Tuesday 25 June 2019

Hurling world in mourning as tributes pour in for Tony Keady

Tony Keady in action for Galway in 1986
Tony Keady in action for Galway in 1986
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

"I would have first come across him in 1984 or '85 when he came on to the Galway panel and he played his first game in the championship for Galway in 1985 and sure it was no bother to him at all.

"He was an excellent hurler and he proved that time and again, particularly in the All-Ireland finals of 1987 and 1988. We won and lost together and I would have got to know him fairly well around the time we played together.

Conor Hayes. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Conor Hayes. Photo: SPORTSFILE

"I went over to him in the house not too long ago and he wanted me to look at a few things he was thinking of having done around the place. And we went out the back to look and he was there with the kids and of course we had a free-taking competition into the posts he had there.

"He had a fierce enthusiasm for the game and was always bringing the kids somewhere.

"He was a great centre-back. A man for the big occasion we always said and very accurate from long-range frees and 70s as we called them those days. He was just a great all-rounder.

"It's a bit of a shock to the system."

Conor Hayes (Former Galway captain)

LISTEN: Former Galway manager Anthony Cunningham pays emotional tribute to former teammate Tony Keady

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"I hurled against him several times between 1985 and 1991 in All-Ireland finals, semi-finals and league semi-finals too.

Joe Dooley. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Joe Dooley. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

"He was just an outstanding hurler, strong and skilful, could strike off both sides and good under a dropping ball.

"The ideal centre-back really with all the skills. He was a very down-to-earth person too when you'd meet him. He's a huge loss to his family and friends, the Galway GAA community and the wider GAA community."

Joe Dooley (Offaly)


Bobby Ryan. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Bobby Ryan. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

"I suppose I hit it off with him on an All Stars tour, he was just someone you'd instantly warm to. What I liked about him was he never took himself too seriously and was great company.

"On the pitch he was part of that great Galway half back line that goes down as one of the best in the game.

"They had everything as a unit and he was just a majestic hurler and a special talent. I would have had him down as the Ronan O'Gara of his day in that he just controlled the game. He was an immaculate striker of the ball and a great servant of Galway and the GAA.

"He's an awful loss, particularly with the year that's in it and how Galway are going. There would have been no one more proud than him after last Sunday. It's a terrible loss, there's an deep sadness in all of us from that generation that he's gone."

Bobby Ryan (Tipperary)

Irish Independent

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