GAA Handball pay tribute to 'sportsman par excellence' Michael 'Ducksy' Walsh
Ireland’s Michael ‘Ducksy’ Walsh, widely considered the greatest singles handball player of all time, has died at the age of 50
Walsh, a native of Kilkenny, became ill after a tournament in Cavan last weekend and, after his condition worsened, he passed away today.
Walsh is the most decorated handballer ever and, over the course of a glittering career, he won, among many others, 16 All Ireland 60x30 Senior Single titles.
Just recently, Walsh proved his incredible prowess once again, when beating top-ranked Eoin Kennedy in the final of the Open Singles at the first Irish 60X30 Singles Nationals at his home court of Talbot’s Inch.
In response to Walsh's passing, GAA Handball released the following statement in tribute:
"It is with deep regret and sadness that GAA Handball wish to advise of the passing of Handball legend Michael "Ducksy" Walsh who passed away earlier today following a short battle with illness.
"Ducksy was a tremendous competitor, a sportsman par excellence and an iconic figure whose loss has left the entire handball community numb with grief. A winner of an incredible 38 Senior All-Ireland titles including a record 16 Senior Softball titles, his name will forever be synonymous with the sport.
"GAA Handball would like to extend it's deepest sympathies to Ducksy's family, friends and his wide circle of Handball friends at this sad time.
"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis."
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O'Donovan TD, also offered his condolences to family of Michael ‘Ducksie’ Walsh and the wider GAA and handball community.
"I want to offer my sincere condolences to the GAA community, particularly the handball fraternity who have lost their greatest champion.
"Of course our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as this particularly difficult and sad time. Ducksie was a true champion and inspiration, an iconic figure not just in Kilkenny but all over. A model athlete. Ar dheis Dé go raibh an anam dílis."
It is with great regret we inform of the sudden death this afternoon of Handball Legend Michael 'Ducksy' Walsh. RIP pic.twitter.com/5XjEB3PkDa— GAA Handball Ireland (@GAA_Handball) August 4, 2016
RIP Michael 'Ducksy' Walsh, the greatest handball player of all time. Only won his 38th All-Ireland title last week https://t.co/QQ3xWU8uVD— Gavan Reilly (@gavreilly) August 4, 2016
Thoughts and prayers go out to one of Kilkenny's greatest ever sportspeople Michael 'Ducksy' Walsh and his family pic.twitter.com/1BfVoCx0EV— KilkennySupporter (@Kilkenny_GAA) August 4, 2016