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Footballers who had their career cut short by injury

Many players have shown undoubted brilliance only for injury to halt their progress — we look at some of those class acts

Our games produce exceptional talents each and ever year.

Given the rigours they put their bodies through, it is inevitable that some players break down.

In other cases, it’s bad luck, or simply disaster striking away from the football field.

Our panel focuses on some brilliant individuals who showed undoubted class, but who were denied the chance of delivering more as their career was cut short by injury.

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Matt Connor of Offaly might well be the most famous of them all.

Cruelly paralysed from the waist down following a car accident on Christmas Day of 1984, he departed the game at just 24.

The star forward had already accrued three All Stars, a hat-trick of Leinster titles and a famous All-Ireland in 1982, not to mention 13 championship goals.

One wonders what more the Walsh Island man might have delivered on an individual basis, not to mind the extra silverware his county may have collected.

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Colm O’Neill of Cork, Kerry’s James O’Donoghue and Tommy Walsh, and Michael Meehan of Galway all suffered persistent niggles over the years.

Armagh star Ronan Clarke, Collie Moran of Dublin, and Meath’s Shane O’Rourke too were denied chances to truly show their wares over long periods.

Let us know the names of any stars we’ve missed in the comments below.

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