A derelict house in Ballygawley has become a hive of activity after demolishers found a brown box of VHS tapes dating as far back as 1950, depicting life in and around the general Glencull area.
In particular, one cassette appears to confirm that former All-Star Peter Canavan is well into his 70s and not 44 as stated on his Wikipedia page.
Local historian and former train driver Joseph McAleer maintains the revelation only confirms what many locals have suspected for many years:
“Not a lot of things were actually written down or recorded in Ballygawley before 1990 but quite a few of the older generation were sure that Canavan had been knocking around the area since the late 1940s. Former club manager Kenny McGarrity, who managed the club throughout the 60s, is sure he played Canavan at full forward on over 100 occasions but had no photographic proof. Well, this video tape from a sports day in 1959 surely shows a 15-year old Canavan playing for Glencull.”
If confirmed, Tyrone’s U21 titles in 1991 and 1992 may be declared void as Canavan was probably about 46-47 then. Remarkably, Canavan now appears to have won his final All-Ireland title at the grand old age of 60 in 2005.
Omagh shopkeeper and avid GAA fan Paul Hurson is not surprised at the findings:
“I don’t understand how anyone can be shocked at this. Sure he was sucking away on the inhaler in the 1990s when he was well into his 50s it seems now. He was probably riddled with arthritis and still tortured Derry. A bad wetting could have finished him off at that age. We should admire him even more now.”
Cameroon’s Roger Milla, who played for his country in the 1990 World Cup at the age of 53 disguised as 33, was unavailable for comment as was Canavan.