POPULAR TIPPERARY SENIOR hurling team kit man John ‘Hotpoint’ Hayes has been told that he is surplus to requirements – after 30 years of service.
Hayes was summoned to a meeting by county board chairman Michael Bourke at Semple Stadium on Sunday, with vice-chairman John Devane also present, and the bombshell news was delivered.
It is understood that Hayes, who began working with the Tipperary senior team in 1988, is extremely disappointed with the manner in which he was informed that he will no longer be working with the Premier county.
During his three decades with the seniors, Hayes has missed just a handful of training sessions.
He’s also worked with Tipp teams in other grades, and Munster interprovincial sides through the years.
Sources have indicated that news of his departure was broken to Tipperary squad members on their WhatsApp group early this week, and some of them have contacted him to send best wishes.
Hayes provided his services on an entirely voluntary basis, and was regularly seen on match-days racing onto the pitch to supply players with replacement hurleys smashed in the heat of battle.
Hayes was also responsible for looking after the gear and equipment for the Tipp team.
It is believed that this move is part of a backroom shake-up by senior team manager Michael Ryan, with other potential changes in the offing.
Brian Horgan, Tipp’s 1995 All-Ireland U21 winning captain, has also left the set-up.
Horgan, from the Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams club, had been working with the squad’s goalkeepers as coach for the past two seasons.
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