Ken McGrath has shocked Waterford hurling by announcing that he is retiring from the intercounty game.
McGrath had returned to training earlier in the year and played against Cork in last Sunday’s hurling encounter in Dungarvan, but that now looks likely to be his last ever appearance in a Waterford jersey. McGrath did not turn up at training at Waterford IT last night and later phoned manager, Davy Fitzgerald, to inform him of his decision to retire.
The player started last Sunday’s game against the rebels but was replaced early in the second half. It had been expected that McGrath would take some time to make a decision on his future and today’s news came as a huge shock to all those involved in the game. Ken McGrath made his Waterford debut in 1996 and played over 50 times in the championship. He captained the Deise twice and won four Munster titles a National League and three All Star awards. He also won six county championships and a Munster club title with Mount Sion in 2002.
Waterford selector Pat Bennett said: “Ken was outstanding. This guy won so many matches for Mount Sion and for Waterford on his own. I remember this guy from under-14, all the way up, and I played alongside his father Pat on the Waterford teams that contested the 1982 and ’83 Munster finals.
“It’s the end of an era with Ken gone. The likes of Ken and Paul Flynn were outstanding guys, Dan Shanahan too. And if you take Séamus Prendergast and John Mullane out of the team from last Sunday, Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh was the oldest player at 26.”