Monday 22 January 2018

Tipperary mourns the passing of 'great hurling man' Devaney

Liam Devaney
Liam Devaney
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

It's a remarkable testament to his quality as a hurler that Liam Devaney, who has died, aged 82, played in every position for Tipperary except full-back.

Best known as one of the top forwards of his generation, he played in defence too when the occasion required and even had a day between the posts in 1963 when the selected goalkeeper didn't arrive on time.

Two years earlier, he had switched from centre-forward to centre-back after Tony Wall went off injured during the All-Ireland final with Dublin.

According to the Irish Independent report, his "all-round hurling ability and dauntless spirit were a revelation" in a game which Tipperary won by a point.

It won him the paper's Sportstar of the Week award and he was later named as Hurler of the Year.

'Babs' Keating, who got into the Tipperary team in 1963 after Devaney (pictured) broke his hand in a league game, recalls him as a 'special talent' who had every skill in glorious abundance.

"What's more, he was always happy to share his knowledge and experience with the younger lads coming into the squad. I always appreciated that.

"I called to see him last Thursday and he was as sharp as a razor, talking about the great days all those years ago.

"We shared a room in New York when we played New York in the league final in 1964 and got to know him well. He was a great Tipperary man and a great hurling man," said Keating.

Tipperary County Board chairman Michael Bourke said that the county had lost "a great son, friend, and acquaintance".

A Borris-Ileigh clubman, Devaney won All-Ireland minor medals in 1952 and 1953, before being promoted to the senior ranks, where he made his championship debut in 1955.

He went on to win five All-Ireland, eight Munster, eight National League and three Railway Cup titles with Munster.

His last game with Tipperary was in the 1968 Oireachtas final. As he left the pitch, he handed his hurley to a young supporter.

He is survived by his wife, Hannie, daughters Siobhán, Louise, Carolanne, Valerie, Claire and son Seamus,

Reposing at Kennedy's Funeral Home Borrisoleigh, tomorrow (5.0-8.0pm).

Removal to the Sacred Heart Church, Borrisoleigh on Saturday for Requiem Mass at 11.00am, followed by interment in St Brigid's Cemetery.

 

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Irish Independent

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