I have the utmost admiration for John Mullane, the inspirational Waterford hurler, who announced his retirement from Inter-County hurling this week. He is a man who gave his all to Waterford hurling, wore his heart on his blue and white sleeve and gave us magic moments in which we saw raw talent and flair. When you talk about John Mullane, you talk about a player who ignited stadiums with his speed, skill and sheer passion. You also talk about a man who poured his humble soul into inspiring a whole generation of Waterford youngsters with a deep, deep love of the game. He is so generous with his time and makes every young player feel special.
I will never, ever forget being on the Quay in Waterford in 2008 for the Waterford Team’s homecoming having been defeated in the All-Ireland Final in 2008. To see John Mullane sobbing was heart-breaking as ‘ Don’t Stop Believin’ , the Waterford anthem, echoed right around the county. He felt he had let us all down; we knew that he would die for Waterford. He was a fundamental part of so many great Waterford games that gave us such memories ~ playing alongside the likes of Ken McGrath, Paul Flynn, Dan Shanahan , Tony Browne, Eoin Kelly, Michael Brick Walshe ….
John Mullane, you will never, ever know how you lifted our Waterford hearts as you shot up the field and scored from impossible angles. Thanks for the glorious memories.