'The bigger the occasion the better he played'

10 August 2017

The legendary Galway All-Ireland winning half back line from 1987 and '88 pictured in 2015, l/r: Pete Finnerty, Tony Keady and Gerry McInerney ©INPHO/James Crombie

Three-time Galway All-Ireland winner Cyril Farrell has paid tribute to the late Tony Keady, who passed away in the early hours of this morning.

Farrell revealed that he had met his former team mate at the Tribesmen’s All-Ireland SHC semi-final triumph over Tipperary and said he was shocked and saddened to learn of the 53-year-old’s passing.

"It’s hard to believe, I was talking to him before the match outside Croke Park last Sunday," Farrell is quoted saying by RTE Sport.

 "He was in great form and always out for the craic. He never missed a match, he was a great family man.

"He came in to me as a young lad and was a brilliant hurler and a brilliant player. The bigger the occasion the better he played.

"He believed if there was 70,000 in Croke Park then they came to see him playing. He’d say ‘this is what we’re training for'.

"He was a free spirit, it’s hard to believe it, he was in great form and you talk about fitness – he was as fit as a fiddle.

"Your heart would go out to Margaret and the kids, they had a few days there in the hospital and hoping and hoping and everyone was hoping because this character was bigger than life and so fit and strong.

"He’s the last person you’d look at and think this could happen and it’s a very sad day."