Limerick sponsor JP McManus pays tribute to ‘wonderful bunch of young men’
Horse owner says All Ireland win was special and ‘life changing for some people’
JP McManus said Sunday’s win had come about because of the county’s hurling academy which had brought players from grassroots level with the full support of parents. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
Limerick hurling’s sponsor JP McManus has paid tribute to the team as “a wonderful bunch of young men. They bring a lot to the area.”
The leading racehorse owner said it had been really special to join with the team in the dressing room in Croke Park after the All Ireland senior hurling final on Sunday.
Limerick beat last year’s champions Galway 3-16 to 2-18 to win the Liam McCarthy Cup after a 45 year wait to claim the title.
“It was really special” to be with the team after the win, “they made me feel very very welcome,” he said.
He admitted that the “worst thoughts” had gone through his mind in the final minutes of the game especially as it looked like Galway’s Joe Canning could equalise from a free. “The relief was hard to describe,” he said.
“To be honest now I’m drained. I’m sure I feel worse than if I’d played, both mentally and physically, ” he told RTÉ’s News at One of the game’s final nail biting minutes.
Mr McManus, who sponsors the team under the Sporting Limerick branding, said that Sunday’s win had come about because of the county’s hurling academy which had brought players from grassroots level with the full support of parents.
He also paid tribute to the vanquished Galway team saying there were very sporting.
He said that being in Croke Park yesterday had been very special. The win was phenomenal and “life changing for some people.”
Asked which had given him more pleasure and which had cost him more money, the horses or the hurling, he replied “definitely the horses”.
But he said the great thing about winning an All Ireland was “you get to share it with thousands and thousands and thousands of people ...you have men hugging men who have never met before ...it would lift you”.