Monday 16 December 2019

Where are they now? TONY KEADY (Former Galway hurler)

Tony Keady was a member of the famous Galway side of the late 1980s which reached five All-Ireland finals in six years.

He won two All-Ireland medals as well as two All Stars and one coveted Texaco Hurler of the Year award, making him one of the most decorated players to ever represent the county.

His was undoubtedly an illustrious career, but he remembers 1988, when he won an All-Ireland title, an All Star and Hurler of the Year, as his most satisfying year.

"I got all the rewards in '88 and I enjoyed them tremendously," he says.

Sadly, the following season was without doubt the lowest point of his career. Famously, Keady was suspended for playing in a game in America after being wrongly advised that he was acting within the rules of the organisation. Due to his high profile, he was made an example of and missed the All-Ireland championship that season. "I still feel bitter about the people on the committee, they weren't hurling people. They didn't understand it."

Keady fancies Galway to come out on top in today's game. "The way Galway are playing they have to be favourites," he says.

He does feel, however, that Waterford will have a big point to prove following their humiliating loss to Tipperary in the Munster final. "They don't need Davy [Fitzgerald] to motivate them for this because they're at the bottom of the barrel at the minute, they're hurting badly. You have to come back from it."

He feels that Galway are in good health despite having been written off following their loss to Dublin in the Leinster semi-final. "They were nearly third favourites till that game," he says.

However, Keady thinks they have hit their stride in the last two games. "They demolished everything put in front of them-- what else can they do? I was watching training on Tuesday, they're moving well".

Keady lives in Oranmore where he is head caretaker as well as running the sports teams in the local school. He still follows Galway closely. "I go to a lot of the matches when I can. It's harder with four kids to get time."

He still derives great enjoyment from the sport, though he feels the modern game is missing some of the physical competitiveness that made it great. "The toughness is gone out of hurling; it's not just the way the refereeing is going."

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