Frank Stockwell

Frank Stockwell (7 December 1928 - 9 March 2009) was an Irish sportsman who played Gaelic football with his local club Tuam Stars and was a member of the Galway, Louth and London inter-county teams at various periods from 1949 until 1960. Stockwell is regarded as Galway’s greatest-ever full forward.

Stockwell began his inter-county career in 1949, at the age of 19. He continued to play for Galway until 1950, when he moved to Louth to play club football with. This led to Stockwell playing for the Louth seniors in 1950 and 1951. He returned to Galway for the 1952 Championship and revived a devastating attacking partnership with his Tuam Stars team-mate and friend, Sean Purcell. Lining out at full forward, his ability to finish the chances created by Purcell brought considerable success to Galway in their overall consistency during the 1950s. In 1956, He won an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, beating Cork in the final by 2-13 to 3-07. The final was most notable for Stockwell scoring a then-record 2-05. He was unlucky not to add to that tally, having a goal disallowed. Although this scoring tally was surpassed in later years, his achievement was more remarkale given that it occurred during a 60 minute final, a record that seems unlikely to ever be broken. He retired from inter-county football in 1960, having won every major honour possible.

At club level, Stockwell and Purcells partnership proved to be even more effective on the county scene as Tuam Stars dominated Galway football during the 50's. Having won a Minor title in 1946, Stockwell went on to win 9 senior county titles with Tuam, including an amazing 7 in a row from 1954 to 1960. Aside from his football career, Stockwell was also a Connacht Champion Boxer.

After retiring from playing, Stockwell remained in the game. He was a selector and contributor to the Galway 3 in a row team during 1964-66 and again from 1980-81. As well being selector twice for his home club, Stockwell became president of Tuam Stars in 2006 remaining in the position before his death.

In 1999, a new road in Tuam was named after both Purcell and Stockwell. In April 2007, special plaques honouring three legendary Tuam GAA figures were unveiled at Tuam Stadium. The plaques were erected to mark the lifetime of dedicated service to the stadium by the late Miko Kelly, and the honour and glory brought to the famous venue, and to their town and county by the "Terrible Twins", Stockwell and Purcell.

Frank Stockwell died on 9 March 2009 at his home in Tuam, County Galway, from undisclosed causes, aged 80. A large crowd turned out in Tuam for the funeral, similar as it was for Purcell who predeceased Stockwell in 2005. John Joe Holleran, Galway football board chairmen said, "He was an iconic figure during what turned out to be a glorious period for Galway football. Generations have grown up in Galway hearing about their exploits and it was an privilege for us to see them in action."

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