It has been a long wait for Dick Clerkin but his patience has paid rich dividends. The Monaghan midfield engine has waited for 19 years wondering if he would ever match his uncle Ray McCarron as a winner of the Quinn-direct/UGAAWA Monthly Merit Award and now the dream has come true.

Former Monaghan star McCarron collected the honour for his deeds in May 1993 and, ironically, it is also the May award, but for May 2012, that Clerkin has taken home, 19 years later.

“I well remember Ray winning this award and I thought it was wonderful. I wondered then, and ever since, if I would ever win the same award and now it has happened. I’m delighted,” enthused Dick when presented with the honour.

He follows in the footsteps of his Uncle Ray after a sizzling performance against Antrim in the Ulster SFC, at Clones, when he contributed two points to his team’s winning total. It was his leadership and strong performance that swung the game in Monaghan’s favour when Antrim took a grip of the action and looked like edging through to the semi-final.

“That is not for me, but for others, to say. What mattered was that we won,” stressed the 30-year-old Production Manager with the Lagan Group.

Dick and his wife, Alison.

This is the Currin clubman’s 13th season in the Monaghan senior team. In that time, he has collected a Railway Cup winner’s medal in 2007 and helped the Oriel County to win the NFL Division Two and the Dr McKenna Cup. He has a Colleges’ SFL award and a Monaghan JFL medal with his club.

He is the third Monaghan footballer, behind Darren Hughes and Caoimhe Mohan, to win this award in the last four months.

“We must be doing something right in these parts,” he cracked, “and, hopefully, the success will continue.”

Dick beat off the challenges of Rory Kavanagh (Donegal) and Gregory McGonagle, who managed Monaghan ladies to victory in Division One of the National Football League, to win the May gong.

For his award, Clerkin receives an engraved Belleek Living vase, engraved silver cuff links from Omeath jeweller Garrett Mallon and training gear from O’Neill’s International Sports plus an UGAAWA Sports voucher.

He will also receive two tickets and overnight accommodation for the UGAAWA Silver Jubilee banquet, at the Great Northern Hotel in Bundoran on November 16.

The presentation was made to Dick by Damien McManus from Quinn-direct Private Lines Department at a function in Quinn’s Corner on Tuesday, June 12.

Damien McManus presents the Award

With his parents Hugo and Marie


All pictures by Peadar McMahon