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Galway great Joe Canning retires from inter-county hurling

It’s the end of an era.

The end of an era: Joe Canning has retired.
The end of an era: Joe Canning has retired.
Image: Brian Reilly-Troy/INPHO

GALWAY TALISMAN Joe Canning has retired from inter-county hurling.

Speaking at the Bord Gáis Energy 2021 #HurlingToTheCore Media Day, 32-year-old Canning told the media: “I’m finished with Galway, that’s the end of it.”

2017 All-Ireland champion and Hurler of the Year Canning became the top scorer in championship history in their defeat to Waterford in the qualifiers last weekend.

The Portumna man, who has struggled with injury of late, says he informed team-mates of his decision after the loss.

Having told Off The Ball AM this morning, ‘People want to retire me, I’ll leave it for another day,’ Canning later explained:

“I was humming and hawing about publicly saying it and then when I got off the Off The Ball call, I went, ‘I should have told them.’ I’m finished with Galway. I told the boys after the match on Saturday.

“I got off Off The Ball, I was going, ‘Is this going to keep continuing now?’ I’m sorry to the Off The Ball guys, I should have told them for sure that I was finished. I rang the brother after and I was just like, ‘People are going to continue wondering am I staying on or not. I didn’t want to make any statements or anything like that.’ And he just said, ‘Listen, if you don’t want people talking about retiring or not retiring, and going back in the next few months, just say it.’

“So yeah, I’m finished with Galway, that’s the end of it. I should have said it earlier on, but I’ve said it now anyway. That’s it.

bord-gais-energy-hurling-to-core-2021 #HurlingToTheCore ambassador Joe Canning, pictured alongside the Flaherty Family from Galway who star in this year’s second series of Bord Gáis Energy’s GAAGAABox. Source: David Fitzgerald/SPORTSFILE

Ultimately, he cited injuries as the reason behind his decision: “Just my body, physically, I don’t think I’m able to give as much as I probably should have. Just niggly little injuries this year alone, and obviously the serious injuries I’ve had over the last number of years.

“I don’t want to go out on somebody else’s terms. I want to go out on my own terms. I had it in my head all year that this would probably be my last year. Obviously I didn’t think it would be Saturday but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. That’s life and that’s sport. You just have to get on with things and wish the boys the best of luck in the future.”

Canning bows out with four All-Ireland titles at inter-county level: senior (2017), U21 (2007) and minor (2004 and 2005). A five-time All-Star, he was named Hurler of the Year in 2017.

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His roll of honour also shows three Leinster senior titles and two league crowns with Galway, four All-Ireland titles with his club Portumna, and a Fitzgibbon medal with Limerick IT.

His electric senior debut season came in 2008, scoring 2-12 against Cork in an All-Ireland qualifier as he outlined his serious potential and well and truly announced himself on the biggest stage.

Through the years, Canning has starred under immense expectation and pressure, while coping with a string of injury setbacks.

He will continue to hurl with Portumna.

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 9.04.07 AM

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Emma Duffy

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