Friday 15 November 2019

'Brian, you’re finally getting me out of your hair!' - Henry Shefflin on breaking retirement news to Kilkenny boss

Read full interview exclusively in tomorrow's Irish Independent

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody and Henry Shefflin
Kilkenny manager Brian Cody and Henry Shefflin
Vincent Hogan

Vincent Hogan

That was how Henry Shefflin broke the news to Brian Cody last Monday evening that he had hurled his final game for Kilkenny.

Having had a positive one-hour meeting with Cody the previous Friday morning at the manager’s home, Shefflin agonized over the weekend before calling time on the most decorated career in GAA history.

“There was no emotion whatsoever” Shefflin recalled of finally making the phone-call that drew the curtain down on his remarkable sixteen-seasons in the black and amber.

Speaking exclusively to the Irish Independent, the only man in history to win ten senior All-Ireland medals reflected “We spoke for a few minutes, but I felt very happy with the decision.

Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin celebrates winning the All Ireland Senior Championship
Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin celebrates winning the All Ireland Senior Championship

“Brian told me that he had felt from our conversation on Friday that I was going to come back, that I wanted to come back.  And I said ‘Yeah, of course, I wanted to come back….’

“But, from a selfish point of view, I just knew it was the right decision for me.  And Brian said ‘Look, it’s been just phenomenal what you’ve achieved and I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done and how you’ve conducted yourself.’”

Shefflin takes us behind the scenes of one of the most conflicted weeks of his life and talks of the strangeness of anticipating a life ahead now without the ritual of county training.

Full interview in tomorrow's Irish Independent.

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