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Kitman Of 30 Years Badly Hurt By How Tipp Dealt With Decision To Leave Him Go

Kitman Of 30 Years Badly Hurt By How Tipp Dealt With Decision To Leave Him Go
By PJ Browne Updated

If someone from the Tipp hurling management came to John 'Hotpoint' Hayes on a 'bended knee', the former kitman says he would not return to the team.

Hayes was recently relieved of his duties after 30 years of voluntary work with the Tipp hurlers.

In an interview with the Irish Examiner's Larry Ryan, Hayes said what hurt him most was that Tipp manager Michael Ryan did not inform him of the decision.

He was told of the decision by in a meeting - which lasted all of two minutes - with county board chairman Michael Bourke and John Devane after the Tipp SHC final between Sarsfields and Borris-Ileigh earlier this month.

Hayes is still uncertain as to the exact reason why he has been discharged. He denies a theory that it's because he's lost a yard of pace for getting replacement hurleys onto the pitch.

Ryan, who is from the same village as Hayes, said he felt the county board should deal with the appointment of roles within the set-up. Hayes disagreed.

I rang Michael Ryan then on Tuesday morning. I said: ‘Michael, I’m very very hurt over what you’ve done. And not even the decency or courtesy of a phone call’.

I was never appointed by the county board. I was a volunteer. I said: ‘You’re the man carrying the torch, you’re the boss. If you wanted Jack the Ripper there, he’d be on the backroom team’.

Hayes, clearly hurt by the affair - two of his siblings have said they will never attend a Tipp match again - has received plenty of support since axing became known.

Speaking to the media at the launch of the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic on Tuesday, Tipp hurler Michael Cahill said that the decision came as a surprise to the players.

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It was a bit of a shock to us, Hotpoint was there for a number of years and a real servant to Tipperary and an absolute gentleman.

We owe so much to him, the work he has done, men like him are few and far between so it surprised the players but whatever the reason was you just have to row in behind it, it’s not our place to say what happened.

Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

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