Author Topic: Anton O’Toole RIP  (Read 1281 times)

The Hill is Blue

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Anton O’Toole RIP
« on: May 17, 2019, 04:55:24 PM »
Anton was beautiful player to watch and most importantly he was an absolute gentleman. He has left many great memories for those who watched him at his peak.

RIP
I remember Dublin City in the Rare Old Times http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9T7OaDDR7i8

6th sam

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Re: Anton O’Toole RIP
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 05:10:36 PM »
Anton was beautiful player to watch and most importantly he was an absolute gentleman. He has left many great memories for those who watched him at his peak.

RIP

Absolutely delightful player, seemed to glide over the ground . One of the standout players of 70s and 80s. RIP

The Boy Wonder

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Re: Anton O’Toole RIP
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 05:43:18 PM »
That Dublin team had an edge of steel but Anton was a pure footballer without a cynical streak.
RIP

BennyCake

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Re: Anton O’Toole RIP
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 05:58:48 PM »
Really only remember him from the Golden Years recording. A bit before my time. He can’t have been that old?

RIP

From the Bunker

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Re: Anton O’Toole RIP
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 06:00:59 PM »
Don't know if the style of shorts enhanced the length of his legs. But he always looked to be walking on stilts.

Great footballer.

Part of a great Dublin team of the 70's and a good Dublin team of the 80's!

seafoid

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Re: Anton O’Toole RIP
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2019, 06:43:30 PM »
Really only remember him from the Golden Years recording. A bit before my time. He can’t have been that old?

RIP
68

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Ball Hopper

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Re: Anton O’Toole RIP
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2019, 07:10:02 PM »
RIP, Anton.

This is From "Return To The Hill: The Remarkable Story Of Heffo's Heroes"  By David Walsh.   Dated January 1989

10. Anton O’Toole.

The character of the Dublin team had its source in Heffernan. Through him it permeated into the team. Hanahoe, Doherty, Keaveney, Mullins, O'Neill and O'Driscoll were dedicated disciples. In their approach to sport, they felt as Heffernan did. Hard, unromantic, without a thought for the opposition. You did it not for the Hill, or the glory but for yourself.

There were a few in the team who did not perfectly reflect the group ethic. Anton O'Toole was one of those. Tall, almost ungainly; O'Toole gives the impression that he could have taken it or left it.

Heffernan's approach was full of psychology, constant analyses and occasional intrigue. O'Toole would have taken a less complex view and wondered what, in God's name, intrigue had to do with football. During the team discussions he listened and ventured forth with his view only when convinced that some- thing needed to be said. Now and then he would disagree with Heffernan, dismissing something the manager had said as "a load of rubbish".

When Heffernan tried to find the basis for O'Toole's objection he was as often as not disappointed. Anton's was not to reason why but to trust a reliable instinct. On the pitch he got on with the game, allowing his left foot to do the talking. Opponents knew O'Toole had only the left but it did not mean they could stop him.

His performance in the 1977 semi final persuaded Mick O'Dwyer that Ger Power's future could not be at wing back. O'Toole was there when the ship went on the rocks in '78 and '79 and present when it fragmented in 1981. That afternoon Dublin lost to Laois. His best pals in the team were Hickey and McCarthy. After that loss they agreed it was unlikely they would ever play in the same Dublin side again.

Then 31, O'Toole would not have complained if he had been banished by Heffernan. For him the music had died. There would never be anything like the seventies and he had little zest for life without the lads.

He did retire but Heffernan knew that his kind of football talent did not age in the way others' did. The second coming of Anton O'Toole in '83 and '84 presented a different talent: a thoughtful full forward appeared where once there was a hard running wing forward. Only one with O'Toole's unusual gifts could have succeeded in both roles.

He was left with a career that saw him play in eight All Ireland finals. Four times a winner, four times beaten. Only Mullins and he played in the four winning Dublin teams. But the medal he claimed in 1983 did not mean as much as the other three: "I don't mean any disrespect to the guys in 1983 but that medal does not compare with the others. I knew I was capable of performing in 1983 but I did not want to.

"I did not, could not, have the same rapport with the new group. I really don't know why I came back. I certainly would not have if it were not for the fact that Tommy Drumm was still there. It goes without saying but the seventies team was a special group. Even the guys of '74 who did not make it in '76 and '77. Fellows like Paddy Reilly and Georgie Wilson. Reilly was so witty, Wilson so incredibly funny. Guys like them and Paddy Cullen. Nobody was made for stardom like them."

Donal Colfer, a selector from 1973 to '86, would have been the first to see the footballer in O'Toole. Colfer and O'Toole were both Synge Street men and it was with the successful Synge Street team of 1970 and '71 that O'Toole showed he could be some- thing. He had been small and slightly built as a teenager, unable to win his place on the U-17 team at Synge Street college. At 18 he was ready to grow.

