Former Tyrone great Frankie Donnelly has died at the age of 73.

He was top scorer in the Red Hands' back-to-back Ulster SFC triumphs in 1956 and 1957.

His playing career spanned four decades, from the 1940s to the 1970s, during which time he became renowned as one of the most skilful and accurate attackers in the history of the game.

A prolific scorer, he was particularly noted for his free-kicking technique and expertise.

Frankie Donnelly still holds the record for the highest individual scoring feat in an inter-county game, a 4-11 tally in a Dr Lagan Cup game against Fermanagh.

From his very first appearance in a Tyrone jersey, when he scored the winning point against Down as a 17-year-old debutant, he was marked out for greatness.

He won an All-Ireland Junior title with Tyrone in 1968.

He also played for Ulster in 1957, '58, '61, '63 and '64, winning two Railway Cup medals in the process.

And he represented Ireland in a game against the Combined Universities.

He also won four Tyrone championship titles with his club Carrickmore, in 1949, 1961, '66 and '69. He was just 16 when he helped them win the 1949 title, and by that stage he already had a couple of seasons of senior football under his belt.

A 24-year playing career started in 1947 and lasted until his retirement in 1971. Later he turned his hand to management, guiding Carrickmore to a Tyrone title in 1977. He was appointed president of the club in 2005.

During his playing career, Frankie gained legendary status similar to that which accompanied Frank McGuigan and Peter Canavan in later eras.

Carrickmore St Colmcille's GAC chairman Arthur McCallan paid tribute to the club's most famous son.

'It was with deep regret that our club learned of the death of Frankie Donnelly. Frankie was everything that epitomised a great athlete, complete dedication to every aspect of his sport.

'He took part in all areas of our club, from player to manager to referee, and in 2005 was elected our club president.

'Just a few short weeks ago, and although in failing health, Frankie joined a club guard of honour at the funeral of another (member) of our 1949 team, John McGurk.

'Frankie was born in 1933, the year after our club was formed, and in this, our 75th anniversary, it is sad to lose someone who has been part of our club life for over 60 years.

'To his wife Rose, daughters Linda and Roisin, sons Aidan and Ronan, to all his grandchildren, our club sends heartfelt sympathy.'