First introduced as the trophy for the Louth Senior Championship in 1949, the Joe Ward trophy has been the Holy Grail for all clubs in Louth since then.
Named after a great Louth Gael, it has placed even more significance on becoming county champions.
Joe Ward died in 1948 having given a lifetime of service to the GAA. A Young Irelands man, Ward attended the 1898 county convention and would later become the secretary of the club in 1907 and 1908. Although elected county secretary in 1903, he almost immediately resigned, before the close of his first meeting, due to the improper manner in which the meeting was being held.
He would go on to become Louth County Board chairman in 1910 and was part of the Louth selection team that won the All Ireland that same year.
He would once again take up the post of chairman from 1917 to 1919. Joe also served in central council from for 14 years, from 1905 to 1919 and the Leinster council for two years, from 1906 to 1908.
He would eventually become this county’s first Honorary President of the County Board in 1926.
The first winners of the trophy in 1949 were Stabannon Parnells.
The Mid-Louth club would win Joe Ward again five years later in 1954, but would have to wait until 1991 before holding the great trophy aloft once more.