Thursday 22 August 2019

Kilkenny legend Tommy Walsh retires from intercounty hurling

Tommy Walsh has retired
Tommy Walsh has retired

Tommy Walsh, 31, has announced his retirement from inter-county hurling.

The cats legend, who has won nine All Irelands, nine Leinster titles and has been an All Star no fewer than nine times, read out the following statement on KCLR Breakfast this morning.

Kilkenny's Tommy Walsh and his son Finn with Kilkenny manager Brian Cody after the 2014 All-Ireland Final
Kilkenny's Tommy Walsh and his son Finn with Kilkenny manager Brian Cody after the 2014 All-Ireland Final
31 July 2004; Tommy Walsh, Kilkenny. Guinness All-Ireland Hurling Championship Quarter Final Replay, Clare v Kilkenny, Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
28 November 2003; Tommy Walsh, Kilkenny, is presented with his All-Star award by GAA President Sean Kelly at the VODAFONE GAA All-Star Awards in the Citywest Hotel, Dublin. Football. Hurling. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE *EDI*
Tommy Walsh. as a substitute during the 2014 Leinster Hurling Final
29 April 2007; Seamus Prendergast, Waterford, in action against Tommy Walsh, Kilkenny. Allianz National Hurling League, Division 1 Final, Kilkenny v Waterford, Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
25 July 2004; Kilkenny's Tommy Walsh leaves the field having been sent off. Guinness All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, Quarter Final, Clare v Kilkenny, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE
31 July 2005; Ollie Moran, Limerick, wins possession from Tommy Walsh, Kilkenny. Guinness All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Quarter-Final, Kilkenny v Limerick, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
12 September 2004; Tommy Walsh, Kilkenny. Guinness All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final, Cork v Kilkenny, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE *** Local Caption *** Any photograph taken by SPORTSFILE during, or in connection with, the 2004 Guinness All-Ireland Hurling Final which displays GAA logos or contains an image or part of an image of any GAA intellectual property, or, which contains images of a GAA player/players in their playing uniforms, may only be used for editorial and non-advertising purposes. Use of photographs for advertising, as posters or for purchase separately is strictly prohibited unless prior written approval has been obtained from the Gaelic Athletic Association.
8 August 2004; Kilkenny's Tommy Walsh celebrates with a supporter at the end of the match. Guinness All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final, Waterford v Kilkenny, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / SPORTSFILE
26 June 2004; Brian Cody, Kilkenny manager, chats with Tommy Walsh before the start of the game. Guinness Senior Hurling Championship Qualifier, Round 1, Kilkenny v Dublin, Dr. Cullen Park, Co. Carlow. Picture credit; David Maher / SPORTSFILE
10 April 2005; John Gardiner, Cork, in action against Tommy Walsh, Kilkenny. Allianz National Hurling League, Division 1, Cork v Kilkenny, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
15 April 2007; Tommy Walsh, Kilkenny. Allianz National Hurling League Semi - Final, Division 1, Kilkenny v Wexford, Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
31 July 2004; Tommy Walsh, Kilkenny, in action against James O'Conor, Clare. Guinness All-Ireland Hurling Championshipn Quarter Final Replay, Clare v Kilkenny, Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
30 November 2007; Kilkenny All-Star Tommy Walsh and Galway's Alan Kerins in a taxi on 42nd Street. 2007 Vodafone GAA All-Stars Hurling Tour, The New York Helinsley Hotel, 42nd Street, New York, USA. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

"I wish to announce my retirement from intercounty hurling. For the last 13 years I have had the time of my life, lived my dream and have memories that will stay with me forever.

"Firstly and most importantly I want to sincerely thank my wife and family for their continuous encouragement, support and drive throughout my intercounty career.

"I have been very fortunate and privileged to play along side terrific teammates and I thank them for being just that. It was also an absolute honour to play against many outstanding hurlers from all over the country.

"I would like to thank Brian Cody for his loyalty throughout all my years with Kilkenny and for believing in me as a player.

"Most importantly I want to thank each one of the management teams since 2002 for their support and advice, also the medics, back room staff and especially the one and only Rakard Cody who has been a great friend to us all.

"The county board have always been hugely supportive and have always put the players first, this of which I will never forget as it laid the foundations for our recent success. Equally I would like to thank my employers Bank Of Ireland for their understanding and support throughout my intercounty career.

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"My club Tullaroan has always been very special to me. I owe them for the amazing opportunity I got to play for Kilkenny. This is mainly down to the teachers in the primary school and all the devoted coaches in the club. I will forever be indebted to you all. I will always be grateful for my time spent in St Kieran’s College and UCC where I learned valuable lessons that were of huge benefit to my hurling career.

"Thanks to my friends and mentor from outside the county set up, who challenged and supported me aswell as always being there for advice when I needed it most. This I will never forget.

"I’d like to thank the GPA for their constant support of players all over the country. They provide many valuable services which deal with the welfare of their players. This I know is a huge comfort to all players and the GPA deserve huge credit for this.

"Last but not least I finally want to thank the supporters. From day one they showered me with support. I will never forget their continued encouragement, especially in my final year, simply thank you.

"I wish the management and players continued success for the coming years.

"Yours always

Tommy Walsh."

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