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09th Sep 2017

Paul Galvin sent a really sound message to Joe Canning right before the All-Ireland

Game respects game

Patrick McCarry

As a fond fan and passionate club hurler, Paul Galvin has tonnes of respect for Joe Canning.

The former Kerry football captain has represented his hometown club Lixnaw with distinction for many’s a year and has three senior county titles in the code.

When Galvin relocated to Dublin, after his inter-county career finished, it was hurling that he first got involved with before getting back into club football with St Oliver Plunkett’s. Still, he always keeps an eye on events close to home.

It is no surprise, then, to hear Galvin has been closely following the hurling career of Joe Canning and the quest of Galway’s hurlers to claim Liam MacCarthy again.

Back on Saturday, September 2, Galvin was bemoaning the fact that he could not get his hands on a ticket for the final between Galway and Waterford. We reckon he may well have lucked out but, wherever he watched it, Galvin definitely had an influence on how the game played out.

Canning would have felt trepidation heading into a final in which Galway entered as finallists. Given the recent dominance of Kilkenny and the fleeting genius and power of Tipperary sides, that was a rare millstone around Galway necks.

Having been tipped for All-Ireland glory as far back as 2008, Galway talisman Canning would have been feeling more pressure than most but, on finals day, it rarely showed. The Portumna clubman slotted 0-8 against Waterford, including a sublime, soaring sideline cut.

Just before the final, Canning revealed to 2fm’s Eoghan McDermott, he received a lovely message from Galvin. Coming from a man with four All-Ireland winners’ medals to his name, the Instagram message meant an awful lot. Canning said:

“For some reason, this year felt like it was meant to be. We didn’t put a huge emphasis on building t up to be bigger than anything else. Paul Galvin Instagrammed me a message and said ‘Just treat it as any other game’.

“That really struck me because guys like that have been through it. It relaxed me a bit more.”

There was more to the message than that, of course, but Canning shared the words that struck him the most and the ones that helped ease his mind before such a gargantuan clash.

74 minutes of fiercely contested hurling eventually saw Galway run out as deserved winners. Canning, like Galvin before him, finally joined the ranks of All-Ireland winners and we’re sure there were more messages traded between the both men.