Retirement Statement from Richie Hogan
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a Kilkenny hurler. I cannot recall a day in my life where I haven’t thought about what I need to do to get to the highest level of the sport or what I need to do to stay up there. Listening to stories from my grandfather about Kilkenny heroes of the past and watching endless hours of games on repeat from Kilkenny teams in the 90s allowed me to dream. Going to games with my brother Paddy to see my father and my uncle Richie playing for their clubs filled me with the inspiration I needed to practise everyday and make that dream a reality. I always believed I was born to play hurling and from the first day I represented Kilkenny as a 12 year old I felt like the black and amber colours were woven into my skin. Now that my playing days are over I look forward to wearing those famous colours as a supporter again.
I can honestly say that apart from the obvious exceptions in life, nothing has given me more joy and nothing has caused me more heartache than playing hurling. Winning 7 All Irelands in the first 9 years of my senior hurling career was amazing and I will never forget those times or the incredible teammates that I played alongside. The last couple of years have been hugely challenging physically and mentally but I’ve developed characteristics during that time that will benefit me for the rest of my life.
Thank you to the incredible teammates I have played with over the past 17 years for Kilkenny and 20 years for Danesfort. Playing with you, while sometimes winning and sometimes not, was an incredible honour which I have always appreciated.
Thank you to our manager Derek Lyng, the Kilkenny backroom team and especially to the medical teams without whom I would never have made it to the field on so many occasions. Thank you to the Kilkenny county board, our sponsors Glanbia and to Michael and the Lyng family in MLM.
Thank you to the GPA for its incredible education and professional support as well as all of the employers I have worked for over my career who accommodated my sporting commitments and always recognised the value of gaining skills on the field and implementing these in the workplace.
Thank you to my wife Anne, my parents Sean and Liz, my brother Paddy, sisters Rachel and Niamh, my grandparents Eileen, Mick, Bee and Patsy and my wider family. Thank you to my former teachers and every GAA volunteer in my club.
To the people of Kilkenny, thank you for everything. I always think of how lucky I was to be born into a county where my obsession with hurling was equally matched by everyone in our great city. I am incredibly grateful for the support you have given me through both good and challenging times on the pitch. My body has tried to call time on my career many times over the past few years but my mind always convinced me that the call to represent you was always greater.
For now however, don’t call me, I’ll call you.
On behalf of Derek Lyng & his management team and Kilkenny County Board, we wish Richie the very best in his retirement from inter county hurling. Richie’s contribution to Kilkenny hurling cannot be measured & his achievements and service to Kilkenny GAA speak for themselves. He has inspired so many over the years both on and off the pitch. Thank you Richie!
By Mary Morgan Fri 1st Sep