Tuam RFC

Founded 1970

Co. Galway

Club Profiles John Carr


(This profile piece was done on 20th July, 2020)

Former US President Harry S Truman once said "It's amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."


Here at Tuam RFC we are blessed to have such individuals who do so much work behind the scenes purely for the love of the club and nothing else. Because of this Tuam RFC has made huge strides forward on and off the field.


Over the next few weeks we will be profiling those who put so much into the club and ask for nothing in return. One such person is our Head Grounds-man John Carr.


John has been a huge part of the club for almost fifty years now and it all began in very unassuming circumstances. He recalls; "It was 1974 when Philip Malynn, the late Kevin Prendergast and I travelled to Loughrea to support Tuam RFC. However they were short two players so myself and Kevin were summoned to play. I was thrown into the front row from day one and never left it."


"I loved the game. Especially the camaraderie that was built up. Not only with teammates but with the opponents too. You'd be tearing strips off each other but as soon as the game was over you left your feelings on the pitch".


John remembers how there was an unwritten rule in Junies where in the back of the pub GAA was discussed, while in the front, rugby was debated on! "We would be playing games in places like Ballina and afterwards we'd be in the Imperial Hotel down there arguing should we stay or go knowing if we got back in time before closing we were guaranteed a couple extra pints in the front bar!" laughs John. 


After hanging up his playing boots when he turned 38, John delved into coaching. "I managed at mini rugby, U18 and U20 level. I really enjoyed it. I found lads gave you one hundred per cent once you built up trust and were fair with them. I remember training players like Dygo (Owen Lydon) and Dermot Fahy, players who stayed on and became a very important part of the club", says John. 


In 1976 John Carr became the voice of the club at Connacht Rugby's top table when he took up the role of branch delegate. "Back then senior clubs ran the show while the junior clubs were told to sit in the corner and be quiet. I went in with the intent to rattle cages and to be fair nowadays there is total respect shown to all clubs".


Indeed it is not just in the rugby hierarchy where John has seen huge changes but with Tuam RFC itself. "When I came to the club we had no official home. We shared public grounds in Parkmore with Tuam Stars before we moved out to where the driving range is now at Tuam Golf Club. We also spent a year playing our home games at Corinthians RFC who we were very grateful to. Eventually we secured our own pitch which was something very special. Things have only progressed since. I'm a great believer in if you stand still you only go backwards."


One thing you can't accuse John of is standing still especially when it comes to fulfilling his duties as the club's groundsman. "For me this job is like heaven. It's lovely being out in the fresh air. I take great pride in my job. From marking the pitch to cutting the grass I find it all very therapeutic. I can remember back when Tony McDonagh, Paul Cosgrove and I went around the field with a one wheeled marker getting ready for match day. Like everything machines have improved so things get done easier and faster. We recently purchased a new tractor and I can't get Sean Carter off it since! He's hooked! I was chatting to him one day and telling him I was going up to cut the three pitches but he said no need I've them done!"


"Seriously though the new machinery has been brilliant. We've invested too on products to improve the drainage on the pitches. It is very important the soil is looked after. Often there could be 3/4 games a week due to be played on one of the pitches but if I think the ground isn't suitable then I make the call for no game. The pitches are booked in advance which is very important. Its just a job that I find hugely satisfying."


John has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon and sees a great future for the club. "I've made great friends in the club, I love the banter and the club is going from strength to strength," concludes John.

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