Two years after their planned centenary celebrations were wiped out by the onset of the pandemic, one of London’s oldest clubs celebrated their centenary at the London GAA headquarters in McGovern Park, South Ruislip.
And for 55 of those 100 years, Lorrha native Tom Milne has served the Brothers Pearse GAA club loyally.
Between his undivided care for his family and his London-based adoption club, Tom Milne has also served his home county loyally in a number of roles with the London Tipperary Association. He is therefore no stranger to Tipperary GAA circles and received a Laochra Gael award in 2017 for his services to Gaelic games on and off the pitch.
And after years of welcoming and welcoming so many Irish visitors, including many winning teams from Tipperary, as well as many other exiles in London, there is no doubt that octogenarian Tom Milne has truly deserved all these accolades well deserved. While it’s possible to get the man out of Tipperary, Tom has certainly stood the test of time after spending over 60 years across the pond and proving that getting out of Tipperary is simply impossible. of this man.
A popular, colorful and usually jovial figure in many areas of Irish community life since arriving in London in the early 1960s, Tom’s main interest away from his family and former professional commitments in the pub licensing business is his unwavering love for his native county. This fact was also mainly responsible for making Tom a figurehead and mainstay of the London Tipperary Association since the early 70s.
Serving the London Tipperary Association in a number of roles ranging from Vice President to his current status as Life President, Tom has hosted and rubbed shoulders with some of the greatest figures in Tipperary GAA history including the late John Doyle and the late Tommy Barrett, Babs Keating, Nicky English, Pat Fox and Eoin Kelly, to some of the current team members.
Tom’s own involvement in the game dates back to his school days in the 1950s with St Molaises, Portumna to his long association with the Brothers Pearse GAA club where he served as a player, team manager and many roles as a club officer, including club president. But Tom has also dabbled in many other sports over a busy life, including greyhound and horse racing, and he still enjoys playing golf.
As well as helping to organize several functions of the Tipperary Association over six decades, Tom Milne also found time to be involved in organizing the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in London. He has also helped and served many worthy charitable causes over the years, including spearheading pitcher Brothers Pearse and the appeal of Lorrha man Tony Hogan a few years ago.
After receiving his recent Brothers Pearse GAA Centenary Award, Tom said: “I am delighted and privileged to be honored by my club, but I would also like to thank the many people I have met and worked with. worked over the years and all of whom have played their part in supporting me over the years and especially my family members – my wife Kathy, my son Tony and my daughters Michelle and Susan.
Among the special guests at the Brothers Pearse GAA Club Centennial Banquet was GAA President Larry McCarthy, who congratulated the club on reaching its historic milestone. In its early years the club attracted many exiles from Galway, including the legendary Billy Duffy of Eyrecourt, considered one of its greatest players.
However, since the St Gabriel club was founded 60 years ago, that has not been the case and a number of Tipperary men other than Tom Milne have donned the green and gold, including Donal Kealy from Roscrea and current team member Ian Dwyer from Gortnahoe.
But perhaps the man most synonymous with Brothers Pearse throughout his long and distinguished playing career with his club and London is Limerick man Gerry Rea of Effin. He marked his own brother, the late Ned Rea, when they came face to face in the 1973 All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship semi-final in Ennis on August 5, a week after Limerick beat Tipperary in the Munster final. the year Treaty County beat Kilkenny in their last Liam MacCarthy Cup success before 2018.
Other top players to field for Brothers Pearse lately include Kilkenny troublemakers Andy and Martin Comerford.