The Tipperary star Pádraic Maher has announced that he will be retiring from hurling on medical advice due to a neck injury.
It was a shock to all including Tipperary manager Colm Bonnar, who said “It was a complete shock to him and to us. He had been such a leader”.
When announcing his retirement this morning Maher said: “It is not the end I would have wished for, but the time has come for me to announce my retirement from hurling,” he began.
“Representing Tipperary has been my lifelong dream and I am truly honoured and privileged to have played for Tipperary for thirteen seasons. I have made some truly great friends and met some great people. I have made memories that will stick with me for the rest of my days. While I truly wished this could have lasted a bit longer, I am glad that I can look back and know that I gave everything I had for the blue and gold jersey”.
“I want to thank all the Tipperary players I played with over the years, some of whom are the greatest to ever represent this county. To all the management teams, backroom personnel, doctors, and physios, there is no doubt we were in great hands with you all involved. I am truly grateful for all you have done for me. The Tipperary County Board, the Tipperary Supporters Club, and the various sponsors, have never left us wanting for anything and I want to thank you all sincerely for your support”.
“Tipperary supporters are some of the most passionate in the country and it was a privilege to represent you all.
“The GPA have given great guidance to me along with my fellow players and I want to thank them for their continued support throughout.”
With his retirement immediate, Maher has also won the Sarsfield colours for the last time as well.
“What can I say about my beloved club Thurles Sarsfields,” he added.
“What you have all done for my career is unbelievable. The support I received, the great years on the field and the memories we have, I will cherish for the rest of my days. While I might not get to put on that famous blue jersey anymore, I will never be too far away from ‘The Outside Field’.
“To Scoil Ailbhe, Thurles CBS and Durlas Og, there are too many people to name but I want to say a massive thank you to everyone for their guidance and advice which helped the development of my hurling career.”
He also said: “An Garda Síochána have shown me tremendous support over the years and I want to thank everyone in both Mayorstone and Henry Street Garda Stations for their ongoing support.
“My parents Paddy and Helen, no words can do justice here for what you have done for me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without your support. Thank you so much.
“One of my highlights was getting to play with my brother Ronan. We have made memories that will last us a lifetime. I will be your biggest supporter now and will continue to follow your already remarkable career with excitement.
“My extended family have always been a great support to me, and I hope I gave you many good memories to cherish over the years.
“My fiancée Claire, the support and sacrifices you made for me, you don’t know how much it means to me. I hope I can now repay you by giving you the time and support you so richly deserve.
Finally, to the Tipperary team, I wish you all the best for the year ahead and I look forward to following you all over the country in what I hope will be a successful one for you all. I’ll be your biggest supporter.”
Pádraic Maher had been playing inter-county hurling with Tipperary since he appeared on the scene winning hurling medals with the Tipperary minor team in 2006 and 2007 in the full back position.
The Thurles native was nominated for hurler of the year in 2011 and 2016. He also gained the title of Tipperary captain in 2017 and 2018.
Maher started every championship game for the county since 2009, winning 3 All-Irelands in 2010,2016 and 2019. He also won 5 Munster Senior hurling titles in 2009,2011,2012,2015 and 2016.
Padraic won All-Star awards in 2009 (full-back), 2011 (wing-back), 2014 (centre-back), 2016, 2017 and 2019 (wing-back).