- Born 6 June 1938 Sion Mills, Co Tyrone
- Educated Sion Mills PES
- Occupation Engineering fitter.
- Debut 1 July 1959 v Lancashire at College Park
- Cap Number 489
- Style Right-hand bat, wicket keeper
- Teams Sion Mills, RUC, Brigade
Ossie Colhoun is ranked among the very best of Ireland's wicket keepers: many well respected judges would place him first of all. It was not always thus. His initial selection was heavily criticised. He was derided as, "a mere stopper" who "snatched at the ball."It was written that his tenure behind the stumps would not be a long one. Instead he became a brilliant gloveman, spoken of by some in the same breath as his hero Godfrey Evans, whose talent for reviving flagging spirits on a bad day he shared. He ha s been described as "the first of the moderns," geeing up his bowlers in a manner Adam Gilchrist would approve, and never being short of a word or two to say to the batsman. Particularly good on the leg side, he stood up to bowlers of the pace of Roy Torrens and to the difficult medium fast deliveries of Dougie Goodwin. At least one County expressed an interest in him during the 1960s, but, unfortunately, nothing came of it.
He was "barely out of short trousers," when he made his debut for Sion Mills, for whom he played for 25 seasons, interspersed with a brief sojourn with RUC and a final, strange, decamp to Brigade. Lethal in combination with bowlers such as great left armer John Flood and quality off spinner Ray Moan, he had the ability of the really good keeper to make other, ordinary, bowlers look high class. From his earliest days he was a key part in any Sion Mills success. Thus at 16 in 1955 in the NWCU Cup Final v holders Eglinton, he held a vital catch and made a smart stumping off Flood as his opponents set only 69 to win crashed for 32. Later in 1972, he had 6 victims in the match, including 2 stumpings, as Flood and Moan spun Strabane to a 72 run defeat. He was tactically very astute, being an excellent captain both of his club, and of the North West in the Guinness Cup.
Only 1.76% of the runs conceded by Ireland when he was behind the stumps were byes: a remarkable statistic, particularly when it is remembered that he kept on some sub standard wickets to varied attacks. One of his lasting achievements was to be one of the few wicket keepers to stump Len Hutton in a first class match. The great Sir Leonard believed in playing slow bowlers from the crease. Only 20 of the 723 times he was dismissed were stumpings. The last of all, on a cold September day, in College Park, was by Ossie off the bowling of fellow North Westerner Scott Huey. It was the maestro's last first class innings, depriving him, as he had reached 89, of his 130th hundred.
Off the cricket field Ossie was a competent footballer, keeping goal for RUC for several seasons. He was also in much demand as an entertainer, his double act with Roy Torrens being much admired. Clarence Hiles has summed him up better than this writer could hope to do, "He was a legend in his time, a wonderful character and an exceptional cricketer."
He is profiled in Siggins and Fitzgerald "Ireland's 100 Cricket Greats" and is the subject of a special section in Clarence Hiles' A History of Senior Cricket in Ulster.
Ossie Colhoun and Ivan Anderson remember the famous day at Sion Mills in 1969 when Ireland dismissed the West Indies for just 25