Wexford’s Shaun Murphy retires from intercounty hurling

The back, who will be 33 next year, was employed in the sweeper role under Davy Fitzgerald

Wexford defender Shaun Murphy has called time on his intercounty career. The news was announced on Monday. From Oulart The Ballagh, he was called up to the senior panel in 2012 and made his championship debut that year in the Leinster quarter-final defeat by Offaly.

Murphy, who will be 33 next year, took a while to nail down his place but ultimately became a fixture in the Wexford defence in the years that followed, his pace and ability to read the game making him ideally suited to the sweeper role when David Fitzgerald arrived as the county manager in 2017.

The pinnacle of his career came in 2019 when Wexford won a first Leinster title in 15 years, beating Kilkenny in the final and running Tipperary close in the All-Ireland semi-final.

He missed this year’s championship because of a back injury but returned to help his club regain senior status by winning the intermediate title. That added to seven senior medals in an Oulart career, the high point of which was a Leinster title success in 2015, beating Cuala in the final.

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“After 11 years of hurling for Wexford, I think now is the right time to announce my retirement from inter-county hurling,” he said in a statement released by Wexford GAA.

“It has been a tough and frustrating 18 months with an ongoing injury and unfortunately I don’t think I can give the energy and commitment required. It was a huge honour and privilege to wear the purple and gold and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity.

“I would like to thank all the players and management teams over the years, many of who have now become lifelong friends. Thanks too to my family, my fiancee Leanne and my little boy Rían, who have given immense support and encouragement throughout the years.

“Finally, thanks to my club Oulart The Ballagh, where it all started. I look forward to hopefully wearing the red and black for many more years.

“I would like to wish Wexford the very best of luck in 2023 and the future.”

County chair Micheál Martin paid tribute to Murphy Shaun for his service to Wexford hurling

“The news that Shaun Murphy is retiring from inter-county hurling will be greeted with disappointment by all followers. Shaun has been one of Wexford’s most consistent performers for over a decade and always shone on the big days for both club and county.

“On the field he displayed tremendous courage and tenacity and was never found wanting in the heat of battle, while off the field he was a fantastic ambassador for Wexford hurling. On behalf of all in CLG Loch Garman, I thank Shaun for his dedication and service to Wexford, and wish him well for the future.”