Not a good Friday for Déise as legend Browne bows out

An entire county wakes up this morning a little colder because Tony Browne announced his retirement last night.

Not a good Friday for Déise as legend Browne bows out

Waterford natives of your acquaintance will find it hard to raise a smile this Good Friday.

The hurler, 41 this year, called it quits 23 years after his intercounty debut, with the Gaelic Players Association emailing a press release to that effect.

One of the sideshows of an intercounty career of that length, of course, is that, when it began, email itself was confined to science-fiction novels.

Browne’s senior hurling career has taken him through more than the usual milestones: three separate decades, with Munster titles won in each, and two different centuries — two different millennia, come to that.

He won a Hurler of the Year award in 1998, and a Munster senior hurling medal just the 12 years afterwards.

In that Munster final replay back in 2010, when a late, late Eoin Kelly free was stopped by Cork’s Eoin Cadogan, it was Browne, even then the oldest player on the field by some distance, who had the legs to win the race to the rebound.

His goal earned Waterford a replay, which they won, and Browne collected a fourth Munster medal 19 years after his senior debut.

In his farewell statement, Browne remembered the legions in white and blue who followed him and his teammates to Semple Stadium and Pairc Uí Chaoimh, to the Gaelic Grounds and Croke Park. "It goes without saying the Waterford supporters are amongst the greatest in the GAA," he wrote.

"I personally want to thank you for everything all through the years.

"I will cherish those cheers and your support for all time."

Cherished. Like the memories he gave them.

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