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16th Feb 2023

“So long” – Farewell to some of the greatest wrists in inter-county hurling

Niall McIntyre

At the age of 31, John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer has retired from inter-county hurling.

The Tipperary forward won two All-Irelands, in 2016 and 2019, an All-Star in 2014, and is widely regarded as one of the most gifted stick-men ever to have played the game.

The Killenuale club-man burst onto the scene in 2010, as a member of Tipperary’s All-Ireland under-21 winning panel. He would go onto captain that team in 2012, and it was the following year, in 2013, when he was first called onto the Tipperary senior hurling panel.

2013 was a trying year for Tipperary, in which they were eliminated in the All-Ireland qualifiers in a famous Nowlan Park clash with Kilkenny, but Bubbles lit the place up in 2014.

He was one of the best forwards in the country that year and will always be remembered for his last minute free in that year’s sensational All-Ireland final against Kilkenny. O’Dwyer’s last-gasp effort was ruled out by hawk-eye in an enthralling end to that game.

The Cats denied Bubbles and the Premier that year but, largely due to his own influence on the game, they couldn’t deny them two years later. Bubbles scored 1-5 that day and his goal was a thing of beauty as Tipperary won their first All-Ireland in six years.

He was again instrumental in their 2019 win, stepping up on the big occasion with 1-2 as Tipperary beat Kilkenny again. O’Dwyer’s latter years were hampered by injuries but he will forever be remembered for those golden wrists, and those colourful summer display.

“I would like to thank all the management teams from Minor level up to Senior who helped me over the last 15 years,” he said today in a short but sweet statement.

“It was a great pleasure to represent my county and win some silverware along the way. Thanks to those close to me and to my club Killenaule, who without their support it wouldn’t have been possible, So long”.

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Tipperary GAA