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'The prince of midfielders' - Tributes paid after Kilkenny hurling great O'Brien passes away

Liam ‘Chunky’ O’Brien was part of four Kilkenny Liam MacCarthy Cup triumphs.

Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Updated Aug 24th 2021, 5:06 PM

TRIBUTES HAVE BEEN paid following the passing of Liam ‘Chunky’ O’Brien, the Kilkenny and James Stephens hurling great.

O’Brien achieved huge success as a hurler during the 1970s at both county and club level.

He won four All-Ireland senior medals with Kilkenny in 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1979. His individual exploits were recognised with four All-Star awards (1973-75 and 1979), along with being crowned Hurler of the Year in 1975.

The success with Kilkenny extended to seven titles in Leinster, along with the National Hurling League in 1976. Twice the midfielder won the RTÉ man-of-the-match award after All-Ireland finals – 1975 and 1979.

At club level with James Stephens in Kilkenny, O’Brien helped The Village win a pair of county senior hurling titles in 1975 and 1976, while also playing an instrumental role in their All-Ireland club victory in 1976.

The Kilkenny county board expressed their sympathies.

“Kilkenny GAA is deeply saddened today on hearing the sad news of Liam ‘Chunky’ O’Brien’s death. He was an immense hurler for Kilkenny winning 4 All-Ireland titles in the 1970’s and 7 Leinster titles. He also had an stellar career with his club James Stephen’s winning 4 Kilkenny SHC titles.

“Kilkenny GAA extends it’s deepest sympathies to his family, friends and the James Stephen’s Club at this sad time.”

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“The management and members of the James Stephens GAA Club would like to extend our sympathies to the O’ Brien family on the death of the legendary Liam ‘Chunky’ O’ Brien,” remarked his club James Stephens.

“Liam was the ‘prince’ of midfielders and served his club and county with great distinction in the 70′s.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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