Deise shock as McGrath decides to call it quits
Published 16/03/2011 | 05:00
Waterford star Ken McGrath has sensationally announced his retirement from inter-county hurling.
McGrath (33) lined out against Cork in last Sunday's Allianz National Hurling League clash at Fraher Field, Dungarvan, but that game was his last in the county shirt.
In a phonecall to Waterford boss Davy Fitzgerald yesterday, McGrath confirmed that he was calling it a day.
And he was not present at training last night at the Waterford IT sports campus in Carriganore, with sources indicating that the player felt too emotional to reveal the news himself.
McGrath started against the Rebels at midfield last Sunday, but was replaced by Eoin Kelly 11 minutes after half-time.
And the Mount Sion colossus was reportedly unhappy with his own performance after the game.
Initial reports from the Waterford camp suggested that McGrath would take a few days to consider the situation, but the three-time All Star moved swiftly to end any speculation about his future.
In more than 50 championship appearances for Waterford, dating back to his debut against Tipperary in June 1996, McGrath scored 1-89 for the Munster champions. His last championship appearance was in the All-Ireland SHC semi-final against Tipperary last August.
He captained the Waterford senior hurlers on two occasions and won four Munster SHC medals and a National Hurling League title (2007) during the course of a glittering career.
At club level, McGrath won six county titles with Mount Sion and a Munster club title in 2002, when Clare outfit Sixmilebridge were defeated in the provincial decider.
Waterford selector Pat Bennett broke the news to the squad at training last night and reflected: "It's the end of an era with Ken gone. He was outstanding."