On a cold Friday night in late November, in a hidden corner of Tipperary, under floodlights, the glittering career of arguably Tipperary’s greatest ever Gaelic footballer came to an end.
At the age of 34, Declan Browne had finally decided to call time on a sporting career that had seen him excel at both Gaelic codes, especially at football, in a career spanning more than two decades.
His loss to the playing fields will be immense, perhaps in our lifetimes we will never again see a Tipperary man reach the heights Declan Browne did, but the memories and his legacy will last many a generation to come.
His swan song in Ballyporeen on Friday night, lining out one last time for his beloved Moyle Rovers in a County League Final, was a million miles removed from some of the venues he graced at the peak of his powers, but it was never about glory with Declan. He was there for club and team mates, giving as he always gave, oft’ times on one leg, to a cause much much bigger than winning, or silverware or awards.
That he was blessed with a special talent he always knew, and more importantly appreciated. He shared it with club and county, on and off the field, and was an ambassador for himself, his family, his club and his county always.
See full tribute to Declan Browne in The Nationalist this Wednesday.