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For the love of club, county and football - why Tipperary's star forward came home

Michael Quinlivan's greatest year in a Tipperary jersey is the one he least expected

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Michael Quinlivan: ‘The thing about playing football for Tipperary is that you probably know everyone that follows the team on a personal basis.’ Photo: Eóin Noonan

Michael Quinlivan: ‘The thing about playing football for Tipperary is that you probably know everyone that follows the team on a personal basis.’ Photo: Eóin Noonan

Michael Quinlivan: ‘The thing about playing football for Tipperary is that you probably know everyone that follows the team on a personal basis.’ Photo: Eóin Noonan

In late October, Michael Quinlivan stepped off the pitch in Carrick-on-Shannon after a win against Leitrim had secured Tipperary's Division 3 status. By then he might have been in South America seeing places a great deal more exotic than Leitrim's county town. But when you've committed to Tipperary you know the deal.

A Tipperary footballer doesn't have to sweep dressing-room floors to understand humility. It is an essential part of the living experience. Last year they were relegated to Division 3 and the championship offered no salvation. Limerick scored a first win in the province in seven years at their expense, and the journey ended in the qualifiers in Newry, with defeat to Down finishing Liam Kearns' four-year term as manager.


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