Fresh from first Munster start after his long injury lay-off, Conor Murray paid tribute to the role Garryowen played in making him one of the world’s best players at a gala event in honour of Murray at the Limerick club.
Garryowen rolled out the red carpet at Adare Manor on Saturday night as a host of sporting stars gathered to pay tribute to one of the celebrated club’s greatest ever players.
Ireland’s two World Players of the Year, Johnny Sexton and Keith Wood, were present, along with captain Rory Best and other current stars including Rob Kearney, Peter O’Mahony, Keith Earls, Tadhg Furlong and Andrew Conway and many more were present.
Past stars, including Tony Ward, David and Richard Wallace, Rob Henderson, Philip Danaher, Mike Sherry, Pat Whelan, Damien Varley and others also attended, along with world rowing champion Gary O’Donovan and horse trainer JP Murtagh. Joe Molloy of Newstalk was MC for the night.
A humbled Murray said: “I’ve been privileged to have enjoyed magnificent moments at the highest level, with Ireland, the Lions and, of course, Munster. But none of this would have happened were it not for my club Garryowen. The same applies for all international players; it starts with your club and I can certainly say that I got the best possible start with Garryowen and owe so much to everyone here.”
He added: “I’m a bit awkward about tonight; you come into a room like this in Adare and see people who were your heroes growing up, see people also who perhaps may not be household names as well but people who played a key part in everything you’ve been lucky enough to experience. I’m the one that’s thankful tonight.”
As part of the evening, Garryowen FC launched their Legacy project. Committee chairman Frank Hogan said, “Building on the values of the club, values that help nurture great young players like Conor, we need to recognise and support those that have played for the club in the past and for community projects in the future.”