A member of the triumphant Longford side that beat Galway and New York en route to the county’s only ever Senior Football National League title, Granard man Terry McGovern (pictured here in ‘66 team) remembers his former team mate and friend Bobby Burns as both a great club man and county stalwart.
“Bobby would be a great man to let a shout out,” says Terry, who now serves as member of Granard Town Council. “He would be always telling you to tighten up or watch your marker and always had your back.
“I remember in the 1966 final against Galway; I was marking Cyril Dunne (who was one of the big stars at the time). He kept shouting at me not to foul Dunne as he knew Galway would punish us from the free. There was a point in the game at the time and didn’t he (Bobby) know it.”
He was also a club mate of Bobby’s during St Mary’s Granard glory years of 1966 and 1967 and looks back on those years and Bobby’s influence in particular with great fondness. “Back then we had a fantastic side. It was ourselves (St Mary’s Granard) and Clonguish who had a fierce rivalry between us and we also made up the backbone of that great county team.
“Bobby was vital to us and played a huge part as captain. One great memory was playing Clonguish during that period of time and we were down a point. He was very young at the time but he led us over the line and got the point to equalise the game which we went on to win.”
It wasn’t just on the hallowed turf of Curry or Old Granard Park that the lads would hone their football skills. Both men would also make their way up to Rogie Martin’s old field up in Granard for a kickabout any time they were all together, as Terry explains. “Bobby would come back from Gormanston and we’d head up to Martin’s garden. We’d usually go up at about one (pm) on Saturdays and we mightn’t leave the place until six (pm) or so. But even then Bobby would just talk and talk about football; he absolutely lived for it.”
Having retired from the game in his late 20s, Terry feels that Bobby left the game he loved a little too early.
“I felt he maybe left a little too young and maybe he still had one or two years left him. He played a big part with both club and county and will be sorely missed by everyone,” he added.