THE sad death of Kerry legend John Egan - who passed away at his Cork home yesterday aged 59 - has been greeted by a wave of tributes for the six-time All-Ireland winner.
A prolific forward on the team that won four consecutive All-Irelands between 1978 and '81, Egan had the misfortune to captain Kerry when Offaly ambushed their five-in-a-row dream in 1982. But his ability to conjure points and especially goals at crucial times marked him out as one of the greatest ever inside predators.
His former manager, Mick O'Dwyer, waxed lyrical about the player. "There has never, at least in my understanding of Gaelic football, been a better inside forward than John Egan. I can't say he was the best, but I can say there was no-one better," O'Dwyer declared.
Current Kerry selector Ger O'Keeffe, who started out on the same underage team in 1969 and continued as a senior colleague until 1984, remarked: "He taught me how to be a good corner-back because he was such a brilliant corner-forward. John was the unsung hero."
Egan hit 14 goals and 59 points during a championship career stretching from 1973 to 1984.