| 8.7°C Dublin

Hayes: JP bonus rumour are mad and not true at all

Close

Limerick’s Kyle Hayes with his PwC GAA/GPA Player of the All-Ireland Hurling Final award at Spencer Dock, Dublin yesterday Pic: Sportsfile

Limerick’s Kyle Hayes with his PwC GAA/GPA Player of the All-Ireland Hurling Final award at Spencer Dock, Dublin yesterday Pic: Sportsfile

Limerick’s Kyle Hayes with his PwC GAA/GPA Player of the All-Ireland Hurling Final award at Spencer Dock, Dublin yesterday Pic: Sportsfile

Sponsored cars with personalised number plates. Bank accounts secretly credited with €20,000 win bonuses. All-expenses-paid team holidays in Barbados.

You name it, JP McManus was buying it for the Limerick hurlers after their All-Ireland heroics last month.

Or so the fanciful rumours went anyway.

"I wish that was the case," laughs Kyle Hayes, Limerick's All-Ireland final Man of the Match, who has heard them all and more besides.

"Apparently we were getting 20 grand into our bank accounts as well!

"Yeah they were rumours going around and it never happened and it never will but it's funny to see the different stories coming back.

"I wish we were that well looked after. It's mad and the stories add tales as they go on.

"It's mad, but it's not true at all."

Not that Hayes is about to underplay McManus's contribution to Limerick hurling and sport in the county in general.

This week's combined contribution of €3.2m to county boards in Ireland is further testament to McManus's sporting philanthropy.

"I wasn't really surprised because he is just that generous," Hayes admits.

"He's nearly a hand in everything in Limerick in terms of fundraising and he's been backing Limerick for I don't know how long.

"His brother Gerry is doing it for the underage too they are not looking for attention or anything they are just genuine people.

"He wouldn't think much of that but it means a lot especially rural clubs where there wouldn't be much members and they find it hard to do fundraising and that it would mean the world to them.

"You wouldn't see him at all," added Hayes.

Advance

"We have only met him once or twice and that was after the match but he wouldn't want to be in either he stays in the background and is very down to earth.

'If you didn't know his face you wouldn't know who he is. He's that kind of guy."

Suffice to say, Hayes himself is the kind of guy who takes most things easily in his stride.

His diary published in the Irish Examiner about his All-Ireland final week - agreed in advance - was a case in point.

Asked whether winning an All-Ireland as part of the first Limerick team to do so in 45 years has changed his life, Hayes seems genuine unsure.

"No, not really," he shrugs.

"Obviously you would have fellas coming up to you here and there.

"But I'm still the same old fella going to the same college.

"It's nice all right but we don't let it go to our heads at all. We'll be back training in two months," he added.

"We were back training with our club two weeks after it, the Thursday. We have two games left with our club and if we win one of them we get into a semi-final.

"I'd love to get success with the club now. It would be nice now as well like.

"I'm sure for some fellas it's probably a bit of a shock to the system but, as I said, there's no one in the camp with a big head," Hayes insists.

"We'll 'chillax' now for a few months, take our break and by the time the season starts we'll be hungry to get back in. I can't see anyone going around with a big head.

"They're all grounded fellas and we're just looking forward now to getting back on the pitch."

"There was pressure building up like. We wouldn't really let it influence us.

"I know people mean well trying to talk to you or whatever but we kind of just brushed it aside.

"It only really mattered what we thought inside and we didn't let anyone else influence our own thoughts or anything.

"We didn't feel like there was any pressure building up.

"That was probably the main thing, we took it game-by-game.

"If you feel pressure building up in you, it will affect your game so we just took it game-by-game."


Privacy