• Home
  • /
  • GAA
  • /
  • The Reasons Why The Retiring Padraic Joyce Is So Beloved

The Reasons Why The Retiring Padraic Joyce Is So Beloved

The Reasons Why The Retiring Padraic Joyce Is So Beloved
By Conor Neville
Share this article

Padraic Joyce's senior career began in 1992 when he was 15 years of age. It ended on Sunday at the age of 38 in a Division 2 League game between Killererin and Moycullen.

He had attempted to retire before now but was drawn back in during last year's relegation struggle.

However, he is determined that this is the end.

He has told reporters that he is 1000% that this will be his last game. Moycullen held a presentation for the great man after the game as a tribute to his brilliance and his longevity.


Here are a number of reasons he is so beloved of the purists.

Proving that centre forwards must wear their socks up

Early in his career, when Galway were winning All-Irelands and Joyce was accompanied in their forward line by Michael Donnellan and Ja Fallon, he was a marksman style full-forward. As such he tended to wear his socks down.


Late in his career however, as Galway declined and he became even more important to the team (worryingly so, in fact) he dropped into the centre-half forward playmaker role. In order to establish his playmaker aura, he decided to change the way he wore his socks. It was an ingenious move.

With the help of his new sock policy, he effortlessly made the transition from the inside-forward scorer-in-chief to elegant provider who pulled the strings on the forty metre line. A lesson to all aspiring stylish centre forwards.

He became more influential as his inter-county team went into decline

Padraic Joyce's inter-county career was divided into two phases.


During the first phase, it was all big days in Croke Park, bringing Sam Maguire back to Eyre Square, and triumphant fly on the wall documentaries.

The second phase mainly consisted of carrying an ailing Galway team on his back from the centre forward position, one point losses in qualifier matches, and the odd August exit if you were lucky.

While Galway drifted, almost imperceptibly at first, back into the wilderness after the glory years of 1998-2001, Padraic Joyce, if anything, got better.


Following his aforementioned positional switch back to the 40 metre line, his class really told. While Derek Savage and Michael Donnellon had retreated from the heights of the glory years by the mid-2000s, Joyce kept plugging away.


By the end, Galway were frighteningly dependent on the great one. Arguably one of his best years was the 2008 season, the last year Galway won the Connacht title.

He didn't make excuses after defeat

Of the many abject championship seasons Galway football supporters have suffered through in the past decade, the 2010 season remains possibly the most abject of all. The season proved more that the Galway side of the late noughties/early 2010s were capable of emerging from any endgame with a one point deficit intact.


After limping past New York, they were knocked out of the Connacht championship by Sligo and then pipped by a point by Wexford in Salthill.

They were not helped by a very dubious penalty given to Wexford by referee Jimmy White midway through the second half.

Afterwards, Padriac Joyce, who, needless to say, had been superb in spite of it all, was asked by RTE whether he thought Galway were hard done by in the penalty. He refused to indulge in such comforting thoughts.


 We let the county down and not for the first time either... I'm not going to comment on Mr. White. I'm sure he goes out to referee games as he sees it.

Read more: The Strange Decline Of Galway Football

His performance in the second half of the 2001 All-Ireland football final


People forget that he was relatively quiet in the first half of that game. Indeed, in the 2001 season generally he hadn't hit the same heights he had in the 2000 championship season.

The memory of that was obliterated by his second half display. He kicked 0-10 with the bulk of them coming from play. Galway, underdogs at the outset, swaggered to victory in the most anti-climactic of All-Ireland finals.



While Ciaran McDonald did make his championship debut as a 14 year old in 1989, Joyce was no late-bloomer either. Beginning at the age of 15 in 1992, he has played for Killererin for over two decades. And he is centrally responsible for it being such a glorious era for the small club. They won four Galway titles between 1999 and 2010. As late as 2013, Ray Silke said (lamented) on Newstalk that Padraic Joyce was still the best forward in Galway club football.


Other players won more and competed at the business end of the championship more often, but could match Padraic Joyce in terms of style and elegance on the ball.

Gaelic football is occasionally maligned by both hurling snobs and soccer adicinados as a lawless pullers and draggers fest. It was impossible to think so after watching Padraic Joyce play for an hour.

He always upright, composed and intelligent. His vision and finishing ability were out of the top drawer. He had the purists purring.

Read more: Why Did The Mayo Players Enjoy More Support Than The Galway Players During Heave?


Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are subscribed now!

Share this article

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com