THOUSANDS are expected to descend on Holycross Abbey tomorrow to pay their final respects to Tipperary hurling legend John Doyle, who died yesterday aged 80.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen led the tributes to the Holycross Ballycahill man, who won eight All-Ireland and 10 Munster titles and was selected at corner-back on both the GAA's Centenary Team and Team of the Millennium.
"He was an immense hurler and an incredibly decent man. He will be deeply missed by his family and many friends," said Cowen.
Doyle won his first All-Ireland title in 1949 and his eighth in 1965. He also won eight Railway Cup medals and 11 National League titles in a career that ended after defeat to Kilkenny in the 1967 All-Ireland final, when a 37-year-old Doyle gave up his pursuit of a record-breaking ninth Celtic Cross.
Recently retired GAA broadcaster Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh also spoke of his sadness at the death of "a hurling legend". "I heard him say one time how grateful he was to the GAA, that it made him a character and a personality all over Ireland," he said.