News of the sad and sudden passing of Donegal footballing legend John Hannigan has shocked the county of Donegal.
John passed away after a very short illness early on Tuesday.
He had a distinguished playing career being able to play anywhere on the field, from corner back to corner-forward. He started his intercounty career at midfield.
The St. Eunan’s and Donegal star played for Donegal for 16 consecutive championship seasons from 1958 to 1973 and won an Ulster Senior Championship medal in 1972.
In all he played 114 times for Donegal including 27 championship appearances. His intercounty successes included three Dr. McKenna Cups (1963, ‘65, ‘67) and three Lagan Cups (1965, ‘66, ‘67).
For St. Eunan’s he won five senior championship medals and three Democrat Cup medals.
After his playing days were over, he was manager of Donegal in 1975 and 1976.
John was corner forward on the Donegal minor team that won the Ulster Minor Championship for the first time in 1976. In the other corner was Mick McGinley, who went on to become a lifelong friend of John’s.
“I first met John in the dressing room in Clones at the final in 1956. It is such a shock that he is gone; he was a true Donegal legend,” said Mick.
“He was so versatile, he could play anywhere and he was also a very accomplished freetaker, back when the heavy leather ball was in use. He looked slight but had tremendous strength.
“After his playing days were over he became a keen golfer and had a handicap of 4 at one stage. He was very enjoyable company, a mild man but very passionate supporter of Donegal. I will miss him,” said Mick.