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Death of Leo Behan

Leo Behan, a stalwart of Railway youth and senior cricket teams in the 1950s and 1960s, has died in Australia where he spent most of his adult years. A staunch opening bat from his under 12s days, he played 106 games for the 1st XI between 1957 and 1967, scoring 1282 runs at an average of 15.63, highest score 62. He won senior league medals on the champion teams in 1960 and 1962 and senior cup in 1967.

Leo was the third among eight Behan brothers from Durham Road in Sandymount, six of whom played cricket in Railway – Billy,John, Leo, Eamon, Terry and Jimmy. The odd-men out were Vincent and Joe. Terry played 11 games for the 1sts; Billy died in 2008 at the age of 70; John is still a regular around the cricket circuit from his base with Clontarf CC and he sent the Railway Cricket Annual to Leo every year.

The father of the Behans, Billy, Snr, was a renowned soccer scout for Manchester United, responsible for discovering and bringing to Old Trafford many international stars including the tragic Liam Whelan, who was a victim of the Munich air disaster in 1958 at the age of 22, as well as John Giles, Pat Dunne and Tony Dunne. Paul McGrath, in his autobiography, credits Billy with tipping off Matt Busby about himself. Terry Behan played soccer with Paul for Dalkey United.

Billy, Snr was president of Railway Union Cricket from 1968 to 1970 and was a regular visitor to Park Avenue until the end of his life.

We send our sympathies to Leo’s family and many friends in Australia and Ireland. May he rest in peace.