Jack McCaffrey
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Jack McCaffrey

Jack McCaffrey
Personal information
Irish name Seán Mac Gafraidh
Sport Gaelic football
Position Left Half Back
Born (1993-10-19) 19 October 1993 (age 27)
Dublin, Ireland
Height 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in)
Nickname Dart from Clontarf[1]
Occupation Doctor[1]
Years Club
Years County Apps (scores)
Dublin 40 (4-17)
Inter-county titles
Leinster titles 6
All-Irelands 5
All Stars 4

Jack McCaffrey (born 19 October 1993) is a Gaelic footballer who plays for the Clontarf club and for the Dublin county team.

Early and personal life

His father Noel also represented Dublin in football.[2] McCaffrey studied medicine at University College Dublin (UCD), where his classmates included Mark English, considered by Jerry Kiernan to be the country's "greatest talent" ever in middle-distance running.[3] English issued a challenge to McCaffrey, himself considered football's fastest player, to take him on over 100 metres.[4]

McCaffrey is a qualified medical doctor.[1] He is currently living in Kilkenny and working in St Luke's General Hospital.

He is an opponent of professionalism within the GAA.[5]

Playing career

In April 2013, McCaffrey won a National Football League winners' medal as Dublin defeated Tyrone by 0-18 to 0-17 to win the 2013 National Football League.[6][7][8][9] He made his championship debut against Westmeath in the 2013 Leinster Senior Football Championship.[10] He scored a solo goal in the 2013 All-Ireland quarter-final against Cork.[11] Still teenaged, he played in the 2013 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final, the first such final he would play in.[1] McCaffrey, who was substituted at half-time, recalled how he "got roasted by Kevin McLoughlin".[1] He played twice and netted for Ireland against Australia in the 2013 International Rules Series.[12][13] In November 2013, he was named as All Stars Young Footballer of the Year.[14]

In November 2015, McCaffrey received the highest individual honour in the sport when he was named as All Stars Footballer of the Year.[15] He did so in spite of contracting food poisoning "in around the Thursday" before the 2015 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final, which left him unable to finish the game. "I couldn't keep any food or water down so I got a drip to stay hydrated. But that was actually great at the time because it completely distracted from the build-up to a final ... all you were worried about is, 'Am I going to be okay?' You're no thinking about the occasion itself. And then thankfully I pulled through and performed okay for the 50 minutes that I lasted".[1]

McCaffrey missed the 2016 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship due his travels abroad.[16] He travelled to Ethiopia, then Kenya, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania.[1]

In December 2016, McCaffrey confirmed that he would be available again for selection in 2017.[17]

McCaffrey played in that year's All-Ireland final win but left the pitch early after sustaining what later proved to be an anterior cruciate ligament injury.[1] His antics later in the evening as Michael Lyster interviewed Jim Gavin and Stephen Cluxton were much remarked upon.[18] A month after the final, McCaffrey had surgery.[1]

McCaffrey returned for Dublin against Longford as a substitute in June 2018.[1] Another substitute appearance in the Leinster final against Laois followed, seeing him make two goal chances by himself.[1] However, he did not find the net in that game.

He is a former self-admitted "horrific tackler" but the 2018 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final proved to be when he "figured out I'm actually a defender as opposed to some loose attacking player".[1] His dispossession of Mattie Donnelly during injury time of that game offered evidence of this.[1]

McCaffrey was named Man of the Match after his team's 2018 final victory. While being interviewed by Lyster for The Sunday Game highlights programme, a leak through the ceiling of the Gibson Hotel caused Lyster, McCaffrey and GAA President John Horan to be drenched in water live on air.[18][19]

Interviewed the following day by journalists, McCaffrey reminded them: "This was the first time I've been on the pitch when the final whistle blew in an All-Ireland final. Incredible. It was so satisfying, such a relief".[1]

Another All Star followed, as did a second Footballer of the Year nomination.[1]

McCaffrey won the man of the match award in the drawn 2019 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final as well; a second consecutive award, "RTÉ veterans" were reported to be finding it difficult to recall such an occurrence ever before.[1] He was top scorer (1-3) from open play.[1] This compared with the 3-14 from his previous 38 championship games.[1] The three points were also a classic hat-trick, sent over with fist and both feet.[1] Defensively, he forced eight turnovers of possession.[1]





  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Roche, Frank (14 September 2019). "'Dart from Clontarf' arrives on time for Blues' final destination". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ Verney, Michael (1 September 2018). "Blistering pace, Simpsons references and keepy-uppies: Jack McCaffrey is no ordinary footballer". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 2018. Having followed in his father Noel's footsteps to represent the Dubs, his inter-county stock has always been high but All-Ireland final day hasn't exactly been a happy hunting ground for McCaffrey.
  3. ^ McNulty, Chris (6 March 2019). "Jerry Kiernan says Mark English is the 'greatest ever' talent in Irish middle-distance running".
  4. ^ "English challenges McCaffrey to race". Hogan Stand. 19 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Professionalism would destroy the GAA - Jack McCaffrey". Hogan Stand. 29 May 2020.
  6. ^ Breheny, Martin (28 April 2013). "Supersub Rock breaks Tyrone hearts in epic final". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 2013. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  7. ^ "Dublin 0-18 Tyrone 0-17". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ O'Brien, Brendan (28 April 2013). "Dubs show their depth as fringe men shine". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2013.
  9. ^ "Dublin 0-18 0-17 Tyrone". BBC Sport. BBC. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ "Dublin boss names four debutants for Westmeath clash". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. 31 May 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  11. ^ Potts, Seán. "Blue Wave begins". Decades of the Dubs: 2010-2014. The Herald. p. 5. No goals were conceded this time in the Leinster final clash with Meath as Dublin progressed comfortably before avenging previous setbacks to Cork in the All-Ireland quarter-final, Jack McCaffrey finishing a spectacular solo effort to the net.
  12. ^ "Ireland 57-35 Australia". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. 19 October 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  13. ^ "Ireland 116-37 Australia". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. 26 October 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  14. ^ "MDMA and Tony Kelly scoop top gongs at GAA GPA All Star Awards". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 2013. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  15. ^ "Footballer of the Year Jack McCaffrey heaps praise on 'unbelievable' Jim Gavin". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. 6 November 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  16. ^ "Confirmed: Jack McCaffrey to miss Dublin's All Ireland title defence". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. 5 March 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  17. ^ "'I'm going to be around for the next year and a half at least': Jack McCaffrey ready to rejoin Dublin in 2017". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. 7 December 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  18. ^ a b c "WATCH: Dublin's Jack McCaffrey steals the show again as unexpected water deluge interrupts Man of the Match presentation". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. 2 September 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  19. ^ O'Toole, Fintan (3 September 2018). "Man-of-the-match, working in paediatrics, cruciate comeback and Dublin glory". The42.ie. Retrieved 2018.
  20. ^ Keys, Colm (3 September 2019). "McCaffrey gets 'man of match' award away from cameras". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 2019.

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