Handball: DJ hands-on for battle Royal
Kilkenny hurling legend DJ Carey returns to competitive handball action tonight in the GAA Handball Leinster Master's 'A' doubles final at the Na Fianna club in Dublin.
The nine-time All Star, who collected five All-Ireland senior hurling titles with the black and amber, partners another county legend in Michael 'Ducksy' Walsh as they take on Meath veterans Tom Sheridan and Walter O'Connor.
The Royal County handballers are no strangers to the big alley stage and collected two All-Ireland senior doubles titles together in 2000 and '02. Carey and Walsh have won three titles, the most recent in 1998, and Walsh is delighted to see his former partner back in action.
"It's fantastic to have DJ back in the alley," Walsh said. "He's always been great to play alongside and I'm really looking forward to the game against Tom and Walter."
Carey (above) will always be remembered for his magic with the ash, but what many people don't know is that the hurling maestro also amassed 11 All-Ireland handball titles during his career in the alley.
At the peak of his sporting career, a year after winning the 1993 Hurler of the Year title (an award he also received in 2000), Carey danced on the global handball stage and won two world championship titles in 1994, collecting the U-23 singles title and going on to partner Tyrone's Ciaran Curran to doubles glory in the same grade.
"It's great to have a legend of hurling, and someone of the calibre of DJ, back playing handball and hopefully other GAA stars will take a leaf out of his book," said O'Connor, the incoming GAA handball president.
"We had many great battles with them in Leinster over the years and I'm sure tonight will be no different."