Saturday 3 December 2016

Obituary: Jimmy Doyle, Tipperary hurler

March 20 1939-June 22 2015

Published 28/06/2015 | 02:30

Jimmy Doyle: Tipperary representative in a commemorative torch parade to mark 125 years of the GAA
Jimmy Doyle: Tipperary representative in a commemorative torch parade to mark 125 years of the GAA

Jimmy Doyle would have seen many things, and watched a lot of hurling, in his 76 years. But the Tipperary legend, who died last Monday, was possibly most pleased to watch the sumptuous performance of his native county, against Limerick, just the day before. Simply put, the way Tipp hurl at the moment is pure Jimmy Doyle - and no finer compliment can be paid in the Premier County.

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Eamon O'Shea's current group are all about skill, vision, élan, creativity, elegance: the very things which defined Doyle's playing style as he terrorised defences for close on two decades. Indeed, it's a funny irony that the Thurles Sarsfields icon, were he young today, would easily slip into the modern game, such was his impeccable technique, flair and positional sense.

There may have been "better" hurlers in history (Cork's Christy Ring surely still stands as the greatest of all). There may even have been better Tipp hurlers - John Doyle, for example, who won more All-Irelands than his namesake. But there was hardly a more naturally gifted man to play in 125 years.

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