O'Toole was in the Dublin panel in 1972 and on the team a year later. Heck, it was not such a big deal. There was a match against Cork in the spring of '73, at a time when Cork were very good and Dublin did not know what they were about. It suggested to O'Toole he should quit, there and then: "If I touched the ball twice in the game that was it. I stood there, a Dublin wing forward, saying to myself what are you doing here?' That evening I was walking up Camden Street on my way home and I had decided I would give it up." Later that year O'Toole went to watch Galway and Offaly in and All Ire-land semi-final and left with the impression he was as good as the players he had seen that day.

When O'Toole saw Keaveney back at training for the second round of the championship in 1974 he despaired: "I saw him coming into Parnell Park and he was not in good shape. It was usual for Dublin to bring back a former great if they won a match. David Hickey was also brought back and I was annoyed. They were two forwards and two fellows who played in the league were going to lose out. If there was a feeling growing in the early rounds of the '74 championship that we were on to something I certainly was not aware of it.

When I saw the two lads coming back the feeling I had was 'Here we go, again'," But O'Toole's scepticism was easily dissipated. Keaveney's first test came against Louth in the championship and when he kicked a sideline over the bar, O'Toole could see the point in having him there. Hickey, too, earned respect:
"His performance in the All Ireland semi-final of 1974 was the greatest display of wing forward play I have ever seen. He was marked by Kevin Jer O'Sullivan who was very highly regarded but Hickey won that game for us. Beating Cork in that game convinced me we would win the All Ireland and in some ways it was the most important victory of all.

Afterwards there was the sudden realization that you could achieve something. Beforehand it had been a dream, then it was your destiny." O'Toole grew to love the Dublin scene. On the Hill, they loved him too. The Blue Panther. Anton would have liked that. Training was hard but it never bothered him. He had boundless stamina and, anyway, the Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday routine in Parnell Park was as much social as sporting event: “I was very aware at the time that of the relationship that existed. Sure success helped the spirit but there were guys who might not have hit it off outside the football team who enjoyed a very special relationship inside it.

O'Toole's way within the group was modest, maybe even unassertive. He was never going to become a captain of industry, He began working with Cement Limited after school and stayed with them when the link up with Roadstone took place in 1973. Having started as a clerk in the office O'Toole worked his way forward and into computer operations.

Fame with Dublin tempted O'Toole to go on the road in 1979. Cullen, O'Driscoll, Doyle and Keaveney had all done well on the road but Anton was to be the exception: "I just did not like it. You ended up chasing people for money and it seemed to me that there had to be more to life than this. I gladly went back to the computers."

Three years ago he joined Guinness as a computer systems developer and has been there since: "I look after certain systems in the company and if a new system were needed 1 would be involved in developing it. There used to be a certain mystique about computers, not any more." Steady, well paid employment, O'Toole was always likely to make out. He remains the only unmarried member of the great team. Some of his team mates have been known to express envy?: "I suppose how they feel would depend upon their experiences."

O'Toole looks back and reckons he would have been good at rugby. All the running, dummying and jinking would have suited him. He played hockey and really enjoyed it, some badminton. But his yearning to be competitive was fully satisfied by the Dublin football team. He now spends Saturday mornings coaching football to nine and ten year olds at Synge Street and has no wish to climb the coaching ladder.

About Anton O'Toole there is a sense of a man who, because of circumstances, had to forfeit his sporting innocence. When he first went to watch Kevin Moran play soccer for Ireland he was disappointed: "I had expected to see him take the ball inside his own half and go sallying up the field, like he used to do for Dublin. But the exuberance was not there. I suppose it could not be."

larryin89

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Re: Anton O’Toole RIP
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2019, 07:29:53 PM »
May he rest in peace . I was too young in his playing days to remember him . By what we read and gather etc he was obviously a great.

( Was there a mayo connection ) ?
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Fear ón Srath Bán

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Re: Anton O’Toole RIP
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2019, 10:32:23 PM »
RIP Anton O'Toole, too soon.
Carlsberg don't do Gombeenocracies, but by jaysus if they did...

BennyHarp

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Re: Anton O’Toole RIP
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2019, 10:55:25 PM »
“A lovely curling shot” RIP Anton O’Toole
That was never a square ball!!

Insane Bolt

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Re: Anton O’Toole RIP
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2019, 06:58:00 AM »
R.I.P. a super player....wore rugby boots if I remember correctly.

rrhf

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Re: Anton O’Toole RIP
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2019, 07:19:22 AM »
RIP Anton O Toole. Really good insight by David Walsh.

whitey

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Re: Anton O’Toole RIP
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2019, 09:19:48 AM »
May he rest in peace . I was too young in his playing days to remember him . By what we read and gather etc he was obviously a great.

( Was there a mayo connection ) ?

I read somewhere that his father was from Garrymore

Lar Naparka

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Re: Anton O’Toole RIP
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2019, 09:21:39 AM »
I was shocked and saddened to hear of his premature passing. He was a standout player on a rally great team and by all accounts a gentleman off the field as well as on it.
I honestly never heard anyone say a negative or disparaging remark about him.
RIP Anto.
Nil Carborundum Illegitemi

orangeman

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Re: Anton O’Toole RIP
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2019, 09:37:53 AM »
Roy Curtis has a lovely tribute in the Indo to his friend.

RIP