|Place Of Birth:||Dundalk|
|Date Of Death:||November 2001|
|Place Of Death:||Dundalk|
|Debut:||11-Feb-40, League, (H) v. Drumcondra|
With two International full-backs on Dundalk’s books (Billy O’Neill and Mick Hoy) and Tom Crawley knocking on the door, Jim Hearty’s early Oriel Park experience was with the Reserve team and in his first three seasons he made a total of four first team appearances.
An injury to Tom Crawley in 1942-43 gave him his chance for an extended run and he grabbed it. In only his third season game he had a Dublin City Cup medal after Dundalk’s 4-2 final defeat of Drumcondra.
For the following year he made the left-full spot his own and when available his was one of the first names on the teamsheet for a number of years. In the period August 1944 to the end of October 1946 he had an unbroken sequence of 80 appearances.
Jim began his football career with local junior team St Nicholas, from where Sam Prole recruited him to the Dundalk Reserves. With his speed and possessed of a murderous slide-tackle he was a match for the best right-wingers in the land and but for Bud Aherne of Limerick he would have received more Inter League caps than the one he got in April 1946 against the Irish League. Almost 6’ 2” tall, he was a strong and accurate tackler, with almost perfect timing in his sliding tackle.
A serious illness that necessitated surgery knocked him out for the best part of a year. He returned to the reserve team in October 1947 by which time Paddy Durkan and Arthur Whelan had settled in as the first team full-back partnership and Jim’s role was confined to providing cover.
After Christmas he was called upon four times and he demonstrated his well being by his contribution to an 8-match undefeated League run that failed by just a point to catch leaders Drumcondra.
This was his second time losing the League Championship by a single point—he had been a member of the 1942-43 squad that had lost out by this margin to Cork United.
For the 1948-49 season he and Paddy Durkan went to Newry Town.
He worked in the Rawsons Boot and Shoe factory and later in the GNR Works and when it closed in the 50s he moved to England working in the car industry at Walsall. After a couple of years there he returned to Ireland and finished his working days in Brittains car assembly plant in Dublin. While in the GNR he was a member of the Wagonshop team that won the prestigious Inter-Shop Wilson Cup.
His sons and grandsons were talented footballers in the local scene and one of his grandsons, tennis player John McGahon, represented Ireland at Davis Cup level, winning six of his seven matches during the 2007 campaign. He is currently the professional at the Dundalk Tennis Club.
What They Said About Him
Dundalk Democrat: “Resolute and decisive tackler … strong and accurate clearances … great speed …all the hallmarks of a great full.”
1 Win: City Cup 1942-43.
4 Runners Up: League 1942-43 and 1947-48; Shield 1946-47; Presidents Cup 1943-44.
1 League of Ireland cap