Sunday’s All-Ireland Hurling Quarter-Final between Laois and Tipperary will be keenly watched by 98-year old Jimmy Fitzpatrick, a Laois hurling lover from the football stronghold of Spink.
Jimmy, who now lives in Droimnin Nursing Home in Stradbally, kicked football with Spink and in 1944, won a Junior Championship with the club when they beat Ballybrittas in a match refereed by Bill Delaney.
Jimmy recalls beating Crettyard in the semi-final on a harsh November day.
Jimmy said: “We had no dressing rooms, no selectors, no nothing, and we picked our own teams”.
Jimmy has been a lifelong supporter of the Laois Hurlers and followed them all over the country to watch their games.
In particular, Jimmy loved to watch matches between Laois and Kilkenny because they were always hard hitting and entertaining.
He also loved cycling into Portlaoise with friends like Jim Brophy and Paddy Brennan to watch the games.
Jimmy is really looking forward to this Sunday’s big match against Tipperary and will be shouting for the Laois boys with pride.
Proudly displayed above Jimmy in the photo is a picture of the Laois team which beat Cork 6-2 to 4-1 to win the 1915 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final.
With the match on RTE this Sunday, Jimmy will be able to follow every puck as it happens!