The ashes of one of the country’s greatest sportsmen are to be scattered on a cricket pitch close to where he was born.
Next Friday at 2pm, Noel Cantwell’s daughters will bring his ashes to the County Cricket Club grounds on the Mardyke, where his all-round sporting prowess first started to shine. Cantwell batted for his country seven times and went on to play international soccer, winning 36 international caps and scoring 14 goals with the Republic of Ireland.
He also played rugby, but is probably best known for captaining Manchester United.
Cantwell also played with West Ham United and joined Manchester United in 1960, making 121 league appearances with them; winning two league titles and an FA Cup winner’s medals.
Noel Cantwell died in 2005, aged 73, and his ashes were kept by his wife, Maggie, at their home in England. She died just before Christmas and their daughters, Kate and Liz, requested that his ashes be scattered at the Cork County Cricket Club.
In 2015, a laneway was named after the sporting legend near the Mardyke. The ceremony was attended by Roy Keane, FAI chief executive John Delaney, and rugby legends Tom Kiernan and Barry McCann.
Councillor Mick Finn said after the ceremony that he spoke with Cantwell’s daughters, who expressed the wish to bring his ashes to Cork.
They decided to follow through with the idea after their mother died.
“It’s fantastic that a Cork son will finally be returning home for the last time,” said Mr Finn. “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.”
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