Mature talent: Tom, 71, togs out for hurling team

HE might have celebrated his 71st birthday but when the local team were down a man, he didn’t dither when asked to tog out.

Kerryman and grand-father Tom Randles played the full 60 minutes of a recent Junior A Duhallow League game against Co Cork side Tullylease and reckons it “didn’t take a bit out of him”.

The players around him may have ranged from 17 to 35 but he was still “very involved in play”, according to onlookers.

A corner-forward, he didn’t make the scoreboard, but provided skills that ensured his team-mates got the sliothar over the bar.

“I’ve always loved hurling and I keep fit. It keeps the arthritis at bay. I’m used to training. I’ll train with the team when I can. I also run and walk and I love dancing. I do a bit of ceilí dancing but, you know, I’d do any kind of dancing at all,” he quipped. “I don’t drink and I don’t smoke and it pays off. A fit body is a fit mind, I like to say”.

They say a love of football courses through the Kerry blood, but this Kerryman has always been in thrall to hurling.

“I played hurling in Cork as part of the inter-firm championship. I played for CIE as left corner-forward along with Seanie O’Leary who was full-forward. I won an All Ireland with Capwell station in the inter-depot All Ireland,” he said.

Kilgarvan (home to one of Ireland’s most famous rural politicians, Jackie Healy-Rae), Tom says, has always been a bastion of hurling in Kerry.

“I always loved a puck around. I don’t think that will ever change,” he said. “I’ve togged out with the team once or twice in the past, if a man couldn’t get down because of work or something. I always keep my gear in the boot just in case.

“I’ll probably do it again, I’m sure.”


Lifestyle

Bryan Stevenson is the American civil rights lawyer who provided the inspiration for the newly-released film Just Mercy. Esther McCarthy spoke to him in IrelandReal-life lawyer Bryan Stevenson on inspiring Just Mercy

So I’ve booked my holidays. And before you ask, yes, I’m basing it around food and wine. I’ll report back in July, but I thought readers might be interested in my plan should you be thinking about a similar holiday.Wines to pick up on a trip to France

Esther N McCarthy is on a roll for the new year with sustainable solutions, cool citruses and vintage vibes.Wish List: Sustainable solutions, cool citruses and vintage vibes

They have absolutely nothing really to do with Jerusalem or indeed with any type of artichoke, so what exactly are these curious little tubers?Currabinny Cooks: Exploring the versatility of Jerusalem artichokes

More From The Irish Examiner