Ashes of Noel Cantwell scattered in Cork

Ashes former Man Utd captain Noel Cantwell scattered Cork
24 May 1964; England captain Bobby Moore, West Ham United, left, and Republic of Ireland captain Noel Cantwell, Manchester United, lead their respective side’s out ahead of the match. International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England, Dalymount Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Connolly Collection / SPORTSFILE

‘A Cork son will finally be returning home for the last time’

Cork and Ireland legend Noel Cantwell finally came home last week, as his ashes were scattered on a cricket pitch in his native county 13 years after he passed away.

The ceremony took place at Cork County Cricket Club on the Mardyke, close to where he was born. In attendance were Mr Cantwell’s daughters, Kate and Elizabeth, who requested that their late father’s ashes be scattered there. T

hey were joined by Roy Keane, FAI chief executive John Delaney, and rugby legends Tom Kiernan and Barry McCann.

When the former Manchester United captain and Republic of Ireland international passed away in 2005 at the age of 73, his ashes were kept by his wife, Maggie, at their home in England. She passed away just before Christmas.

“I’ve had my dad with me at my home for 13 years. But this is a really special place for us. It’s like coming home really. I always felt that he should come back to Cork, because this is his home,” said Kate.

“It’s fantastic that a Cork son will finally be returning home for the last time,” said Councillor Mick Finn, who had spoken with Mr Cantwell’s daughters about bringing his ashes home to Cork prior to their mother’s death.

“It was fitting to name the walkway after somebody with such achievements and it was fitting that Roy Keane was there on that day because Noel Cantwell was the Roy Keane of his day.”

An all-round sportsman, he played rugby and represented his country at cricket on five occasions. It was for his feat’s on the soccer pitch that he was best known however. He went on to win 36 caps for the Republic of Ireland, scoring 14 goals, and in 1957 captained Ireland in a World Cup tie against England at Dalymount Park.

He joined West Ham United at the age of 17 and scored 16 goals during his 245 league appearances, before joining Manchester United in 1960. He would become a key part of the Man Utd side rebuilt under Sir Matt Busby following the Munich Air Disaster. He went on to make 121 league appearances for the Old Trafford club, winning two league titles and captaining them to FA Cup success in 1963.

Ashes former Man Utd captain Noel Cantwell scattered Cork

“If you were to ask my dad where home is, he would say Cork,” added Kate. “He used to get into trouble with Sir Matt Busby because my dad would spend summers travelling to Ireland and beyond for cricket.”

In 2015, a laneway was named after the sporting legend near the Mardyke.

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