The GAA community in Galway, on a high after Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final win over Tipperary, is in shock after word spread that the 53-year-old had suffered an apparent heart attack at home in the early hours of the morning.
He was rushed to University Hospital Galway where he was last night being treated in the intensive care unit.
The chief executive of Galway GAA, John Hynes, said there was widespread shock and sadness when news emerged that Tony Keady was seriously ill.
“There’s a dark cloud over Galway, particularly the hurling community, and all we can do is pray and hope that he recovers. As one of his former teammates remarked earlier in the hospital, Tony was always a battler and we are just hoping he recovers.
“The news has shocked people; Tony is known and liked all over the place and he, like everyone else, was thrilled with the minors and seniors reaching the All-Ireland finals on Sunday,” said Hynes.
Keady was in attendance at Croke Park on Sunday as Galway saw off Tipperary and Kilkenny to reach the senior and minor finals.
An All-Ireland winner when Galway last triumphed in 1988, he won his first senior medal the previous year against Kilkenny but was controversially banned for playing in the US in 1989 and missed the semi-final loss to eventual winners Tipperary.
His exploits in 1988 earned a second All-Star award and the Hurler of the Year crown and he played in a fifth All-Ireland final in six years when Cork defeated them in 1990.
Keady was only the third Galway man to win the Hurler of the Year award — Joe Connolly in 1980 and Joe Cooney in 1987 were the others — and nobody from the county has won it since.
The Killimordaly clubman continued to be involved in hurling after he retired and trained several teams.
He and his wife Margaret and their four young children live in Frenchfort in Oranmore.