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Hurling star Lester Ryan (61) killed in crash

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Lester Ryan appeared in two senior All-Ireland hurling finals with Kilkenny and won two All-Ireland minor hurling medals and three Leinster senior hurling medals. He played for Clara, who won the county club final in 1986 (stock photo)

Lester Ryan appeared in two senior All-Ireland hurling finals with Kilkenny and won two All-Ireland minor hurling medals and three Leinster senior hurling medals. He played for Clara, who won the county club final in 1986 (stock photo)

SPORTSFILE

Lester Ryan appeared in two senior All-Ireland hurling finals with Kilkenny and won two All-Ireland minor hurling medals and three Leinster senior hurling medals. He played for Clara, who won the county club final in 1986 (stock photo)

Former Kilkenny hurler Lester Ryan Senior, an uncle of modern-day hurling star Lester Ryan, was killed in a cycling accident near his home in Gowran yesterday.

Mr Ryan (61) was cycling his bike when he was involved in a collision with a tractor and trailer on Church Road in the County Kilkenny village shortly before 4pm.

Mr Ryan, a father-of-three, died at the scene. Two fire brigade units, gardai and an ambulance went to the scene.

He appeared in two senior All-Ireland hurling finals with Kilkenny and won two All-Ireland minor hurling medals and three Leinster senior hurling medals. He played for Clara, who won the county club final in 1986.

Mr Ryan had recently retired from his job as a coach at Leinster Council level.

His nephew Lester captained Kilkenny to the All- Ireland senior hurling title in 2014 and won four All-Irelands with the Cats. His brother, Harry, also played hurling with his local club Clara and was a member of the Kilkenny senior inter-county team from 1983 until 1988.

Mr Ryan was described by a local man as "a lovely person" and was well-known character.

It is the second time the family has been hit by tragedy in recent years.

A brother, Johnny, who was Lester Jnr's father, died in a farming accident on the family holding in Dunbell in January 2015.

Local Fine Gael councillor Patrick O'Neill said: "Lester was very active in the community, like all his family. He loved hurling so much and was always involved in teams and club activities.

"It is terrible that this is the second tragedy to happen to the family in such a short time.

"The whole parish is completely shocked by this tragedy. Local people are utterly devastated.

"It has come as a terrible shock to the entire community," he added.

"He will be very sadly missed. He had taken up refereeing in the past year and had been refereeing some under age games. This is a sad day for us all."

Sunday Independent