Kerry’s Tommy Walsh retires from intercounty football

Kerins O’Rahilly’s club man leaves with two All-Ireland medals to his name

File photo of Tommy Walsh playing against Dublin in 2020. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

File photo of Tommy Walsh playing against Dublin in 2020. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Kerry’s Tommy Walsh has retired from intercounty football. The Kerins O’Rahilly’s club man was a senior All-Ireland winner in 2007 and ‘09 and also won an All-Ireland under-21 title in 2008.

His career began in great promise - he was Young Footballer of the Year in 2008 - and took him to Australia where he played for St Kilda and Sydney Swans until a horrific injury - avulsion of the hamstring - effectively ended his AFL career.

He returned to Ireland in 2014 and re-joined the Kerry panel in 2015 but injury complications forced his withdrawal after a year and it wasn’t until Peter Keane took up the manager’s position in 2019 that he was called on again and made an impact as a replacement that year when coming off the bench in the All-Ireland final against Dublin.

A tall, skilful player generally deployed in the full-forward, he turned 33 this year and has decided to call it a day after a disappointing end to the season when Kerry lost the All-Ireland semi-final to eventual winners Tyrone. Keane wasn’t re-appointed as manager and his successor Jack O’Connor responded to Monday’s news.

“It was with sadness that I learned today of Tommy Walsh’s decision to retire from the Kerry Senior football panel. I coached Tommy for two years firstly in 2008 with Kerins O’Rahilly’s when he was instrumental in helping the club to a county final and in 2009 with Kerry.

“He gave one of the great exhibitions to the 2009 All Ireland final against Cork when he scored four great points - two from either foot. Like his father Seánie [a member of Mick O’Dwyer’s great Kerry teams of the 1970s and ‘80s] he was a man for the big occasion and raised his game accordingly.

“I wish him all the best in retirement, and I hope he continues to enjoy a fruitful club career for many years to come.”

Chairman Tim Murphy announced the news: “Earlier today Tommy Walsh confirmed his decision to retire from the Kerry senior football panel. Tommy began his inter-county career as a minor and quickly progressed through to under-21 and senior ranks.

“In the 2009 All-Ireland series Tommy produced some memorable performances culminating in the All-Ireland Final win over Cork when he contributed a quarter of Kerry’s scores on the day.

“In October 2009 Tommy moved to Australia where he played AFL until the end of 2014 and re-joined the Kerry set-p for the 2015/216 seasons.

“Over the past two years in particular Tommy’s leadership on and off the field has helped to encourage, motivate, and successfully integrate many of our younger players onto the panel.

“On behalf of all Kerry supporters I wish to sincerely thank and acknowledge Tommy for all he has done and wish him the very best in the future.”

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