Joe Canning retires from inter-county hurling


By John Harrington

Galway star Joe Canning has announced his retirement from inter-county hurling.

The 32-year old made his debut back in 2008 and in his final match for the Tribesmen on Saturday against Waterford overtook Kilkenny legend Henry Shefflin at the top of the all-time championship scorers list with what's now a career tally of 27-485 from 62 matches.

"I knew it was going to happen this year, I just didn’t think it was going to be Saturday evening," said Canning at the Bord Gáis Energy 2021 #HurlingToTheCore Media Day.

"If you go into a championship game expecting not to win, you might as well not tog out in the first place.

“I don't want to be there as a token gesture

"I had nothing prepared. Everyone dreams about a lovely way to go out, and in my own head it was going to be 22 August, winning an All-Ireland.”

#HurlingToTheCore ambassador Joe Canning, pictured ahead of this year’s second series of Bord Gáis Energy’s GAAGAABox, which features the most passionate hurling fans across the country filmed in their front-rooms as they experience the agony and ecstasy of following their counties’ fortunes from home. You can watch GAAGAABox on Bord Gáis Energy’s #HurlingToTheCore YouTube channel throughout the Senior Hurling Championship. 
#HurlingToTheCore ambassador Joe Canning, pictured ahead of this year’s second series of Bord Gáis Energy’s GAAGAABox, which features the most passionate hurling fans across the country filmed in their front-rooms as they experience the agony and ecstasy of following their counties’ fortunes from home. You can watch GAAGAABox on Bord Gáis Energy’s #HurlingToTheCore YouTube channel throughout the Senior Hurling Championship. 

An All-Ireland winner in 2017 when he was also crowned Hurler of the Year, Canning says the toll a number of injuries took on his body in recent years convinced him it was time to call it a day as an inter-county hurler.

“Just my body, physically, I don’t think I’m able to give as much as I probably should have," he said. "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.”

In total, Canning won four All-Ireland titles at inter-county level – one senior, one U-21, and two minors - and five All-Stars as well as his Hurler of the Year Award in 2017.

He's also a four-time All-Ireland winner with his club Portumna and intends to continue his playing career at club-level.