Tipperary’s Brendan Maher retires from intercounty hurling

32-year-old was a driving force behind the All-Ireland wins of 2010, 2016 and 2019

Brendan Maher celebrates after Tipperary’s 2016 All-Ireland final win over Kilkenny. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Brendan Maher celebrates after Tipperary’s 2016 All-Ireland final win over Kilkenny. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

Former Tipperary All-Ireland winning captain Brendan Maher has retired from intercounty hurling. He turned 32 this year and enjoyed a hugely successful career, spanning 13 years, three All-Ireland senior titles (2010, ‘16 and ‘19), two minor (2006 and ‘07) and one under-21 (2010).

A versatile player, who won All Stars at centrefield and wing back, he was an accomplished defender in all respects from man marking to sweeping and was recognised as Young Hurler of the Year in 2010 - with strong claims to the overall award, which ultimately went to Lar Corbett.

His is the first of his cohort to retire, having come through with Pádraic Maher, Noel McGrath, Patrick Maher and also 2019 captain and Hurler of the Year, Séamus Callanan, who was slightly older than those minor teams.

A litany of injuries, most seriously the cruciate damage in 2018, dogged his later career but he came back the following year to have one of his best seasons.

He will continue to play for his club Borris-Ileigh, in whose 2019 Munster title victory he was instrumental.

Brendan Maher after Tipp’s recent Munster SHC final defeat to Limerick. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Brendan Maher after Tipp’s recent Munster SHC final defeat to Limerick. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Former Tipperary All-Ireland winning manager and player, Irish Times hurling analyst Nicky English paid tribute to an outstanding career, which ended fittingly with three All-Ireland medals.

“It was some innings and he captained the team in 2016. An outstanding player in the middle third - he could play wing forward as well as midfield and wing back - and had all the skills. He was signalled from a long way back in those minor winning teams in 2006 and ‘07 when it was obvious that this fella could really play.

“He was part of that minor generation that brought great success to Tipperary and I think it was important to those players that they got that third All-Ireland, which had eluded Tipp players over the years. Declan Ryan had been the only one since the 1960s, which was a tribute to his longevity rather than any particular teams.

“It was fitting for that group, particularly Brendan who really stood out immediately. His striking and fetching - he had it everywhere. He was a class player all the way through. In recent years he suffered from injuries but had a massive comeback in 2019, winning the third medal and All Star.

“He was outstanding the year after his ACL injury, going right through with the county in 2019 and continuing with his club Borris-Ileigh where he was inspirational in their reaching that season’s All-Ireland final.

“He doesn’t owe anyone anything. He has put it in, 100 per cent. Nobody could ask him for more.”

The player made his announcement through the Tipperary county board on Thursday morning.

“After 13 years playing with Tipperary, I have decided that now is the right time to announce my retirement from intercounty hurling. It was a huge honour and privilege for me to wear the Tipperary jersey and I am very grateful to have played with so many top-class players and to have enjoyed many successes with them.

“The intercounty game requires very significant commitment, and I am happy that I can look back on my career with no regrets having given everything that I could during my time with Tipperary.

“Firstly, I want to thank the Tipperary players sincerely. I have made lifelong friendships with so many of them. I am also very grateful to the managers and backroom teams who gave me so much support and guidance.

“As a player, I always received immense support from the Tipperary County Board, Tipperary Supporters Club and Associations, Tipperary team sponsors and the GPA. I want to thank all of them. Thanks also to the Tipperary supporters who I have always been so proud to represent.

“To my club, Borris-Ileigh, where it all began, a huge thank you. I look forward to what the next few years will bring as we continue our journey. My friends have also been hugely supportive of me and helped me in so many ways over the course of my career, for which I am very grateful.

“My parents, Johnny and Anne, have done everything they possibly could to support and encourage me and there are no words to describe my gratitude to them.”

Brendan Maher after the 2019 All-Ireland final win over Kilkenny - he lifted Liam MacCarthy three times. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho
Brendan Maher after the 2019 All-Ireland final win over Kilkenny - he lifted Liam MacCarthy three times. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Tipperary county board extended its best wishes on his retirement from and thanked him for his commitment, dedication and selflessness during his distinguished career at both underage and adult level.

“Brendan led by example on and off the pitch and was hugely respected and admired by his fellow players and management teams. Brendan was instrumental in many of Tipperary’s successes and was someone who stood tall when the pressure to perform was at its highest level. We are extremely grateful to Brendan for his service to the county and we wish him the very best of good luck in the future.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.