Fifty years on, from he first donned the famed green and gold of Pearse Óg, Gerard (Geardy) McGleenan has become the latest recipient of the clubs Hall Of Fame.
Originally from Mullanstown, a row of houses on the Monaghan Road then, Gerard returned to reside there with wife Bernie and sons Mark and Gregory.
Geardy attended the nearby CBS at Greenpark and recalls playing football there in the McLarnon Cup competition alongside the likes of Fr. Kevin Cullen and Larry McNeice. Around 1965 Geardy joined Pearse Óg, playing senior football under Sam Johnston whom he admired greatly. Geardy’s first success on the field came in 1968 when he played right corner back on the team that won the Óg’s first intermediate Championship title. Five years later he was to feature on the ’73 winning intermediate side this time playing in the half-forward line.
As his job as a teacher took him out of town Geardy’s playing career for the Óg’s ended but it was not long until his services as a manager were requested and he was enticed back to fill the role in 1980.
With Pearse Óg showing signs of reaping the benefits of good underage structures and a rich stream of talent, Brother Larry Ennis along with Geardy and Barry Cullen set upon the task of preparing the team for a tilt at the Senior Championship and on that historic day in1985 that dream was realised, a milestone for the club.
Outside of the playing and managing side of things he also got involved in other roles within the club. In his early days he acted as secretary and had different periods as a committee member, while in later years being a valued supporter of the club Cairde Na Piarsaigh Óga scheme. He also liked to keep in touch with things out in the Paírc, spectating at games, be it Senior or underage.
Beside his own successes he took great pride in seeing his sons following in his footsteps in wearing the Green and Gold, while his love of the Orange of Armagh knew no boundaries, highlighted no doubt on that great day in 2002 when the other “Sam” came to visit.
On the 30th Anniversary of the famous first Pearse Óg Senior title it is fitting that a man who gave so much time and energy should be honoured by our club and receives this much coveted accolade. Comhghairdeas Geardy.
Pictured presenting Gerard with his accolades are Na Piarsaigh Óga Vice-Chairperson Jimmy McKee and Chairperson John Óg O'Kane.