Guess who has been named the most influential person in the GAA?
You’ve got it in one.
Kerry superstar David Clifford was the clear choice for the top slot in an extensive list of the top 50 personalities in the organisation in a well-researched and carefully considered feature conducted by the Irish Daily Mirror.
The stylish Fossa forward was one of just four from Kerry to make the cut with legendary player and analyst Pat Spillane coming in at number six, current manager Jack O’Connor in 38th place and social media personality Buff Egan in 44th.
In the process, Clifford was deemed more influential than the likes of GAA Director General Tom Ryan, Croke Park Commercial Director Peter McKenna, broadcasters Marty Morrissey, Joanne Cantwell, Joe Brolly and Des Cahill, GAA President Larry McCarthy and Limerick GAA financial supporter JP McManus.
Past and present managers in the top 50 list include Brian Cody (8th), John Kiely (27th), Jim Gavin (27th), Davy Fitzgerald (18th), Henry Shefflin (29th) and Dessie Farrell (22nd).
The top 50 list selection panel said David Clifford is well on his way to becoming the greatest Gaelic footballer of all time.
“While compiling lists such as this can be painstaking in terms of defining influence, a player should surely always come out on top when measuring the impact that one has across a sporting organisation and Clifford is undoubtedly the biggest draw in the GAA right now,” they said.
“Moreover, given that he doesn’t do social media, the influence that he yields is entirely organic, unlike several others who make our top 50.
“We could compile this list for the next decade and Clifford would take some shifting from the top spot,” the Mirror panel added.
The runner-up to the Fossa and Kerry sharpshooter in the elite list was brilliant two-time All-Ireland winning Meath footballer Vikki Wall who is now playing in the professional ranks in Australia.
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