James Woodlock is latest Tipperary hurling retirement

Midfielder returned from a broken leg in 2009 to regain his place against the odds

A day after his team mate Conor O'Mahony announced that he had hung up his hurl, Tipperary's James Woodlock has also decided to retire from intercounty hurling.

The 29-year-old midfielder, two years younger than O’Mahony, will continue with his club Drom and Inch - but nine years after making his senior debut with Tipperary he has decided to call it a day.

He does so with two Munster titles and one National League title to his name, but after an horrific leg break in 2009 he missed out on the 2010 and much of the 2011 season - with Tipp winning the All-Ireland in 2010.

In the 2009 county final he would break his leg in seven places after an innocuous collision with Tipperary team-mate Padraic Maher - breaking his tibia and fibula.


Yet despite his initial diagnosis being that his hurling days were over - he would return to play a big role in the squad over recent seasons.

This year he started all three of Tipperary’s championship matches, scoring a point in the Munster semi-final win over Limerick.

Tipperary GAA said on Saturday that “James played a massive role for the team through his dynamism and energy and his passion was always unquestionable.

“His strength of character was shown in exemplary fashion when following an horrific injury in 2009 James battled his way to the top of his game in 2011 to assume his customary position. That event along with many triumphs in the blue and gold ensured James would always be held in high esteem by his fellow players and management teams.”

On Saturday morning Woodlock himself released the following statement via the Tipperary county board:

“It has been a great honour for me to have been part of Tipperary hurling teams at minor, Under 21 and senior level but the time has now come for me to announce my retirement from the inter-county scene.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Tipperary senior hurling panel and I am very grateful to the managers who gave me the opportunity to play for the county.

“I also want to thank the players, I have huge admiration for them, greatly enjoyed playing and training with them and have made many valued friendships among them. I would also like to say a sincere thanks to the backroom teams and Tipperary County Board who always provided great assistance and co-operation particularly after I was seriously injured in 2009.

“My club, Drom and Inch, has always been very supportive of me and I want to thank everybody in the club for their great encouragement at all times. Now that my inter-county career is over, I look forward to continuing to play with Drom and Inch.

“My parents and brothers have also been a great support to me at all times and I want to thank them sincerely. My wife, Michelle, has always been a rock of support and I want to thank her for all the sacrifices she has made in the interests of my hurling career. I look forward to spending more time with her and our daughter Hazel.

“I wish the Tipperary panel the very best of luck for 2016 and beyond.”

Eamon Donoghue

Eamon Donoghue

Eamon Donoghue is a sports journalist with The Irish Times