PJ Gorman (Nelly)
PJ was born and reared on Hall St.,Kingscourt, just a stones throw from Kearney’s field, home pitch for Kingscourt during my schooldays. PJ had a nick name Nelly. I used to think it a strange name.
My first memory of PJ is of him and his mother (her wielding a brush) chasing J.J Clarke past the Parochial House and her saying “how dare you call him Nelly”. After that I always called him PJ
I played juvenile minor and junior when in 1957 we won the Cavan minor championship. In 1961 we beat Mullahoran in the Cavan junior championship final. I can still see PJ marching up the field from his fullback position to take a 50 usually ending in a score and then marching back chest sticking out.
Some years later for playing in goals for Cavan against Meath in a league his kickouts were the cause of much mention by the commentator. Up to that it was usually the fullback who took the kickouts.
Another fond memory is of a game in the Carrickmacross tournament in the semi-final against Aughnamullen we had a very good goal keeper in Pat Johnston. Pat had a clean sheet then Aughnamullen were awarded a penalty, in marched PJ and in two words “Out Goalie” Pat was dismissed Aughnamullen scored. However Kingscourt went on to win the tournament after a replay against Toome.
1962 PJ won a Ulster junior championship medal with Cavan only to be beaten by Meath in the semi-final in Ardee. 1964 he replaced Sean Og Flood in goals and won an Ulster senior medal, then in August he made his debut in Croke Park against Kerry alas Cavan were beaten 2-12 to 6 points. Galway beat Kerry in the All Ireland Final that year.
Apart from playing PJ gave a lot of his time to training teams from neighbouring clubs including Corduff, Meathhill, Clomellon. His greatest success as trainer was with our Monaghan neighbours, Magheracloone who with PJ as their trainer won the Ward Cup and the Junior Championship in 1966. So highly he was thought of that Paddy Carolan composed a song in his honour.
I’ve just been to a football match
In Pearse Park,Ballybay
The Mitchells were the winners there
I am very pleased to say
They won the Ward Cup last Sunday
And the championship today
They showed the boys from Threemilehouse
The football they could play
Sean McDermotts they were confident of victory and renown
For their trainer was Joe Lennon
All the way from County Down
But Gerry Boyle and his committee
Had other plans in mind
If McDermotts have a trainer
Then we won’t lag behind
We’ll get a better trainer and we
Won’t go half as far
We’ll get well known P.J. Gorman
The Cavan county star
In the sports field near Drumgossatt, neath the floodlights shining bright
PJ and his gallant men assembled
There each night
Whether one agreed or disagreed with PJ’s views you had to admire his dedication and commitment in helping any club who sought his assistance. Alas he died at a very young age now when I look back sadly missed. May he rest in peace.