Tuam RFC

Founded 1970

Co. Galway

Club Profiles Murt McCormack


(This piece with Murt McCormack was done on September 7th, 2020)

We continue our club profiles with our first ever club president; MURT MCCORMACK.


Too often the word legend gets thrown around but for Tuam RFC that word perfectly describes our former president, player and captain, Murt McCormack.


Now in his eighty third year, Murt recalls how back in 1970, his rugby career with Tuam RFC began at a time when he was thinking of giving up the sport. 


He says "We had a family run shop on the square in Tuam. I worked there on Saturdays and at the time I was playing with Corinthians because there was no club in Tuam. Unfortunately Corinthians games were on Saturdays too so I kept missing the games due to work. I was nearly thinking of quitting playing altogether but I was delighted when Tuam got going because there was no problem getting time off work because their games were on Sundays.


"It was Philip Malynn who asked me would I be interested in getting involved with the club which was being put together. Originally I was meant to be captain but I ended up getting the role of club president. I was delighted just to be able to play rugby again and Tuam allowed me that, I played for another ten or twelve years, right into my forties."


With the club formed, there was one issue that needed to be addressed. “We had a set of yellow jerseys but we couldn't use them because Ballinasloe had the same colour. We had to change ours. Our scrum half at the time, Martin O Toole was from Dublin and played rugby with Clontarf. He had a Clontarf jersey so we only had to buy fourteen more blue and red jerseys! That's how we got our club colours," laughs Murt. 


Ironically Tuam would face Ballinasloe in the 1972 junior cup final. Unfortunately the yellow jerseys won out that day.

"It was a great achievement to get to that final but we had a great team and in truth we should've won. We missed six or seven penalties that day. It was a disappointing defeat."


However Murt would taste success in a final when he captained Tuam to the Ard na Cregg cup in 1976. “We had a great team but we weren't that young mind you! We had a lot of old timers playing. We had great craic and the celebrations went on for a few days!"


As well as being the clubs first president, Murt would fulfil that role on two further occasions in 75/76 and 76/77. However he says his proudest moment for Tuam RFC was the day the club opened their own grounds at Garraun Park in 1982. 


"I remember when we started off we used to train up in the old racecourse between the second last and last jump. We played all our games away. For years we never had a permanent home until May 1982. That was a fantastic day. The Irish International team had just won the triple crown. An invitational International team made up by the majority of the Irish team including captain Mick Fitzgerald, Moss Keane and Donal Lenihan played a selection from Tuam. It was really well organised, extremely enjoyable with a huge crowd. There was international players drinking in every pub in town that evening!"


Murt left Tuam in 1987 but still kept in touch with the lads he played with and is very proud of how far the club has come. 


“I never went into coaching but since I left Tuam I still keep an eye on it. I do meet a lot of lads like Paul Cosgrove, Sean Carter and John Carr at Connacht games. It's great to hear how well the club is going. It is in great hands. They have a great committee and great facilities also. Personally I am very thankful for all the great memories Tuam RFC has given me." 


Murt was all set for Tuam RFC's 50th Anniversary Social which had to be cancelled due to Covid 19 and to which he was meant to be one of the guests of honour. He is hopeful he'll be able to make that trip down in the near future. 


“I was looking forward to it alright. All my family were going to it including my wife Dorothy, children and grandchildren. We might get another day and if we do I'll be there please God!"

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