Padraig Crowley played in goal for the Beara Senior Football County Championship winning team of 1997.

Beara GAA ‘97 team supporting Padraig

A Cork GAA club and a team of former players are raising money for the children of the club’s former goalkeeper who is undergoing treatment for cancer.

Padraig Crowley, 49, was the goalkeeper on the Beara Senior Football County Championship winning team of 1997. He has been battling cancer in recent years and is currently undergoing extensive chemotherapy to curtail the growth of a tumour following his second surgery.

In support of their former teammate and his wife Gemma, Beara GAA and the winning team of 1997 have launched a fundraising drive to support the future educational needs of Padraig’s children James (8) and Molly (4).

Padraig, who turns 50 this year, grew up in the Beara Peninsula and played football with his local club Castletownbere where he developed his skills as a goalkeeper. In 1997, he was the goalkeeper on the Beara team that defeated Castlehaven in the Cork County Senior Football Final in a replay in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, to bring the Andy Scannell Cup back to the Beara Peninsula for the first time since 1967.

Speaking at the launch of the fundraising campaign, Beara 1997 Manager Donal O’Sullivan said the club had called on Padraig as its “last line of defence” in 1997, and now the club will support its teammate in his time of need.

He said: “Padraig Crowley has been part and parcel of the GAA family all his life, representing Castletownbere and Beara in every grade and in numerous county finals. Now, when needed, we as members of the GAA diaspora are here to support Padraig, his wife Gemma, and their children James and Molly.”

Also commenting was Beara GAA Chairman Michael Murphy who said: “Padraig represented Beara with great distinction at all levels and played a vital role as goalkeeper on the 1997 Beara team that won the Cork Senior Football Championship for the first time in 30 years. That win brought great joy to Beara people everywhere and I hope that Beara people at home and abroad will support these fundraisers however they can.”

As part of the drive, a Golf Classic will be held in Berehaven Golf Club from 15-17 September. Teams of 3 cost €60 and can be booked by contacting Joss Crowley on 086-8644111. Tee boxes and green sponsorship cost €50 and can be arranged by contacting Barry Murphy on 087-2342703.

On the October Bank Holiday weekend, a raffle will be held with a wide variety of prizes to be won, with all proceeds going to Padraig and his family. Tickets cost €10 and are available online at, and from members of the Beara 1997 team and management.

The Beara Senior Football team before the big final in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in 1997.