs fan, cricket and rugby were his number one sports.

He was a promising player with the oval ball in his secondary school days at Dublin’s CUS, but the bat and ball game was always his calling.

Morgan was earmarked for a professional career from an early age and he made his Ireland international debut as a teenager in 2003.

Having travelled over to be part of Middlesex’s county cricket youth set-up during school holidays he made the move full-time across the water and was then given his full England debut in 2009.

Paul Clarke
An Irishman and Dub who gathered footballs at training in Santry Ave during our All Ireland year ’95 now captains England to cricket World Cup. Who’d have guessed what would happen nearly 30yrs later.

It quickly became clear that he wasn’t going to make a test cricketer and he concentrated on the shorter form of the sport – 50-over one day internationals and T20 rather than the five-day game.

He reached the very pinnacle on Sunday when he led England to the most-dramatic of world cup final win over New Zealand at Lord’s in London, the spiritual home of the game.

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