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90 YEARS YOUNG - TAKE A BOW, DENIS

Pictured here sharing bench space with the then club President Lou Arthur are Old Paradians footballers, from left, Denis Toner, John Booth, Lou Arthur, Jack Ryan and Phil McLaughlin - all 100-game players when this photograph was taken.

“Yeah, that was the 100 club,” Denis said. “At that stage we were the only players playing to have chalked up 100 games.

“The photo would have been taken around the mid-1950s down at the old Scotch ground. I thought the photo had disappeared. It used to be on the wall of the Frank Mount Room out at the Garvey, but the last time I went out there I couldn’t see it.”

The photo was circulated by the Old Paradians’ Amateur Football Club to mark the 90th birthday (April 29) of Denis, seen sporting the high cuts, anklets, rolled-up sleeves and gameday face.

Denis was a final year student of Parade College in 1947 and John (now 83) in 1954. Lou completed his studies at the College in 1922 and a Jack Ryan can be found in the alumni database as having finished up in 1944.

The late Phil McLaughlin, who was recognised as an Honorary Old Paradian by the association in 2016, is generally considered the Old Paradians’ greatest footballer.

When asked the secret to longevity, Denis unhesitatingly replied “footy and beer . . . that’s my relaxation, although with football currently postponed I now sit down to do the crosswords over a couple of stubbies”.