Saturday 21 January 2017

Joe Dooley in heartwarming tribute to retired Offaly star

Published 06/01/2016 | 02:30

Offaly's Brian Carroll (right) celebrating with teammate Derek Morkan after a draw with Galway in the 2010 Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final. Photo: Oliver McVeigh, Sportsfile
Offaly's Brian Carroll (right) celebrating with teammate Derek Morkan after a draw with Galway in the 2010 Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final. Photo: Oliver McVeigh, Sportsfile

Joe Dooley captured the mood perfectly with his sign-off message for Brian Carroll on his retirement.

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"You gave all for the faithful cause like your father before you," tweeted Dooley.

It was the ultimate tribute for Brian, whose late father Pat was one of the pioneering Offaly adventurers, who brought the Leinster senior hurling title to the county for first time in 1980, followed a year later by a first All-Ireland win. Sadly, Pat died at the age of 30 in 1986.

Brian was a mere toddler at the time so all the memories of his father are through other people's recollections plus, of course, videos of those memorable early-eighties days.

Unfortunately for Brian, who made his championship debut against Kilkenny in the 2002 Leinster semi-final in Thurles, his 14-season career coincided with a period of decline for Offaly but that in no way detracts from his status as one of the best players never to win an All-Ireland medal.

He spoke this week of being grateful for such a lengthy career, even if it didn't yield big prizes.

It certainly wasn't for want of trying on his part, even on days when the odds were at their most forbidding.

His father really would have been proud of him.

Irish Independent

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